I don’t know what it is about restrooms, but I don’t like to talk in them. When I am in the toilet cubicle, I try to make as little noise as possible especially if I know there’s someone next door. I also feel embarrassed if I’ve seen a person go in. I secretly hope that there’ll just wee and skip “number 2”. There’s obviously a secret code in the restrooms.
When I come out of the restrooms and head to the wash hand basins, I’m sworn to silence. If there’s a colleague washing hands next to me, no words are exchanged – we wash side by side, heads bowed.
The other day, the phone in the cubicle next to me started ringing! And…you guessed it, the lady answered it! A sacred code broken. She talked a little about some presentation slides she forgot to send but DID keep the conversation short. At least, she didn’t flush while on the phone. What a relief! I understand that no one makes these rules but it’s just less uncomfortable when people follow them by:
- Not looking at me when I enter the cubicle. It’s bad enough that you now know I use a toilet.
- Not trying to strike a conversation with me at the wash hand basins, especially if you’ve inadvertently heard me doing “number 2”.
- Definitely not peeking over (or under) the cubicle wall to say ‘hi!’.
I often find myself staying a little longer in the cubicle if I hear movement at the wash hand basin. I think its a woman thing but I may be wrong. Are men having chats across the toilet bowl, I wonder? What other codes are out there?