Quiet is the quiet rule that exists in the realm of the public toilet. An extension to the masses of the wonders of indoor plumbing and experiments in tile decor selection. Sanctuary from the blathering blabber as the bladder and colon reign supreme over the porcelain throne. The sacred act of bowel expulsion and draining of the fluids entertains to some unfortunate few a novel arena for talk and discussion.
This is not permissible. In fact it is against the laws of expediency and concentration to conduct any kind of external business inside the echo chamber of grunt and relief. Culprits prime are that of familiarity; colleagues and friends who happen upon at the same time and strangers sharing the moment. Whatever that moment happens to be.
Two or more people letting loose in the room of tiles hardly ever work in tandem outside the nurses and carers of the world. Keeping up flow of traffic and the stake in killing conversations is all in the timing and execution.
Guess the location
- Walk no closer to the doors if another person is ahead a few steps or strides. Caging the animal invariably leads to the brain of the first party to now acknowledge the presence of the second. A slippery slope that may cause splashing about with chit-chat and observations of the weather.
- Timing is most opportune following an exit of the previous occupants. Though that tends to face itself with the possible lingering aftermath and assault on the olfactory if so unlucky.
Side note: If the phone rings in the middle or the end of a transaction in evacuation, let it go. Nothing is ever so important as to the need to conduct simultaneous conversations through both ends or to distract from stemming the cycle of germ transfer.
- If being followed or the sounds of footsteps are shortly behind, walk past the toilets altogether and attempt another pass later on.
- Added benefit: The traipsing counts as extremely light exercise for the day.
- Possible fail point: When the toilets are at the end of a passage and not going in leads to an actual quip or remark which is in danger of blowing out to a full on confab.
- Head for a stall if possible. Keeping the back is easily a deterrent to most and removes face-to-face conversation. Closing the door grants even more time alone and allows one to wait for the other party to exit ahead and without a whisper of what the weekend holds.
- For those lofty enough to succumb to the mental drain of office politics in a multi-storey building, the solution is simple but with a caveat. Take a walk up or down the stairs to relieve oneself in the water closets of the neighbouring floor. The shock of seeing someone new is more than enough to have the other party keeping mum. Backfiring is possible. There are some out there who insist on meeting the new hire in a state of genital openness. They should be avoided at all times.
Public toilets, and more so that of toilets in the office or warehouse building, can too be conversation free zones.
Respect the peace and remember to wash your hands.
Written on Wednesday, 8 April 2009