Monday, November 10

what I think about when work is slow

When I walk into a public restroom, I like to use the bathroom stall that gets the least amount of traffic. I quickly assess the situation and try to pick the stall that I think most people wouldn't normally pick. I find a lot of peace and satisfaction out of using such a stall.

Lately, though, I've really been doubting my technique. Pictured below is the layout of the bathroom at work:
Normally I go for Stall 6. I rationalize that it's at the end of a row so most people don't want to walk that far to use it. But now I'm second guessing myself. Should I pick Stall 3 instead because most people are right-handed so they're more likely to go for the stalls on the right? Or is Stall 3 a straight shot from the door so it's too popular to be safe? Or do I pick Stall 1 or Stall 4 because most people are picking the privacy of the far-away last stalls? Or does everyone think like me, so no matter which one I choose there are a bunch of people picking it for the same reasons?!?! I just can't decide!

So here's my soul-searching question: if you were to walk into this bathroom and all six stalls were open, which one would you most likely use?

(I have no assignments at work today, so what else am I going to think about?)

32 comments:

The Richardsons said...

Ok, so I totally looked this up in a scientific study once at the BYU library! (I needed a break from a research paper and thought I'd research something I'd actually use in real life) Most people actually use the last and middle stalls more than any other, so the first stalls are your best bet!

McKell&Janeene said...

I would pick stall 1 because I heard somewhere that most people don't choose the first stalls, and I like you always want the least traffic toilet in a public restroom. Maybe lots of people have also heard this so it is no longer a good option.

Jake Spurlock said...

#5... Hands down.

janaya said...

i generally don't have a plan about which stall i'm going to use... but if it needs to be flushed first, wiped first, or i feel like i need to open the stall door with my foot, i'll move on. but stall #2 is speaking to me on this little map, so i don't know what that means... maybe i need to think more about this...

it was so fun to hang out yesterday, by the way!! let's do it again!

Kate McNeil said...

stall 1. don't you love life in cubicle city?

Ryan said...

I would use the sink like a urinal. But that's just me.

Kandis said...

I too would probably pick Stall 6. But I do wonder now if everyone is thinking that same thing so maybe Stall 4 is the better option. Interesting.

the meyersons said...

Oh that's easy. I would just go in the sink. People at least use soap in it.

the meyersons said...

SHOOOOOOOOOOT. Ryan beat me to the punch. Well done Ryan. Well done. Plus, I don't know you. So that's even better.

The Mortensens said...

Jenny...I just gagged! I would rather hold it all day and do the pee pee dance until I got home! Buuuuut if I had to choose, I would totally use #3! I agree with the right handed issue!

You are a big dork by the way. You crack me up!

Jackie said...

Ryan (friend from Provo) meet Jenn (my sister a/k/a "the meyersons"). Jenn meet Ryan.

Now that you think the same AND you know each other, I hope you enjoy many years of thought-unity.

Adrienne Orrock said...

stall 4..seems like most would walk right past it...I too have thought about this, Jackie!

Devin said...

I always choose middle stalls and usually on the right side for some reason, so I will have to say stall 5. Though, I have never given this question serious thought! I might have to start strategizing more on which stall to use...

Devin said...

And this is Kim by the way! :)

Monica said...

NUMBER 2!!!

Elise said...

Stall 5. I've thought about this in depth as well and now I frequent only 2 stalls out of the 20+ stalls in the 2nd floor bathroom of the HBLL. Ahh bathroom bliss....

Megan said...

Stall 4. I have a thing with using the first stall closest to the door because in my mind, people don't use it as much.

Don't be grossed out by Ryan. I apologize for him.

Suzanne said...

I very specifically remember Lindy once telling me that, statistically, people use the first stalls the least. So I would run back and forth between #1 and #4.

Unless Lindy lied to me. In which case. She's got some 'splaining to do!

Jukebox said...

