Author Topic: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?  (Read 7679 times)

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camlan

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2013, 01:37:17 PM »
Reading this, I realize that I've always equated a door handle jiggle with a knock. Someone's trying to find out if the restroom is occupied. I've always felt the need to say something to indicate that it's occupied.

I figure the person outside might not realize that it's one open room and not a restroom with stalls, so they might not understand why the door is locked. In fact, I figured that's why they were trying the handle, because if they knew it was a open room type of bathroom, they'd knock.

But apparently there is this code that if the door handle is jiggled, no response is needed? I had no idea. EHell is indeed educational.

Why would a response be required for a doorknob jiggle? The door itself has told them everything they need to know - that the bathroom is occupied. Why do you need to confirm that vocally?

Because I've always taken the doorknob jiggle to mean that the person outside doesn't know that it's an open, one-toilet bathroom, as opposed to a room with stalls. So calling out "Occupied" gets that message across.

But also, because I've always taken the jiggle to be exactly the same as a knock--an attempt to see if there's someone in the room.

Basically, it's simply never occurred to me to *not* respond when someone's trying to get into the bathroom that I'm using.

And because I've never jiggled the doorknob but always knocked, because I thought (up until this thread at least) that was the politer action of the two, I've never noticed that people don't respond to jiggles the way they do to knocks.
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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2013, 01:38:27 PM »
I once worked at an office where the locked bathroom door did not necessarily mean that it was occupied.  The lock was wonky, and although it was easy to lock, it required an extra step to unlock it.  And when unlocking, if you failed to jiggle the lock, it would remain locked (and it swung shut).  So at this office, the key was on a hook next to the door.

One employee got in the habit of grabbing the key, giving a perfunctory jiggle as she was inserting the key, and walking in on you (well, actually me) in mid-use.  Although, to be honest, even if she had knocked, she always proceeded on the assumption that the door was locked in error, so maybe knocking with her would not have worked either.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2013, 01:46:07 PM »
I once worked at an office where the locked bathroom door did not necessarily mean that it was occupied.  The lock was wonky, and although it was easy to lock, it required an extra step to unlock it.  And when unlocking, if you failed to jiggle the lock, it would remain locked (and it swung shut).  So at this office, the key was on a hook next to the door.

One employee got in the habit of grabbing the key, giving a perfunctory jiggle as she was inserting the key, and walking in on you (well, actually me) in mid-use.  Although, to be honest, even if she had knocked, she always proceeded on the assumption that the door was locked in error, so maybe knocking with her would not have worked either.

It would seem to me the best solution in that case would be to take the key in with you, and only replace it outside the restroom door once you exited. That way a person can see at a glance "oh no key, someone must be in there" plus it removes the opportunity for them to try to open the door.

Anniissa

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2013, 01:47:30 PM »
I don't really understand this - is there no lock on the bathroom doors that people are knocking on? Perhaps I'm not getting something but I would always assume that if I tried the door and it was locked that it was in use and I'd need to wait. It would never occur to me to knock on the door to doublecheck (maybe if it was a known thing that sometimes the door locked itself with no-one in or I'd been waiting a long time and no-one had come out).

I'm in the UK and cannot think of a time that anyone has ever knocked on the door when I have been using the bathroom (except in a couple of cases in someone's home where there was no lock on the bathroom door). I would be rather startled if someone did knock - I'm not sure I'd want to converse through the door when I am otherwise occupied and I'd also feel as though I was being hurried up and that the person had an emergency situation.

kareng57

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2013, 01:57:22 PM »
The bathroom only has facilities for one person at a time (in the office).  Door is completely closed, but you can see the light is on at the bottom of the door.  Do you try the doorknob first, or knock?

When I'm in there, if another person needs it, they just try to walk on in.  They mess with the knob, realize it's locked, then wait or walk away.  There's only 4 of us using that bathroom.  Shouldn't they knock first before trying to force their way in?  I finally had to lecture them today about it, ESPECIALLY when the light is on.  Isn't it common sense to figure if the light is on, assume someone is in there?  They said sometimes people leave the light on (them) after they exit.

I can't believe they never learned to knock first.  I knock even when it's dark.


Unless you're in a supervisory situation over the others, I wouldn't pay the least bit of attention to your "you must knock" lecture.  There's a reason why the door locks, and gently trying the door simply indicates whether or not the room is occupied.

And yes, it's quite common for people to leave the light on in this sort of bathroom.  Sometimes the door closes quickly by itself, and often there are no windows.  It can be disconcerting to be in complete darkness prior to turning the light on.

Zizi-K

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2013, 02:11:50 PM »
Count me, too, as someone who HATES when people knock. When I approach a single bathroom with a lock, I gently try the door. I don't wrench it hard and rattle the door like I'm about to break in, I just try the knob. If it's locked, I assume its occupied and wait. If it's unlocked, I open the door and enter. What is the point of knocking? I don't need a verbal confirmation that someone is inside - the locked door does that just fine.

onyonryngs

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2013, 02:17:32 PM »
I hate being in the restroom and having someone knock too.  But the knockers aren't rude, just like the knob turners aren't rude.  We all have things that annoy us and this falls in that category.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2013, 02:26:13 PM »
Huh, this is kind of interesting.  :)  I'm a little surprised to see so many people voting for "try the knob", because I was always taught that this was rude and that we were supposed to knock.  I'm sort of wondering if I received skewed info all these years.

However, I do prefer a knock to a door handle jiggle.  In fact, someone jiggling the doorknob and/or trying to get in feels invasive to me, and always makes me somewhat indignant. 

