Men’s Office Bathroom Etiquette

Guys, let’s face it, the Men’s bathroom at the office is a dangerous arena. You’ll notice I’m not referring to it as a “restroom” since that’s the absolute last thing you’d want to do in there. I mean, how do you “rest” when you’re trying to hold your breath for your entire visit to the can? Especially when you’re following behind one of the guys from Engineering and…(we’ll censor it there).

We’ve all seen Saved by the Bell and (insert any 90s teen show here) so we know the Ladies’ Room is complete with gossip, flowers and comfy couches. We don’t have that luxury. Just like the office place itself, the Men’s room comes with a set of very strict rules that shouldn’t (nay), WILL NOT be ignored. Lately I’ve noticed that guys in general have gotten pretty lackadaisical (I had to consult my roommate on that spelling – you don’t wanna know my initial spelling) on these rules. As a result, as a friendly reminder, I’ve outlined the rules that every man needs to know before you stroll in for your morning “break.”

Rule 1 – You’ve been taught that in the business world eye contact is essential for establishing respect and trust. Once you cross that tile threshold (or you’re eating a banana), this rule is turned on its head. Whether you’re making #1, washing your hands or exiting the room you do not, in any circumstance lock eyes with your fellow employees. It just creates an awkward situation for everyone. You, him, the janitor cleaning the sinks. Everyone.

So, where should I direct my eyes? Up. Down. Straight-ahead. To the right/left, if there’s a full wall. That’s it. No side-glancing. If you’re looking at me and talking to me while I’m taking a pee, and I don’t look at you, I still know you’re looking at me and you’re making me uncomfy.

(The exception – if the CEO is looking at you and talking business with you, damn it you lock eyes with that man and chat it up).

Rule 2 – The middle stall is just there for decoration. If that’s the only stall left, you have 2 options.
You can hold it and wait, or go to the other office bathroom. Close proximity makes this a difficult process for all parties involved.

Rule 3 – Nobody is impress with “Look Ma No Hands!” True story, there was a guy reading the paper hanging on the wall with his arms crossed and one hand on his chin like he was deep thought, admiring a piece of art. Nobody cares and in fact I was terrified to stand next to him for fear of pee on my shoes. When you were a kid, riding a bike with no hands was cool, but peeing with no hands does not make you Miles Davis. And don’t think that disobeying Rule 3 makes you exempt from Rule 4.

Rule 4 – Wash your damn hands with soap. Putting your hand under cold water for 1.58 seconds is not cleaning your hand. You know who you are.

If you’re like me, and are annoyed with the unsanitary, non-hand washers, take this diagram and hang it on the mirror in the bathroom.

Rule 5 – Remember that knit sign in your aunt’s bathroom that said “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie wipe the seaty.” This rule still applies. And if you don’t follow it, there are cameras in the bathrooms, and you will be tracked down. I’m kidding, there aren’t any cameras, but clean up.

If you don’t like any of these rules, or feel the need to break any of them, my one piece of advice so that people don’t look at you like you’re a weirdo…become the CEO of the company. The rules don’t apply to you anymore.

Follow these rules and let’s bring civility and “rest” back to the Men’s room.

Staring straight-ahead,


One response to “Men’s Office Bathroom Etiquette

  1. Dustin Riedesel

    I kind of take that “dress for the job you want to have” and extend it to all of my behaviors…meaning, I behave like an unemployed lottery winner in the corporate bathroom. This strategy will pay off.

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