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repsac
10-20-2006, 03:07 AM
The tales from the Crypt and various other bathroom stories got me thinking. I remember a few discussions over bathrooms over the years, most about cleanliness and such. Some, however have stuck in my head. This may run a bit long.

Fact:
At one time, I owned a Toilet Partition installation company. There is a 150% markup on all installed partitions. That's a cheap markup. So, It goes without saying that yes, I know my bathrooms.

Fact:
Bathrooms are messy, however most of the graffiti you see is not done by customers. Rather it's done by employees.

Fact:
Of one hundred bathrooms (male and female) surveyed, it was found in every case that the female bathroom was worse. (Dirty, graffiti, and so on.)

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Unisex: Having facilities for both sexes. Also called the "family" bahtroom where couples may go to change diapers, take children with them, or employees hide on their breaks because it's more private.

Customer stands infront of the bathrooms looking at each sign, reading it and then staring. Employee approaches, only to have the customer ask:

I know what Men, and Ladies are, but what's a Unisex?

Employee laughs, and customer complains. He was serious.
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Women's Room: A place of refuge for women and ladies. Where they may go, do make up, talk about their husbands, boyfriends, or significant others; as well as discuss who's doing who on desperate housewives. Rarely the domain of a male, especially the one who has to clean it. Also referred to as the "Ladies Room."

Woman approaches a Cashier asking for the location of the Ladies room. Cashier directs her to the women's. lady gets upset. Is heard saying. "I'm no woman. I'm a lady. I want the Ladies room."

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Planned Parenthood Center: Grey metallic object which demands quarters be held together and knob turned to aid in planning parenthood. Usually offers several variations of planning, some which claim to only be for "novelty purposes." Usually bespecked with marker tags from local gangs, and the pre requisite "Earndhard Rulz" in some location on it's person. Most often found in gas stations and truck stops.

Customer comes to Lowe's Customer service, complaining that the PPC machine in the bathroom took his change. This is news to the employees as they have no PPC machine. Investigation reveals that customer had placed quarters in the hand dryer.

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Employees Only: Sign prominently displayed on doors which dictate where customers may and may not go. Never effective save for keeping employees busy chasing down children, parents, and herding people away from the door. Might be more effective if signs encouraged customers to enter. Since customers rearely do as told.

store has one bathroom far in the back room. The door is visible from the front, but there are several signs on them saying "Employees Only. No Customers Beyond This Point, and one which reads "Our Insurance does not allow customers beyond this point."

Employees are working in the Men's department, when they hear a loud crash from the back room. Management rushes back to find nothing. A few moments later, while investigating, a customer walks out of the bathroom. When approached, customer notes that he really had to go, and the door wouldn't open. So, he kicked it in.

Sofar
10-20-2006, 04:16 AM
Did you sell those cubicles with nice wooden paneling? Those are much nicer than the metal ones.

DesignFox
10-20-2006, 01:34 PM
'Wow' to all of those stories... people are unbelievable...

Where I work, the bathrooms are for both employee and customer use. One day I was waiting to use the bathroom because someone was already in there. Eventually, this guy and his son stroll out; I go in. There is urine ALL over the toilet seat...and sprayed around the FLOOR! That's right, the FLOOR!!!! :eek:

So, before I could go, I had to get disinfectant and clean the bathroom up. I was glad at least that I found it since I could do something about it...some other poor unsuspecting person might have sat/stepped in it!

What makes me wonder is how people aren't embarrassed when they see someone standing there, waiting for them to leave. I mean, DUH! we know who made the pee-pee mess; we just watched you walk out!

Becks
10-20-2006, 04:13 PM
Employees Only: Sign prominently displayed on doors which dictate where customers may and may not go. Never effective save for keeping employees busy chasing down children, parents, and herding people away from the door. Might be more effective if signs encouraged customers to enter. Since customers rearely do as told.



Too true. Honestly, what is wrong with people??

I'm always afraid that some idiot of a customer will come into the back room at the exact same time a power jack is being moved OUT of the back room.

I bet they'd sue the store if that happened.

SuperDan
10-20-2006, 05:06 PM
I agree with the ladies room being dirtier. At my store, the mens room does have more graffiti (the ladies room does have some, but not much), but as for actual cleanliness, there is a huge difference. (We have one set of restrooms that is located on the sales floor and serves customers and employees/vendors.)

In the mens room, usually the only noticeable problem is the floor. Especially in the morning. Employees and vendors frequently come through with dirty and sometimes wet feet. That's not a big deal. Sometimes the sinks may become dirty because of said employees and vendors who spend their time throwing around dirty boxes and pallets washing their hands. This I can deal with. The one bad thing is the urinal. We originally had a urinal that protruded from the wall similar to a toilet. We had problems with assholes throwing garbage/gum/cigarette butts into it and clogging the drain. The company switched to one of the against-the-wall upright urinals. However, in the company's infinite wisdom and cheapness, they decided it wasn't worth the expense to move the plumbing higher to accommodate for the different positioning needed for the different urinal style. Therefore, the top of the urinal is an inch or two below waist-level on me (I'm 6'2") and it's the type where you're supposed to aim for the middle. Because of this, there is occasionally a few drops of urine on top of the urinal from people who don't aim down far enough. A squirt or two of disinfectant and some paper towel solves this issue just fine. The remainder of the problems in the mens room pertain to graffiti, which I often just ignore anyway (the boss tried white-out last week, that was amusing).

