Guest Post from Mr. B’s Mom: Office Bathroom Etiquette


After our 5k last weekend. She will outrun a bear.

Mr. B’s mom was casually rolling meat into little balls for kebab on Saturday as she asked me, “You write a lot, right?”

I told her that, sure, I wrote, if writing delusioned novel drafts and blog posts about Nutella counted.

“Well, I’ve been thinking about a problem that needs some public awareness.”

“So, the other day, I was in the bathroom and I heard some noises from the person in the stall next to me.  First it was just mumbling, then it was more like laughing and yelling.  When we both came out, it turned out that she was on a cell phone.  Naturally, as she was gesticulating, she didn’t have enough coordination to wash her hands.  And it’s not the first time something like this has happened.  I’ve heard people take conference calls in there..”

“Well, I work from home usually, and so do some of my coworkers,” my mom chimed in, “and I hear babies, dogs, everything in the background on calls from time to time.  It’s not as bad, but it’s still funny.”

Other various people mentioned that they had heard, among other things, toilets flushing during interviews, car stereos, and, on one occasion, a horse.

It’s not the other things so much as phone calls in the bathroom that bother Mr. B’s mom.

Her question is:  why do people [[<p style="text-align: center;"> After our 5k last weekend. She will outrun a bear. </p>

Mr. B’s mom was casually rolling meat into little balls for kebab on Saturday as she asked me, “You write a lot, right?”

I told her that, sure, I wrote, if writing delusioned novel drafts and blog posts about Nutella counted.

“Well, I’ve been thinking about a problem that needs some public awareness.”

“So, the other day, I was in the bathroom and I heard some noises from the person in the stall next to me.  First it was just mumbling, then it was more like laughing and yelling.  When we both came out, it turned out that she was on a cell phone.  Naturally, as she was gesticulating, she didn’t have enough coordination to wash her hands.  And it’s not the first time something like this has happened.  I’ve heard people take conference calls in there..”

“Well, I work from home usually, and so do some of my coworkers,” my mom chimed in, “and I hear babies, dogs, everything in the background on calls from time to time.  It’s not as bad, but it’s still funny.”

Other various people mentioned that they had heard, among other things, toilets flushing during interviews, car stereos, and, on one occasion, a horse.

It’s not the other things so much as phone calls in the bathroom that bother Mr. B’s mom.

Her question is:  why do people (the validity of which I almost immediately question) 42% of American adults] do this?