Monday, January 14, 2008

Potty Training For Dummies

WHAT IS IT ABOUT MAJOR CORPORATIONS AND BATHROOMS that makes people crazy? Is it the cubicle lifestyle? Or is it just a by-product of hundreds of people being stuck in the same building together for 40 or more hours a week? I only ask because of the sign I saw posted on the men's bathroom at the company where my wife and I frequently do freelance work. (Click for a larger image.)

Since you may not be able to read the extensive text under the title Potty Training for Dummies, I will reproduce all two hundred and thirty-nine (!!) words here:
The cleaning staff that services our bathroom facilities do a great job of keeping them clean and tidy, yet it seems that within minutes of their departure some of us who participate in the use of said facilities tend to be some of the sloppiest hygiene deprived individuals around. I would venture to say that the dirtiest public restroom in Calcutta would rate higher on the clean meter than this bathroom on any given day.

The toilets aren’t there to see how many rolls of TP you can attempt to flush in one sitting.
The sink counters are not a display table for your used paper wash towels.
The sinks are not there for you to clean your coffee pots and leave the grounds.
The urinals are meant for what the name implies, not paper, gum and some thing which science has yet to name.

Remember when your Wife, Mother or Father would remind you to put up the toilet seat, well that still hasn’t registered with some of us yet. It doesn’t take anymore effort to practice cleanliness and good hygiene than it does to make the mess, so let’s all think back to what are parent’s taught us when we were young...Put the seat up, flush the toilet, don’t use to much TP, and wash your hands. We’ll all be happier, the cleaning staff will be happier and most of all our parents will be happier.

The italics are mine, but the grammar (and color change) is all the mystery author of this crazy, crazy note. Now, I have written about the bathroom antics at this building before. But I found this note to be the most insane. First of all, let us consider the amount of time that went into composing it, and add to that the amount of time it took in Photoshop, then add the time it took to find the appropriate clip art images of toilets, and then add to THAT the amount of time it took to print and then laminate the sign. (Did I not mention that this sign was laminated? Because it was.)

It's hard for me to pinpoint my favorite thing about this sign. Because there's so much to love. There's "let's all think back to what are parent's taught us", just for beginners. And there's also the capitalization (for emphasis I'm guessing) of "Wife, Mother or Father". There's also the fact that the sign disappeared after being up on the door for a few hours.

But best of all, I think, is the illustration. The YES and the NO. I get the NO part. I get that the illustration is showing me not to throw an entire roll of toilet paper (or TP, as the author prefers) into a toilet, and that the result of doing so is water on the floor by the toilet.

But I'm a little confused by the YES. It takes me a little while to recognize the floating blue curlicues as individual sheets of TP, and in the illustration it is unclear what those floating TP squares are up to. Should I use them to press the plunger? (Good advice, I think.) Should I stick them to the wall? The illustration is unclear. What it does NOT appear to indicate is that the TP squares should go in the toilet. When I compare the YES to the NO, I can clearly see the rolls of TP going in to the toilet, where the TP squares in the YES illustration may, in fact, be floating away from it.

Whatever the action to be taken with the TP squares, I believe the illustration is very clear about what should be happening. I should pee on the floor next to the toilet. At least, that's my take-away from the yellow pool around the base of the toilet.

And I have to be honest: I don't think I agree with this sign. I don't think it's a good idea to pee on the floor. Maybe that makes me a snob, but if it does, so be it.

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