Sunday, November 4, 2007

bathroom woes

Jeff and I were walking into Target today, and I decided to use their restroom before downing my Starbuck's latte. I walked in and was immediately struck by the sound of very loud, annoying music coming out of the speakers. First, is music really necessary in the bathroom? Second, why does it have to be so loud?

I actually asked these questions aloud, just in case someone from Target security was listening. Not that they'd be able to hear me over the obnoxious music.

I couldn't wait to get out of there, the noise level made me so uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, it was not a quick trip. The stall I chose had plenty of toilet paper. Two brand new, 12 inch diameter rolls. The two rolls were jammed so tightly in the dispenser that neither of them would move. I tried to tear away at both rolls to get them started, but ended up with a handful of shredded tissue. Neither roll would move a centimeter. It made me think of the Seinfeld episode with Elaine saying to the person in the stall next to her, "Could you spare a square?" Here, I had two warehouse sized rolls, and couldn't get one lousy square. I gave up and left.

I walked out and Jeff asked, "What is up with that loud music?" I told him it was the worst bathroom experience of my life.

OK, that was an exaggeration. I've had worse. In Russia, I had to go in a hole on a tile floor. The floor was wet, and I don't think it had been freshly washed. That was the worst.

At school, we have brand new bathrooms. Everything in them is automated. You don't have to flush. Theoretically, the toilet is supposed to sense when you are done, and then flush itself. The problem with the automatic flush system, is that it doesn't always flush at the right time. Almost every time, the toilet flushes prematurely, and there is no way to manually flush. Every time I walk into the bathroom, I have to check the stalls. There are always some surprises left in the bowl by previous bathroom users. I feel like I know a lot more than I want to know about my co-workers bodily functions.

If the toilet flushes prematurely, and you want to leave a clean toilet behind, you must pretend to "go" again to initiate a second flush. To do this, I hover over the toilet, wait, and then stand up. This doesn't always work. Sometimes, I have to actually leave the stall, go back in, and pretend again. This can waste a lot of time during my precious "student free periods".

Next up, the automatic sink. You put your hands under one faucet, and no water. Go to the next one, and wave your hands around. Nothing. Next.... It is so aggravating.

Luckily, the towel dispenser is not automated. Simply yank, and a towel comes out. Heaven.


betty said...

What a giggle! I can relate to the shreds, double entry, and no water. What is it with the sensors? I thought it was my hands but here you are complaining as well.

Sara said...

I wonder if there are similar problems in the men's room.