Author Topic: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?  (Read 8231 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #60 on: March 14, 2013, 10:03:11 AM »
Succinctly put, on all counts. Private homes are not the same as offices and thus have different rules.

I agree. In my experience, public restrooms (including those at work locations) always have the door closed. Restrooms in peoples' homes pretty much always have the door open unless someone's inside.

So... in public places, I try the handle. In private homes, if the door is closed, I assume someone's inside and don't try the handle or knock. I just wait or come back later.

Based on the mixed responses in this thread, I would say that neither trying the handle nor knocking is inherently rude or more polite. It's a matter of personal preference and we tend to do the one that we feel more comfortable with, even though we of course have no idea which one the person inside (if there is indeed a person inside) would prefer.

Conclusion: don't sweat it regardless of which one they do. Barring situations like the teenage girls in the above example who were clearly rude, whichever one the person outside does when you're the one inside is ok and you should just go with the flow. (pun intended)

TootsNYC

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #61 on: March 14, 2013, 11:21:01 AM »
...  It was more like... if the door doesn't open when you first turn the the knob, STOP TRYING to open the door! 

I agree that a repeated jiggling is wrong. If you're going to try the door, you need to believe what you find out. If you aren't willing to trust the doorknob, then knock from the beginning.

While I prefer testing the knob, there's nothing wrong w/ knocking.

There *is* something wrong w/ repeated jiggling--that, to me, *is* "trying to hurry me along."

Betelnut

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #62 on: March 14, 2013, 12:24:24 PM »
Succinctly put, on all counts. Private homes are not the same as offices and thus have different rules.

I agree. In my experience, public restrooms (including those at work locations) always have the door closed. Restrooms in peoples' homes pretty much always have the door open unless someone's inside.

So... in public places, I try the handle. In private homes, if the door is closed, I assume someone's inside and don't try the handle or knock. I just wait or come back later.

Based on the mixed responses in this thread, I would say that neither trying the handle nor knocking is inherently rude or more polite. It's a matter of personal preference and we tend to do the one that we feel more comfortable with, even though we of course have no idea which one the person inside (if there is indeed a person inside) would prefer.

Conclusion: don't sweat it regardless of which one they do. Barring situations like the teenage girls in the above example who were clearly rude, whichever one the person outside does when you're the one inside is ok and you should just go with the flow. (pun intended)

I always kept my half-bath bathroom door closed at my house because it directly faced the kitchen.  I didn't want to look at a toilet while in my kitchen.  So, door closed.  I usually don't lock the bathroom door at home, so a knock is needed.  At work/in public, locking is assumed so trying the door is okay.
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bah12

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #63 on: March 14, 2013, 07:05:54 PM »
I've actually never been in a private home that didn't have locks on the doors, but I have accidently walked in on someone who didn't lock the door in a private home.

In my house, I like to keep the bathroom doors closed at all times.  When it's just my family at home, it's pretty obvious to us when someone is using the bathroom.  During parties, which we have somewhat often, I don't sweat the open bathroom door.  But, I also don't assume that just because the door is closed (in anyone's home), it's occupied.  That's not always the case.  If I'm unsure, I gently knock.

In public, though, like I said, I always try the handle. 

fountainof

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #64 on: March 14, 2013, 10:16:30 PM »
At our office the washrooms are on the main hall.  Knocking would be pretty loud and make it obvious to those in the lobby you needed the washroom.  IDK, that would be weird to me as I am bit of a pretend you don't go kind of person.  The handles are levers though so you are able to gently try to see if locked without the person inside probably even seeing/hearing as the toilet is away from the door.  To reduce the washroom noise we have a thick large door with weatherstripping threshold as staff were concerned that people could hear them pee.  So it would be hard for someone to say "occupied" and be heard without screaming it.

Twik

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #65 on: March 15, 2013, 10:27:23 AM »
For those who prefer to just try the handle, what happens when, as it may occasionally, someone has forgotten to set the lock?
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Betelnut

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #66 on: March 15, 2013, 10:33:03 AM »
For those who prefer to just try the handle, what happens when, as it may occasionally, someone has forgotten to set the lock?

