Dear Mr. Somebody,
We cross paths regularly in the halls or elevator at our workplace. You are usually, like the thousands of people working in our magnificent glass and steel office tower, dressed to impress or for success.
You are noticed. I see you engaged in discussion at weekly meetings, or laughing in the coffee line with your department cohorts. I watch as you rise up nonchalantly from the cafeteria table and leave your refuse and tray for someone else to pick up and dispose of.
Often I see you in the men’s room, during lunch hour or at a coffee break, adjusting your tie or collar, or fussing with your hair and taking up a little too much mirror. You don’t seem to mind making others wait for sink space, and you always look good. Damn it, you know it; you smell nice and make every possible presentable pretension.
You like to be noticed; except when you don’t. You are the one who scampers out of the washroom, especially when it’s crowded, after stepping out of the cubicle with that fake, false, and phoney it wasn’t me expression pasted on your face.
But when I take my turn in the stall, I know it’s you, or someone like you, that leaves the seat dripping, piss puddles on the floor, or the un-flushed bowlful of foul-smelling you know what.
Of course it’s you.
You might even be the one who leaves paper towels floating in the urinal. The waste bin is fastened to the wall only steps away, but it’s more convenient for you to drop them in a fixture that will not flush away waste it is not designed to handle. You know that.
You also know there is a legion of staff in this particular office tower who regularly ensure paper towels are available, hand soap dispensers are always full, and they clean and mop and gather up the stray pieces of bathroom tissue you leave behind, or pluck soggy paper towels from the watered-down urine.
Of course you know this, how else would the washrooms in this facility remain, mostly, as clean and hygienic as they are? Except when you, or someone like you, comes along.
Yes, I know you are in a hurry; we all are. We work in the world of commerce where time is money and we’ve got a job to do. We need to be at our desks. So I’m sure it is more advantageous for you to cut a few seconds off your time by not bothering to lift the toilet seat. It might even be quicker for you not to wash your hands (but I’m not going there today).
You know it’s not right, and you know your mother told you countless times through your youth that you needed to lift the seat. Did your father not teach you how to aim? Can you not now figure it out for yourself?
I know there are some public places with situations like this commonly occurring. I know there are places where children, supervised or not, need to use the facilities, and I know a young boy is not as practiced at hitting the bowl with the same accuracy as a grown man. I know this because my Dad, when I was very young, had me write out I will lift the toilet seat when I pee 100 times. It was a tough love lesson, but one I learned well.
Did your dad not teach you? I mean it’s probably the first, and perhaps only, lesson a father will pass on to his son about using that particular part of the anatomy.
Did your mother not ask you to stop all this nonsense? When your mother said she was tired of cleaning up after you, she wasn’t referring to gathering up stray socks or putting your cereal bowl in the dishwasher. Your mom was sick and tired of getting down on her knees and scrubbing the area around the toilet bowl because you assumed you could piss wherever you wanted.
What does your wife or girlfriend think as you spray the area like a male cat marking its territory? Is she at all pleased when she sleepily makes her way to the loo in middle-of-the night darkness and finds herself sitting on a sopping or sticky throne?
What does the newest girlfriend think? You know, the potential Ms. Right you’ve made it through three or four dates with, and she accepts the invitation back to your pad. Then, as you are pouring the wine, she asks to use the washroom. Do you rush to the space to ensure that it’s sparkling clean, or do you even notice the mess you leave in your wake?
Do you care?
Or do you do you even do this at home?
I suspect you don’t. I mean, as humans, we do have to empty our bladder with some regularity, and I’m pretty sure you exercise a little more caution while at home and knowing you will have to use the toilet later.
So why don’t you use the same caution in the workplace?
A therapist might say you either have a very high opinion of yourself, or very low self- esteem. Or you have some other phobia or issue that somehow justifies the watermarks on your highly polished shoes. I’m sure they may say there is some clinical name for what you are going through.
But I say you are an ignorant prick, with a mama’s boy complex, who has no manners or morals, the consistency of an Irish Setter puppy, little respect for others, and maybe not enough for yourself. Or you have obvious illusions of grandeur, thinking that someone will magically clean up after you.
You are the reason public washrooms have a bad name.
Now I know we are of the gender that needs to be reminded to put the seat down when we are done our business (yes, I’ve been scolded), but I’m here to tell you the seat swings both ways fella.
It’s time to grow up and show a little concern for your fellow man (this is the men’s room). Lift the seat. Be more careful, and be more considerate. We all share the same piece of the planet, and work in the same shiny office building. We drink from the same coffee pot, eat at in a common cafeteria, and we all
shit sit in the same place. Life is already messy enough.
And remember, there will be a time when you just have to go. You’ll be the one in a rush to unzip before your bowels explode and, while sitting on a slippery seat, it will be your belt buckle or the seat of those freshly pressed trousers that dips into the pool of somebody as careless and uncaring as you.
I don’t wish that on you, or anybody for that matter, but karma does flow both ways brother.
© 2015 j.g. lewis