Make It Stop: “Should I Leave A Sign In My Office Bathroom?”

Make It Stop is a new weekly column in which Anna Goldfarb — the blogger behind Shmitten Kitten and Shlooby Kitten — tells you what’s up. Want a fresh take on a stinky dilemma? Email [email protected] with the subject “Make It Stop.” She’ll make it all better, or at least make you laugh. Girl Scout’s honor.

First up, we have a woman whose coworkers use the office ladies’ room like their own personal telephone booth (yes, that’s our own Amelia above, gabbing away)…

“I work for a big financial services company. It’s somewhat formal and people are pretty concerned with being “professional.” But the weird thing is that this all goes to hell in the ladies’ bathrooms. If you need to go have a crying fit in a bathroom stall, I get it. We’ve all been there. But literally every single day people are having long personal phone calls that everyone can overhear. Sometimes there two or three of them going on at once in the same bathroom. It’s getting really, really awkward and I don’t know who I’m supposed to talk to about it. The Bathroom Police?  Should I put a sign up?”

I love the idea of having a Bathroom Police force. I hope they have batons made of of empty toilet paper rolls taped together and write tickets for getting pee on the toilet seat.

I also love the idea of putting a sign up. What would it say? The only lips that should flap in here are the ones below your belly button. Or maybe, Personal phone calls are prohibited wherever tampons are sold for a quarter.

People who take phone calls in the bathroom are morons. Straight up. Not only is it not nice, but the sound echos like crazy. Go outside. Find an empty office and chat it up. But don’t gab away in the bathroom. No one wants to listen to it. Bathrooms are meant to touch up your makeup, to play Candy Crush when you have to “drop the kids off at the pool,” and to browse Instagram while you tinkle. That’s it.

Personally, I’d want to splash toilet water on the offenders. I’m sure that’d be frowned upon, but it’s hard to relax when you have a co-worker pacing outside your bathroom stall door chatting about how tacky her sister’s bachelorette party was. It’s the worst when you can see her slouched against the sink through the slats. About me: I’d rather die than make eye contact with a co-worker while my Hanes Her Ways are around my ankles.

Too bad there isn’t an international symbol for “I’m gonna need some privacy because I just tried bulletproof coffee and boy, is my stomach unhappy.” You have to suffer in silence. Or at least try to drop a deuce on off-hours which are before the lunch rush and before people bop in to re-apply their lipstick before they head out for the day.

Maybe you could dust off your Girl Scout sash and go on an adventure. Scout out alternate restrooms. Find a random floor no ones uses that is chatterbox-free. Maybe there’s a special commode in your building where you can finally pee in peace.

Or you could resort to scare tactics. Start an anonymous Twitter where you tweet things overheard in your bathroom at work. Then you could be be like, “Did you hear about this person who tweets conversations overheard in our bathroom? It’s crazy, right? I don’t know about you, but I’m never going to talk on the phone in the bathroom. It’s too risky.” Yeah, do that! Let me know how it goes.

“I know this is gross but I’m sorry, it needs to be addressed! My darling dude keeps using the bathroom to take a shit right before he KNOWS that I’m going to use it to do my hair or put on makeup.  I’m tired of hauling my flatiron into another room to do my hair because the bathroom reeks. There are 23 hours and 45 other minutes of the day that he could be pooping and yet he does it right before I need the bathroom. How the fuck do I fix this?! (Obviously: we only have one bathroom.)”

Oh, dear. My nose feels your pain.

Part of living with someone else is navigating these stinky waters. Your honey’s rectum is wrecking your doll-up time, and that’s not cool. While you can’t build him an outhouse, you can fortify your bathroom before his next doody armageddon. You are at war with his asshole and your defense budget against his brown eye is gonna cost you around $20.

Go to Target and toss the following into a cart:

  1. A package of drop-in toilet tablets. They’ll deodorize the water upon flushing and help keep the stink at bay.
  2. Get a scented candle. It doesn’t have to be a giant-ass Yankee Candle that weighs five pounds and has three wicks, but look for something tasteful. The key: be sure to light it before he closes the door to start his next anus tango.
  3. Station one of those essential oil air diffusers with the reeds in the bathroom. It should help with any odors, too.

That’s a three-pronged attack! If that doesn’t make a dent in his stinky dumps, I don’t know what will.

Hopefully with this little bit of preparation, your days of holding your breath while applying mascara will be flushed away along with his gnarly boom booms.

Anna Goldfarb is the blogger behind Shmitten Kitten and the author of Clearly I Didn’t Think This Through: The Story Of One Tall Girl’s Impulsive, Ill-Conceived And Borderline Irresponsible Life Decisions. (She is, however, thinking through the responses to these questions very seriously.) Follow her on Twitter!