Eh, you walk in on someone.  No harm, no foul hopefully. 
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lowspark

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #67 on: March 15, 2013, 11:34:58 AM »
Same thing that happens when you walk in on someone in any situation who should have locked the door but didn't. I've walked in on people who didn't lock the door in individual stalls, both the kind that change from "open" to "occupied" and the kind where you slide the latch to lock the door. If someone doesn't lock the door, they risk being walked in on. As soon as I realize what's happened, I quickly close the door. And then I wonder, why didn't they lock the door? If you don't lock the restroom door and someone walks in on you, it's your fault, not theirs.

CakeEater

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #68 on: March 15, 2013, 06:33:42 PM »
For those who prefer to just try the handle, what happens when, as it may occasionally, someone has forgotten to set the lock?

When walking into an unlocked toilet, especially in a pivate home, even if i had knocked, I wouldn't just swing the door wide immediately. I assume that the person inside may not have heard the gentle knock, open the door a crack, wait half a second which hopefully gives anyone inside a chance to let me know they're there, and then open the door properly.

Succinctly put, on all counts. Private homes are not the same as offices and thus have different rules.

Pod.
It never occurred to me that an office bathroom door would ever stand open; you'd find out it was occupied by trying the knob and, being Canadian, apologize if it was locked.

 ;D

Girly

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #69 on: March 16, 2013, 02:47:49 AM »
For those who prefer to just try the handle, what happens when, as it may occasionally, someone has forgotten to set the lock?

I just opened a stall door on someone a couple of days ago, actually. She didn't flip the little lock, and I wasn't actively bending over looking for legs under the doors. I just apologized and moved on.

oogyda

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #70 on: March 16, 2013, 09:49:11 AM »
Personally, I'd prefer to not have to interact while I'm using the facilities. 

If someone tries the handle, they discover it's locked and they leave/wait. 

If someone knocks, they expect an answer if the room is occupied.  Precisely what I don't want to have to do if it's me in there.

To each their own, that's just me.
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LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #71 on: March 18, 2013, 11:57:40 AM »
If the bathroom door is closed, I ALWAYS knock.   

Except when I'm home.  I live alone.   :D

Jones

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #72 on: March 18, 2013, 12:58:28 PM »
This weekend my kids and I were at the pool. There is a men's bathroom with change room, a women's, and three family bathroom/shower/change rooms. The family rooms have locked doors that show as "occupied" when bolted from the inside. Sometimes all three are full, then you wait your turn.

My kids and I had one of the three. We only had to do the pre-shower, as we'd worn our suits in to the facility.  Imagine my surprise when I heard a jangling of keys at the door, no knock at all. We had finished our prep so I whipped that door open, to reveal a young couple (no kids, just couple) and a surprised looking pool worker. The pool worker was apologetic, and helped us get a toddler sized life vest after ascertaining we really were done with the room. Apparently the couple had asked him to unlock it as they didn't think anyone was using it...we'd been less than 5 minutes and I hadn't heard any knock, as I was able to hear the keys through the door I'm certain I could have heard a knock.

I was just amazed the pool worker took their word for it and didn't knock himself before unlocking the door. I think he learned a valuable lesson.

Eeep!

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Re: Door is closed, light is on... do you knock first?
« Reply #73 on: March 19, 2013, 05:25:12 PM »
I am a stealth jiggler. I try to do it as quietly as possible as I'm concerned if I do it loudly the person inside will think I'm trying to hurry them along. Although, that's not really how I would feel if I was the person. Heh.
I too, hate having to yell at someone that it's occupied.  But I wouldn't be annoyed or offended if someone chose to knock and would yell "I will be out shortly". But I would prefer to not have to.

As to the walking in on someone if they don't lock the door? Them's the breaks.  I have done that to someone in a stall more than once and you just quickly back out saying excuse me.  Besides, I think that there is always the possibility that someone could answer a knock and you wouldn't hear them - especially in noisy places, or restrooms with really loud fans. So then you would be in the same position as the jiggler. :)
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss