The secret codes of restrooms

photo of toilet seat

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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:

  1. Not looking at me when I enter the cubicle. It’s bad enough that you now know I use a toilet.
  2. Not trying to strike a conversation with me at the wash hand basins, especially if you’ve inadvertently heard me doing “number 2”.
  3. 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?


  1. ๐Ÿ˜€
    I usually fall silent too if i had just bombed the bathroom. lol
    Or I usually just wait in my cubicle until everyone’s gone to get out. Saves me the walk of shame ๐Ÿ™‚
    Nice post! Hope you won’t mind me following ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. I’m always paranoid that the people outside the stall can see what I’m doing through sliver of space between the door. And I agree that people shouldn’t talk in bathrooms. The echo alone will let the other party know where you are and that’s just TMI.


  3. Great post you got here. I’m still wondering why it’s yet to be Freshly Pressed, seriously! ๐Ÿ™‚ I totally agree with all your points; prefer to be ‘quiet’ too.


    • Ah, I wouldn’t hold my breath on the freshly pressed stuff – that’s a whole different league ;-). I’m relieved to hear that men like it quiet too.


  4. So funny! I know what you mean. I was in the bathroom once and a girl was flossing her teeth. I looked at her kind of weird and she said “I’m a dental hygienist”. I looked at her and said “I am so glad you’re not a gynecologist!”


    • Hahaha!!! That’s hilarious. These codes should really be published somewhere…like on an employee codes of conduct or something :-). Thanks for stopping by, Sister!


  5. Someone once announced that they knew of my presence as they had recognised my shoes under the stall wall. Utter, utter violation!


  6. I used to work for a guy who would do computer tech support with a telephone headset on – go in the bathroom while talking to someone, do his business, flush, without missing a beat.


    • OMG! Do people not think about this at all?? I guess if the customer asked, he could just say that he walked past a toilet or that his office is really near the restrooms. But honestly!


  7. Hahaha, I didn’t know that there were any ๐Ÿ˜€


  8. Lol I don’t blame you. This weekend, someone answered their phone in another stall and proceeded to talking loudly then pass gas. I wanted to go off on that woman lol


    • Seriously gruesome! But I guess to be fair, one cannot help when gas is passed….although there’s control over when to pick up the phone! Thanks for stopping by, Kay :-).


  9. I refuse to make eye contact with people if/when I go into public washrooms. It’s always so awkward…I feel as though I’m looking into their soul under those neon fluorescent lights. So very awkward.

    I just pretend as though that person doesn’t exist and that I don’t exist. It seems to solve the problem…

    Another great post, Kemi! ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. Funny, I often speak to people in the restroom (where I work). Just a casual chat while washing hands. Of course I don’t chat when I’m on the toilet, unless I went in with another person who is also in a stall — then you can exchange a few words w/out discomfort. The thing I hate most is when, in a restroom that has many stalls, I go into one and the next person who comes in goes into the one next to me! I find that astonishing! If someone is already in a stall and I have a choice, I’ll choose a stall as far away from that person as possible. I just don’t know why you’d want to go right next to someone else — the stink, the noise, etc. To me it’s good manners and common sense to stay away, lol!


  11. It’s the echo. Creepy.


  12. I totally agree with you. The one I really don’t understand are the people yacking on their phones. I would be so embarrassed and, quite frankly annoyed, to find out you were chatting with me in the rest room like that. What if someone else flushes? I’m all for just asking if you can call someone back in a few minutes. The world hasn’t gotten so instantaneous and wired that you have to know what happens in the toilet.

    Thanks for voicing one of my pet peeves.


  13. This is a really interesting post. It made me laugh because when anyone who would such things like I stretching over the cubicle to say hi must really be psycho. I’m sure I’d collapse in the toilet!



  1. […] 6. Cheekiest postsโ€ฆ (1) Save the brain-insects with your email etiquette & (2) The secret codes of restrooms […]


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