General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?

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Like the previous posters, I would prefer that someone simply try the knob and walk away, rather than knocking and engaging in conversation.

 If I was going to enter a room to join someone I would knock, but in this case the fact the door is locked is all the information that the outside person needs.

I would.   Just to be on the safe side.  Our boys sometimes will leave the light on and close the door to the bathroom as they leave, which means it looks occupied.  I usually do a count of those able to use the bathroom and if we're all present and accounted for outside the lavatory, it must be empty.  Then we get after them for doing that. 

I think scolding other adults is a bit too much but...I don't think a note on the door politely requesting a knock or knob wiggle would be out of line.

My opinion is that any door that is closed should be knocked on first.

If it is a continuing problem in your office, perhaps you can get a little vacant/occupied sign to hang on the doorknob?  You could make one if you cannot find one at a store.  You can probably find brightly coloured paper and self-sticking laminate at the dollar store.  I'm sure others in the office would appreciate it - more than being lectured for sure.  :)

For a restroom, just try the knob. I think it is more an invasion to have to talk. Also, ofttimes the light is connected to the fan, so the light should be left on. (Apparently that's not the case here, or you wouldn't be questioning why the light is on.)

The storeroom, don't knock.

A private  office, of course knock.

I always knock before trying to enter a bathroom. So I'm on the OP's side there. Light or no light, I knock, because sometimes people leave the light on when they leave.

And if someone wiggles the handle, I always call out, "Occupied!" so I don't see any difference between a knock and a handle turn. It has never occurred to me that I shouldn't say anything if someone tries the door.

I was in another office for a day last week. The closest bathroom was right off the working space and was a single stall. The staff hung a "Occupied/Vacant" sign on the door handle, mostly to stop the knocking as it could easily have been heard by everyone in the surrounding area. That many knocks a day would have been a disruption.

Of course, then you run into the person who changes the sign to "Occupied" but forgets to return it to "Vacant." And people think that the bathroom is occupied for hours.


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