A few restroom etiquette tips

Every now and then, some things need to be repeated. For example, these few simple rules of etiquette for using public restrooms.

  • Don’t stand three feet from the urinal to use it.

Long-distance urination is not an Olympic event, so there’s no reason to do this. Someone might see your stuff, you might actually hit someone else, or get the floor messy. There’s too much room for something to go wrong.

  • Unzip and undo your belt buckle while in front of the urinal, zip up and redo your belt buckle before turning away from it.

There’s a strong chance that failure to follow this rule could be seen as exhibitionism, be unwanted, and result in social isolation or winding up on some list of creepy people that anyone can look up by using their iPhone. Even if you think your penis is really handsome.

  • If urinating in a toilet, lift the seat or sit down.

Your aim probably isn’t nearly as good as you think it is. Don’t take that chance. If a urinal is available, it’s probably advisable that you use that, instead. If you don’t want to lift the toilet’s seat, don’t stand up to pee in it. Don’t act like you’re twelve years old.

  • If at least one urinal is occupied, the ideal one to take is the one the greatest distance from the occupied urinals.

The idea is to prevent accidental peeking, either on your part or someone else’s. To facilitate, take the urinal either to the far right or the far left if none are occupied. That way, the next person in can take the farthest one down if you’re still there. If you’re both there while another person comes in, he can take one of the ones in the middle, if available. It’s simple, really.

  • Don’t put toilet paper rolls on the floor.

It’s hard to imagine that many people would want to touch to their bum something that’s been on the floor of a public restroom. Walking into a stall and finding the toilet paper roll on the floor is grounds for selecting another stall.

  • Wash your hands.

Don’t act like you weren’t just holding yourself. Wash your hands, or don’t be surprised if I don’t want to shake your hand.

  • Don’t initiate a conversation with someone using a stall or a urinal.

The person who’s using the stall or urinal may find this seriously creepy. Think about how weird it would seem if someone started talking to you when you were trying to pee. Unless it’s something really important, like some information that, if passed on, could save the world, it can wait until the recipient is done taking a leak.

  • When using a urinal, keep your face and eyes forward.

Otherwise, someone may see you and think you’re trying to peek. It’s generally preferable to avoid fist fights in public restrooms. It’s not a good place to wind up bloody and bruised.

  • If using a single toilet restroom, keep the door locked as you go about your business.

Most people would not like having someone walk in on them. You can do your part to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

  • Knock before entering a single toilet restroom.

Yeah, someone should be doing their part to lock the door as a precaution. But, not everyone does. Many people attempt to open the bathroom door confident that, if someone were using it, they’d lock it. When they fail to do so, walk-ins can occur. Because of this, the rest of us have a precaution to take.

This stuff is simple. Really simple. Yet, so many people fail to do these, and when these people sincerely wonder what’s with all the judgmental staring, they’re communicating that they weren’t aware of the basic tenets of restroom etiquette. If someone doesn’t understand restroom etiquette, it’s safer for them to just stay out of them.

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