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?

Classifieds: Urgent requirement for phone call endings…

I’ve got some nerve writing this.

It's not that I want to hang up....I kinda have to

It wasn’t long ago when I made a fuss about email etiquette in my post ‘Save the brain-insects with your email etiquette’. Now, I have a little confession of my own – I don’t know how to effectively end a phone call. Maybe it’s always been like this. When I was a teenager, my dad got fed up of my constant telephone presence and (according to him) the ‘boys’ that would call then hang up when they heard his voice. He was so tired of it that he did the unthinkable – he got me my own number and phone in my bedroom. I know! I know! OUTRAGEOUS. Especially if you know my dad.

I’ll tell you how it starts. I want to call a friend then I think about all the stuff we have to catch up on and I just don’t make the call. Why?

Well, because I usually have a maximum of 10-15 minutes before I have to get on to the next ‘thing’. The ‘thing’ could be getting to work, cooking, bathing the kids, going to church, knitting, blogging, studying e.t.c. Often, I KNOW the conversation will run up to the best part of an hour. My main worry is: How do I end the call? It seems simple, right? Not for me. I worry that I’ll cut off a great discussion or that I’ll hurt someone’s feelings. I’ve tried, ‘Eh, let me run and catch you later’, and I’ve tried, ‘Let me let you go’….(reverse psychology). But it’s predictable and I’m sure my friends are on to me. This has caused me to be behind on goings-on. There’s only so much that can be said on text before the phone sends cheeky advice of its own (e.g. SEND AN EMAIL, DEARIE!). It’s worse when I need to end a call that I didn’t make to begin with because I think I’m being a little rude. Argh!

What I do now is make a list of folks I need to call on the weekend but….I’d still need to end the call…!! So now that I’ve confessed that somehow in the last fifteen years or so I’ve never truely acquired much needed call-ending skills, my father should be the most annoyed (as per his initial investment e.t.c).

Any sound advice on how to end a long conversation and come out smelling roses? I have money.

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