These are some of the mystic questions of the universe. I got so I couldn't think about it any more and am just really thankful our office supplies the paper seat covers you can use. I'm still creeped out by that terrible e-mail about the tropical spider that hitched a ride back with a traveler and killed someone by biting their bum in an airport bathroom.

Happy potty-time!!

Monica said...

This delema is lame compared to guys who have to worry about urinal ediquette. Although, I understand your issue. I would pick 1 or 4. But when it comes to peeing next to other dudes with your stuff flapping in the breeze its hard to know where to go.
Justin

Lindy said...

Suz--I would NEVER lie about something as serious as bathroom cleanliness. I, of course, stick with the first stall pick myself, unless I'm pregnant enough to need to use the handicapped bars. Just something to think about.

Sedwick Family said...

Did you actually make a diagram for this?!?! That is awesome. And I am glad you were blog stalking me...now I will return the favor.

The Barnos said...

Who cares if you're hovering anyway? My motto is if someone has left me a "gift" I move onto the next one.

John and Karisa said...

Maybe you could write a sign on stall #6 saying "OUT OF ORDER," and then nobody would use it except you.

jen and michael said...

Jackie, two thoughts. first, let me tell you why stall four is the last stall I would use. I will demonstrate with my own thought process... (Michael walks into the bathroom at work) "hmmm, someone is using stall number 4 and they are wearing black skechers." (michael later searches the sales floor for black skechers with the thought of finding the stinky perpetrator.) You see, stall four gives everyone outside a clear view of your shoes when the door is opened!! Its all about stall one because no one wants sink water splashed on their shoes, we are all too vain about our shoes! Second, never get in a land war in Asia.

jen and michael said...

oh and one more thing, how can we become cool like you and get 24 comments the same day that we post!

Traci said...

Because you don't have enough comments already, I'll throw in my two cents. Usually I totally skip the first stalls. Why? Because of the gaps between the door and the frame. It makes me feel uncomfortable. Then I check the middle because there is always at least one stall that needs to be flushed or has TP everywhere or is just not looking good. If the middle isn't looking good, then I move on to the end if necessary. Side note: I also always either use the toilet seat protector or create my own with two strips of TP. So I don't usually think about trying to get the stall with the least use. As long as the stall has no issues (as mentioned above) I'm okay.

AnnaYoung said...

Before I read your entire posst I said "I'd go in 6".

I saw a show on discovery or somethign a few years ago and they said the stall with the acutal building wall had the fewest germs. I walk ALL the way to the back in movie theater restrooms. Sometimes the lid is still up from being cleaned and all the other ones I pass are down. Score one for me. Airports too. Steer clear of end-cap handicap stalls though. Heavy traffic there.

Also, if you choose a middle, odds are you won't get someone in a stall right next to you or directly across from you if they're all open. Its a societal space issue. But if you go in 6 or 3 someone will probably go in 4 or 1 (respectively).

My advice? Take longer bathroom breaks. Fix your hair, touch up your makeup. Especailly at lunch or during other break times You'll see teh traffic. Yes, I did this at ABB a few times becuas I too had a bathroom issue when I was moved to the big building.

If germs is your thing, stick with your 'farthest walk from the door' policy. And try to choose the stall with the real building wall. The longer the walk the less people use those stalls : )

Mom said...

This is why I cut up my high interest Capital One card - it was going to serious issues like this.

Definitely #6 - if it's flushed and the seat "looks" clean.

Richard said...

I would go for #4 because young men are childish and if they saw me in #1 while they were washing their hands they would throw wet paper towels at me. Thank you for posting this thought provoking dilema.

Stacey said...

Ben would pick 4 or 6 if clean. He too follows Cyd's rule of thumb or makes a seat cover with TP.

I would pick 6 and I have given this wayyyyyy to much thought in my life. We actually brought this topic up in a team meeting at Novell once.

Ben says the safest option is Jessy's advice, abstinence.

Very funny post! Well done. Entertainment at it's best. Send is to Jay.

The Miles Family said...

I would totally choose stall #5. It just seems like a good idea. The people who pick the back stalls probably REALLY have to go if you know what I mean!