Someone Really Needed To Go

, , , , | Right | January 26, 2019

(I need to use the bathroom while shopping with my ten-month-old, and as I’m definitely not going to leave her unattended I go to the baby changing room. As I’m finishing my own business someone tries to open the door. It’s clearly locked, so after a few seconds they knock.)

Me: *shouting* “Just a minute!”

(I didn’t think I’d be heard but continue washing my hands, taking my time as it’s somewhat common sense that the room is occupied if it’s locked. As I’m loudly babbling to my baby I hear voices and another knock at the door.)

Me: *more aggressively* “In a minute!!”

(Suddenly, the door unlocks and a cleaner puts her head around the door.)

Cleaner: “Oh, sorry!” *to whoever couldn’t wait* “There’s someone in there..”

(I didn’t respond, as I was somewhat stunned that anyone would get the cleaners to open the door rather than wait for less than five minutes..)

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Karma, Thy Name Is Toilet Paper

, , , , , | Friendly | August 1, 2018

(My family and I are eating out for lunch. I excuse myself to the restroom, and have to wait for a stall. A young woman enters and stands quietly behind me. Then, another woman enters and gets in line, talking loudly on her phone.)

Woman On The Phone: “…and he said I couldn’t go to the party! Can you believe it?!”

(She’s not very far behind me and almost shouting, so I’m more than uncomfortable. The woman continues complaining to whomever is on the other end of the call, and I wait uneasily until a stall opens. Unfortunately, it’s after I latch the door and prepare to do my business that I realize there’s no toilet paper left. I put myself back together and leave the stall. The young woman who was waiting in line behind me starts to walk into the stall I just left.)

Me: “Excuse me, but there’s no toilet paper left in there.”

Young Woman: *steps back* “Oh, thank you! I—”

Woman On The Phone: “So I said…” *brushes past us into the stall, still chattering away*

Me: “Ma’am, wait! There’s—”

(The woman slammed the door. Cue the other young woman and me making eye contact, trying not to laugh. I guess karma exists after all!)

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There Are Gaps In This Story

, , , , | Friendly | February 12, 2018

(There’s a random difference between American public restrooms and restrooms in a lot of other countries. In America, 90% of the time there’s a large gap of space under the walls and doors of toilet stalls. Sometimes there are even gaps in the door jams that you can see through. I am around 13 years old. I am shopping with my mom, and I decide to stop in the restroom before we leave the store. We’ve also just gotten pedicures, and my brightly colored toenails are visible through my sandal straps. I sit down in one of the stalls, minding my own business. A lady bustles into the stall next to me. I hear lots of rustling from shopping bags behind hung on the hook behind the door.)

Random Lady: “Oh, dear! That’s not good!”

(I am a shy kid, so I don’t say anything, hoping she is talking to herself.)

Random Lady: *knocks on the wall between us* “Excuse me? Excuse me? Could you please pass me some toilet paper? I don’t have any in here!”

(I quickly gather what I hope is enough, and pass it under the wall.)

Me: “Here you go.”

Random Lady: “Oh, thank you, dear!” *chuckles* “Us girls have to stick together!”

(I mumble something noncommittal and quickly get myself ready to exit the stall.)

Random Lady: “Wow!” *her hand appears again under the wall* “I love your toes!”

Me: *trying to get my own bag off the stall door and keep an eye on her hand at the same time* “Um… Thanks.”

Random Lady: “They’re just so pretty! Let me see!”

(She LUNGES against the stall wall — the plastic actually groans from the impact — and tries to TOUCH my big toe.)

Me: *practically shouting the first thing I can think of* “BYE!”

(I throw the stall door open and hightail it out of the bathroom, without even remembering to wash my hands. I reach my mom and grab the bottle of hand sanitizer she keeps in her purse.)

Mom: *watching me vigorously sanitize my hands* “Are you okay, [My Name]?”

Me: “Yep. Let’s go.”

(Later, I tell her about the odd encounter I had in the bathroom. She is kind of upset that I didn’t tell her sooner, but we reason that the lady was probably just overly friendly, as opposed to dangerous. After that, though, I am nervous to use public restrooms for months. It isn’t until I have the opportunity to travel outside the country that I realize there are bathrooms that don’t have huge gaps people can see or reach through.)

Me: *calling my mom while on a trip for work, I tell her about my discovery* “Not even a sliver of a gap! I guarantee you no one will be able to touch my foot in one of these bathrooms.”

Mom: “[My Name], that was over ten years ago.”

Me: “But still…”

Mom: *sigh* “Tell me about something besides the glory of public bathrooms without gaps!”

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They’ll Huff, And They’ll Puff, And They’ll Moan Their Way In

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 26, 2017

(During a multiple-day family reunion, we go to the swimming pool. A few days earlier I seriously sprained my ankle, and the day before I was on crutches, and I still have a large brace on my ankle. I am also menstruating and have a tampon in. Luckily, the water makes me able to walk easily in the pool without the brace. We get out and go to change our clothes. Because I’ll need to put a new tampon in, and because I’ll need to put on a bulky ankle brace, I use one of the family/handicapped changing rooms rather than a stall, but there are five empty family rooms, so there are enough for everyone. The rooms are numbered. I am starting to do the intricate straps on my brace when I hear someone trying to open the locked door.)

Me: “In a minute!”

(They continue to attempt to open the door and pound on it.)

Me: “I’m almost done. Hold on!”

Woman: “I need this room.”

Me: “I’m almost finished.”

Woman: “I need it!”

Me: “I’m just putting my shoes on!”

Woman: “You don’t understand! He’s very particular about numbers!”

Me: “Sorry! I’ll be out in a second.”

(My ankle is swollen and the brace is bulky, so I have some trouble getting my shoe on. All the while, this woman is legitimately trying to break down the door. I finally finish, and open the door. The woman looks at me, looking up and down my body.)

Woman: “You don’t even have a kid with you.”

Me: “No, I don’t.”

(I figured that she probably had a child with her who was autistic or similar, and I understand that sometimes there’s no reasoning with a developmentally disabled child in meltdown. But I don’t know what she expected me to do, or how breaking down the door was the solution.)

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A Crappy Assumption

, , , , , | Working | December 19, 2017

(I always have the habit of knocking on the toilet door at work before I open the door. We always keep the door closed. This particular day I knock and get no answer, so I try the door handle only to find it locked. I just figure someone is in there, so I go back to work. A little while later my manager comes in.)

Manager: “Was that you trying to get into the toilet when I was in there?”

Me: *thinking she was letting me know it was now free to use* “Yeah, it was me.”

Manager: “What the h***? Why would you try to get in when I was in there?”

Me: “I didn’t know you were in there. I knocked on the door and got no answer”

Manager: “Oh, I wondered why someone was knocking on the door, but really you should have known I was in there because the door was closed.”

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