Monday, June 22, 2009

restroom small talk

Our department just recently moved into a new area at our office. Whereas we had a private, one-stall bathroom in our previous area (unisex, mind you), we are now directly located next to the three-stall version on the upper floor, where most of the women congregate (we have wheelchair accessible single stalls elsewhere, much farther away). Out of convenience, we now mostly use this more "communal" version nearby.

What I've noticed since using this bathroom is the amount of chit chat and useless banter that happens between the women in there. To me, the bathroom is a sanctuary, a quiet place. But to other women, they seem happy to talk about the weather, or whatever happened at morning devotions, or to ask questions about one another in an effort just to keep it from being awkwardly quiet. It's like they can't stand being alone with their own thoughts. It seems they also often think I must be dying for someone to talk to me because it never fails that I get cornered by one of the many coworkers I don't know too well (we have an 80-person office) wanting to know when Wayne will be home, when my baby's due, how I feel, or how our department likes the aforementioned new location.

Maybe it's because I've gotten used to living in solitude, with only Dora to chat with in the mornings while I primp for work. Or maybe it's my hormones (another preggo lady told me recently it's normal that EVERYTHING irritates you in the third trimester...which I'm finding true). Or perhaps, it's because I was a contented only child for my first nine years and value quiet more than others. Regardless, restroom small talk is not for me. When I'm in the bathroom, it's my small sliver of time in the day when I can remove my work face and pay attention to myself for 2 or 3 minutes. Not pay attention to YOU, whoever you may be, talking to me from the next stall.


  1. I totally agree! I always feel so awkward when anyone tries to talk to me in a bathroom. I don't mind a hi or whatever, but anything beyond that is just so odd to me. You're definitely not alone in wanting the quiet.

  2. LOL - Hey Andrea. Yup we moved back upstairs to the area where constit services used to be.

    Sharon: yup, totally awkward. Just let me do my business already! ;)

  3. Yup, there should be a rule - no talking in the bathroom. Not only does it tend to echo (so everyone outside can hear the conversation) but it's really awkward.

    How'd you like being upstairs?

  4. I know what you mean! Yet I sometimes feel rude when I just walk in there and go directly to a stall, because I feel like whoever's in there wants to chat! haha. Now I know that if you or Sharon are in there, I don't need to ;)

  5. Not that I don't want to chat...if I have something to say! But sometime a smile and a "Hey/Hi" is enough, y'know? It's mostly with people I barely know who feel like they need to chat.

  6. Sometimes I think people get "stage fright" and can't pee when it's too quiet and the other person is just sitting there too. Maybe the talking relaxes them! Ha, ha. I'm with ya, though. It's awkward doing your business while trying to carry on a conversation.