I’m fairly sure that it isn’t my fault that I walk in on people on the toilet so very often. I’m pretty sure that they are just not educated in toilet-safety.
If I cannot in some way prevent the door from opening, I WILL NOT GO. There will be no peaceful tinkle while the door is unlocked and waiting for an unsuspecting person to swing the door open on me. If the stall door won’t lock, and all the other stalls are full, I will go, with at least one foot pressed up against the door, knee locked straight, wedging it shut. It will be the tensest pee EVER.
I will feel the same anxiety the man in Jurassic Park felt when he ran to the washroom, and the T-Rex bit the roof off the building, just before it ate him. I will pee like I am waiting for a T-Rex to rip the door off my stall. When the tiny little metal piece slides properly into the little metal hole, thus ‘locking’ the door… the T-Rex can’t get in, and neither can anyone else.
Do-you-think-he-saur-us? No…I know he didn’t, because my door was locked. A potty-saurus can’t get in if the metal toggle is in place.
There is a single-toilet women’s washroom in the engineering building at Western. It is a very large room with a door in one corner, a toilet in another and a sink in the third corner. You can’t reach the door from the toilet-seat. It just isn’t possible. The lock on the door is a bit odd, and, at first attempt (and second attempt) doesn’t seem to be able to lock. Would I go? Knowing that this is the only women’s washroom within a mad-dash from my class? Knowing that I can’t lock the door and I can’t hold the door shut? No. I would NOT. I played with the lock for a little while, opening the door, flicking the lock, closing the door,
repeat. I figured out that you need to start flicking the lock, hold it at that ‘stuck’ position, and pull the door slowly open, in order to get it to lock. It’s just not quite lined up. Door locked, success, I pee in peace. The little sign on the lock on the outside of the door switches from green ‘unoccupied’ to red ‘occupied’, people can tell without jiggling the handle that the door is locked. Sometimes they
jiggle it anyways, damn them and their potty-T-Rex tendencies.
Does everyone else take the time to master the art of locking this door? No. So, using the simple ability to read ‘Unoccupied’ on a green background, I have walked in on at least FIVE people doing their business, door unlocked, unprotected from T-Rexes or other people in need of toilet time. The most awkward of which proceeded to chat with me while I waited, a red-faced and uncomfortable Awkward-osaur, outside the washroom, while she finished her business. I know I know you, but if you’re mid-pee, act like we’re strangers. I will.
And it happens with stalls too – despite having the ability to literally HOLD THE DOOR CLOSED, people have failed to prevent me from walking into a tiny cubicle-of-toilet that is already occupied. And I am not always particularly aware of my surroundings, so I have made it nearly entirely into the stall before realizing that it is occupied. Thankfully, most people I do this to will rapidly smash a door back in my face (I’m ok with this, really I am… they have rudimentary potty-saurus-attack-prevention-skills), thus alerting me to the fact that there’s someone there, and preventing me from coming face-to-too-close-face with their toilet-sitting-selves. What does a Triceratops sit on? Its Tricerabottom… but I don’t want to see that! This rampant indifference to
common washroom safety is baffling and disturbing.
I am not a potty-file… I don’t want to watch you poop, or pee, or really… BE on the toilet at all. I’m fine with pretending that you don’t even require a toilet… that you don’t go. I don’t want to know who is on the other side of the thin metal barrier peeing. I just want to occupy a stall, and do my business, in peace and quiet. It is a solo mission. But, no matter how many times I’ve walked in on people, I’m going to assume that a stall whose door is partly cracked open, and a door whose lock says “Unoccupied” are meant to be opened by me, when I have to do my business. I think that checking for feet is mildly creepy, and could totally be taken for something even more creepy than just “I was checking to see if someone was there”, and I don’t want to knock on each individual stall before trying to enter. Why is no-one else as freaked out at the potential Potty-T-Rex-attack as I am?
The worst is interior camping. I’m not a city-girl at heart – I can pee-in-the-woods with the best of them, but it does freak me out that I have no way of preventing people from happening upon me mid-business. The backwoods that do have outhouses (literally a wooden box with a toilet seat and lid on a hole in the top of the box… zero walls around you) are the worst, because you know that everyone else knows where you’re peeing, but you have no way of indicating ‘occupied’ before they get into sight … and chanting ‘don’t come here I’m peeing, don’t come here, I’m peeing!’ is a warning to some and a potential lure to creepers. At least, if it’s just a ‘find a good shrub to pee behind’ situation, you are unlikely to find the same shrub as someone else. Just be careful of all 360 degrees, because nothing is so awkward as waving awkwardly from the ‘perfect’ dead log you found out of sight of your site, but not out of sight of those people canoe-ing by, 5 ft from your makeshift ‘throne’.
So, if I stumble into your private moments, sitting on the porcelain throne, know that I am not a potty-saurus, but an I’msosaurus. And use the potty-safety skills you’ve picked up in reading this post to avoid traumatizing me with your care-free toilet-sitting.