Zizi-K

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2013, 02:52:50 PM »
Huh, this is kind of interesting.  :)  I'm a little surprised to see so many people voting for "try the knob", because I was always taught that this was rude and that we were supposed to knock.  I'm sort of wondering if I received skewed info all these years.

However, I do prefer a knock to a door handle jiggle.  In fact, someone jiggling the doorknob and/or trying to get in feels invasive to me, and always makes me somewhat indignant.

I am surprised, too, for the same reason (hearing people express a preference for knocking). I agree 100% that neither is rude per se. But I do also dislike any prolonged jiggling of the doorhandle. A quick try is all it takes, and I pride myself on being able to do it rather silently. I feel resistance, so I stop. For me the handle is better, because I trust the locks and because I just do not want to have any kind of verbal interaction with strangers while I'm in the bathroom.

WillyNilly

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2013, 03:01:15 PM »
I guess for me the reason the jiggle is better is because:

* Its more efficient. If I knock I have to put my ear to the door and wait for an answer, while wondering "is there even anyone there?" and "did they hear me?" and if I get no answer I'm going to end up trying the door handle anyway. So why not just cut out that step and try the handle to begin with?

* Its not always easy or convenient, or pleasant to try to hear an answer. As often as not the restroom door is in a place where there is ample background noise (a hallway, a bustling business, etc) so trying to hear an answer through a door when there are plenty of sounds going on not on the opposite side of a door is a hassle.

* I think about what I would prefer. And when I'm in the restroom, considering my above point about a person having to strain to hear my answer through the door... well I don't want someone listening to me in the restroom. I don't want them to have their ear to the door waiting for an answer and in the meantime hearing the crinkling of my hygiene products wrapper, or hearing me fart, or whatever. So I extend that same courtesy to them and don't make listening part of my transaction - all I need to know is whether I can go in - that is answered by my trying the handle to see if its locked or not.

bah12

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2013, 03:12:37 PM »
I guess either method is etiquettely acceptable.  Personally, if I'm in the bathroom, I'd much rather someone just try the door, realize it's locked and wait, then knock and force me to have to yell out that I'm in there.  I also always just try the door handle in public restrooms...though, I guess now that I think about it, if I'm in someone's home (like for a party), I always knock at the bathroom (I've noticed that for some reason, not everyone locks bathroom doors in homes and after walking in on more than one person, I've learned my lesson).

WillyNilly

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #41 on: March 13, 2013, 03:27:26 PM »
I guess either method is etiquettely acceptable.  Personally, if I'm in the bathroom, I'd much rather someone just try the door, realize it's locked and wait, then knock and force me to have to yell out that I'm in there.  I also always just try the door handle in public restrooms...though, I guess now that I think about it, if I'm in someone's home (like for a party), I always knock at the bathroom (I've noticed that for some reason, not everyone locks bathroom doors in homes and after walking in on more than one person, I've learned my lesson).

Well not all home bathrooms have locks on the door. Most of the homes I've lived in have not.
Also, while I know this practice varies from home to home, IME most people, especially for parties, don't keep the bathroom door closed, its only closed when someone is in there. when its empty the door is left open at least a few inches if not all the way (whereas in a professional setting usually the door is kept closed all the way regardless of the room being in use).

camlan

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2013, 03:39:24 PM »
Huh, this is kind of interesting.  :)  I'm a little surprised to see so many people voting for "try the knob", because I was always taught that this was rude and that we were supposed to knock.  I'm sort of wondering if I received skewed info all these years.

However, I do prefer a knock to a door handle jiggle.  In fact, someone jiggling the doorknob and/or trying to get in feels invasive to me, and always makes me somewhat indignant.

Thanks for saying this. I was beginning to think I was the only one who was taught this way. Like you, I always feel as if someone jiggling the doorknob is either trying to get in, or trying to make me hurry up. A knock just feels like they are trying to find out if the room is occupied.
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onyonryngs

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2013, 03:52:35 PM »
I guess either method is etiquettely acceptable.  Personally, if I'm in the bathroom, I'd much rather someone just try the door, realize it's locked and wait, then knock and force me to have to yell out that I'm in there.  I also always just try the door handle in public restrooms...though, I guess now that I think about it, if I'm in someone's home (like for a party), I always knock at the bathroom (I've noticed that for some reason, not everyone locks bathroom doors in homes and after walking in on more than one person, I've learned my lesson).

Well not all home bathrooms have locks on the door. Most of the homes I've lived in have not.


Maybe it's a regional thing, but I've never lived anywhere where the bathrooms in the home, apartment, dorm, etc. didn't lock, unless it was broken, of course. 

Yvaine

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2013, 03:58:23 PM »
Huh, this is kind of interesting.  :)  I'm a little surprised to see so many people voting for "try the knob", because I was always taught that this was rude and that we were supposed to knock.  I'm sort of wondering if I received skewed info all these years.

However, I do prefer a knock to a door handle jiggle.  In fact, someone jiggling the doorknob and/or trying to get in feels invasive to me, and always makes me somewhat indignant.

Thanks for saying this. I was beginning to think I was the only one who was taught this way. Like you, I always feel as if someone jiggling the doorknob is either trying to get in, or trying to make me hurry up. A knock just feels like they are trying to find out if the room is occupied.

See, and I feel like knocking is trying to hurry me up while jiggling is neutral!  ;D I think this just goes to show that people should probably give each other the benefit of the doubt either way.