Like most people, I do not like using public restrooms and I will avoid them at all costs, unless nature calls. More often than not, I will wait for nature to demand ”get to a bathroom NOW or else!” The threat of public humiliation is enough incentive to give in to the demand. Using the bathroom is a necessity, so why do so many people dislike using public restrooms? The number one reason given is that public bathrooms are dirty and/or unkept. I would agree with that and have a few more reasons of my own to add.
A few weeks ago I went shopping at Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach, SC. When nature called, I looked for the nearest restroom. Lucky for me, I was in the food court. After walking down a very long hallway, I am greeted by the all too familiar “cleaning cone.” I like a clean bathroom, so I am not going to gripe about that. I could, but I won’t. The family bathroom that I passed on the way to the ladies room already had a line of people waiting. Since this was natures first call and not the final call, I had time to search for another restroom.
The search didn’t take very long. The first thing I noticed when I entered the bathroom was the tile work on the floor and walls. It was very attractive, and best of all, the bathroom was clean. The stalls were filled and I was the only one in the bathroom. So far, so good. A stall door opens and I enter the stall. I do the customary quick check. Toilet paper – check, hook for pocketbook – check, dry floor – check, clean toilet – check, automatic flush – check. Okay, so this is not so bad. I do my thing, put myself back together, and grab my pocketbook. The toilet still hasn’t flushed. GRRRRR Now I am wishing there were a handle that I could press with my foot. YES! I am one of those. I will not touch tank handles. As I am leaving, there is someone waiting in line to use the bathroom. Just as I let go the stall door, I heard it flush. About time, jeeesh!
I make my way over to the sinks. My favorite of all time. You know the ones I am talking about. The ones that barely give you a trickle of water, barely lukewarm water at that. Now I am remembering more of the reasons I hate public restrooms. Rinsing soap off of your hands should not take this long. I do have shopping to do, you know?
Looking for the paper towel dispenser, I realize there isn’t one. GRRRRRR. Over to the dryer on the wall, which has a line of people in front of it waiting to use the toilet. ”Excuse me ma’am.” A few women shuffle around so that I can dry my hands. By this time, I cannot wait to get out of there. The drying isn’t going much better than the rinsing did at the sink. So, I walk away another unsatisfied public restroom user with wet hands. Having wet hands after leaving a restroom just isn’t right. So, the final drying is done on my jeans.
My silent prayer to public restroom designers everywhere- PLEASE, remember function first! In the meantime, I will use my own bathroom before leaving home and hope that nature does not call while I am out.
The Plumber Who Cares!