I need some help in how to politely “remind” a few men that the ladies bathroom is in fact, for ladies.
I work in a smallish office, there’s only 10 people here including myself, and we all get along pretty well. Three females and seven males, so the balance is a little uneven. The problem is, a few of the men in the office have taken to using the ladies bathroom instead of the gents. One in particular uses it solely for, shall we say, seated performances only, and leaves the area quite offensively odoriferous. Another refuses to lift the seat, so you can imagine what’s left for us ladies to clean up when we go in.
The straw that broke the camels back was when I went in to use the bathroom and had to first clean (and disinfect!) a soiled seat.
I sent an email at the time to ask everyone to leave the bathrooms in the manner they found them (ie, clean and tidy). My boss also replied to all reminding everyone that the gents is for the gents and the ladies is for the ladies.
However, that only worked for a few weeks. We’re back to square one again, with certain men believing the ladies is a free-for-all. It’s not that the gents is occupied at the time, the offenders beeline for the ladies.
By now you probably think I sit around watching people’s bathroom habits – I don’t, I just sit very near them and in a team so small it’s pretty hard not to notice. It’s also pretty clear when those people are away and the problems stop.
So my question is this – after already having sent an email, and the Boss sending an email, what can I do? I don’t want to directly confront the offenders, as that would be extremely rude and embarrassing. I also don’t want to effectively throw a schoolyard tantrum because “a boy is using the girls bathroom and boys are icky”. To be fair, there are seven men and only three women, so it’s understandable that at times they can and should be free to use the ladies when the gents is occupied – but not constantly, and not when they leave it in such a state.
Any brilliant ideas that will save face for both them and me? We’re a small knit team so I really want to avoid awkwardness. Thanks! 0313-14
I would make the ladies bathroom as frilly and feminine as I could, which could include but is not limited to, framed photos of handsome men (or cute puppies) or floral still life, silk flowers in vases, distinctly feminine magazines like Ladies Home Journal, and replace the hand soap dispenser with an obvious feminine scented soap. Put a nice basket of mini pads and tampons on the toilet tank or sink counter, too. I’d go so far as to drop some perfume on the cardboard tube of the toilet paper. My evil, ornery twin thinks it would be a good idea to hang an acrylic 8X10 document holder on the inside door with an insert informing the female employees of the dangers of Pre Menstrual Syndrome.