The ladies room is always horrible. The floor and sinks may not be as bad (sometimes are, usually not). The stalls, however, get ridiculous. First of all, my company is too cheap to buy liners for the sanitary disposal bins in the stalls, so in order to empty these (I'm one of maybe two or three people who even do this, the rest of the guys just ignore them no matter how overflowing or smelly they get) I generally end up putting on latex gloves and grabbing some paper towels and trying to scoop everything out with paper towels, dumping the contents in the main garbage can, then spraing disinfectant inside the sanitary bins and around the lids. Next are the toilets. There is generally urine or fecal matter on top of at least one of the toilet seats if not all three, thanks to people thinking they need to "hover" despite the fact that I disinfect that entire room within an inch of its life every two hours. If I'm lucky it'll only be on the seats. Quite frequently it's also on the area between the seat and the flush plumbing, underneath the seat, and around the rim of the bowl. Every once in a while it gets on the floor and on the outside of the bottom of the bowl. About once per week it gets all over the walls too. Finally, one of the easier parts actually, is the baby changing table. It isn't used as its intended use all that often (moreso than the one in the mens room, but not like an everyday thing) so it usually gets popped down anyway and used to hold coats, purses, smocks, whatever. We have an industry in the area that puts out loads of this annoing red crap as a biproduct of whatever they do, and it gets on everything. Aparently someone who works there also shops at my store daily and sets her purse on the changing table. Therefore this red crap is on the changing table and needs to be scrubbed off with the aid of the bleach-based restroom cleaner we use.

The really annoying part is trying to get it clean though. I am a guy. If our one lady cleaner isn't around, it is the utility clerk's job (or floor care guy's job if we happen to have one that day) to clean both restrooms. The ladies room is larger, so if I'm going to do a proper and thorough job of cleaning it, including sanitizing the toilets and sinks and polishing the stainless steel stall walls, it takes me a good 20 minutes with no interruptions. It seems though that every lady in the store notices me going toward the restrooms with the cleaning cart and picks that time to use the restroom USE IT WHEN I'M DONE, TRUST ME, YOU DON'T WANT TO USE IT UNTIL THEN! Some are willing to wait a short time, some scream about how they take water pills and have to go bad or about how they work across the store and can't leave to go to the bathroom twice, and some fight their way around the cleaning cart which I've used to block the door and then look all surprised when they see me in there cleaning. I wish the company would put a damn deadbolt on the door so I can clean in peace.

rdp78
10-20-2006, 08:57 PM
Woman approaches a Cashier asking for the location of the Ladies room. Cashier directs her to the women's. lady gets upset. Is heard saying. "I'm no woman. I'm a lady. I want the Ladies room."

.

:lol: I don't think she is much of a lady if did that.

repsac
10-21-2006, 05:22 AM
Someone asked me this today, and I thought it couldn't hurt to relate it here. Seeing how some of you have to deal with these bathrooms on a daily basis.

There is a way to prevent people from writing on them. (Scratching, I can't help.) It's a trick I used during the install to make the partitions look better.

Here's what you do:

When you clean the partitions and urinal screens, take a moment to wipe all surfaces down with a rag and some oil. Preferably the kind used to cover up scratches on furniture. Then wipe off the excess and leave it. What does this do?

Well, ever try to write on a pane of glass with a pen before? Ink won't stick, and the ball in a ball point pen won't turn. That's the same principle as what happens when you oil the partitions. Sneaky trick we used, but it worked.

Sofar:

I'm guessing here, but I think the metal ones you described are what are commonly called "hollow core" Partitions. You're right though, they do look bad and there's a reason. They're cheap. Here's a list of the types you may see...(and yes, some of these can be really cool.) *since when is a bathroom cool?*

Hollow Core: All metal, usually with rounded edges. Very cheap. Even with markup, a single 56/56 partition sells for fifty dollars.

Laminate: OSB or Particle board with a "plastic" (It's actually paper) overlay. This is your most common type. It resembles in texture a countertop. Made with the same stuff. A 56/56 partition sells for around one hundred dollars.

Poly: (Short for polycarbonate) Basically a thick plastic partition. It looks good in use, and resists scratching to some degree since the color is throughout the plastic. However, very susceptible to fire and cutting. price wise, the average 56/56 partition sells for around two hundred dollars. depending on color. Also, VERY heavy. Requires special brackets to hold it up. Not for a high traffic area.

Porcelian: Wood core (usually marine grade plywood) with a steel overlay which has porcelian baked onto it. Very Heavy, and VERY expensive. I once quoted a job cheap at 500 dollars a 56/56 partition. So rare, that only three companies even make them. Plus, you have to order them almost six months in advance. These resemble metal partitions, but when tapped with a pen, they don't have a hollow tapping sound. One variation on these has stainless steel overlaid the wood.

Phenolic: (Pronounced Fee-nah-lick) Basically craft paper layered several thousand times and then pressed at high temperature. Phenolic is the most expensive of partitions, but it's also the best. Very thin. Your average partition is rarely more than half an inch thick. Phenolic is amazingly resistant. In fact, I have a story about this, and somewhere, the pictures to support it.

Phenolic is billed as being immune to the following: Water, Fire, Cutting, Scratching, Ink, Drilling, breaking, tearing, and fading. This isn't suprising. When Installing it, you have to use a carbide drill to even drill for the brackets. I would usually run through eight or nine such drills for every one phenolic job. (four bathrooms).

When I was actively running around selling this, I often carried a book with me. This book had examples of my work, and then near the very end a series of photographs of a building burning down. Every time, I would be asked why that was there. Well, here's the story:

One of the largest Phenolic jobs I recieved, ended up being the strangest. A company near where I lived, was looking at updating their offices and building a new corporate facility. I ended up winning the bid for the new install, with a price just under fifteen thousandf five hundred. That counted labor, and the special ordered phenolic partitions.

It took my crew and I, maybe about four days to do the install. At the time, much of the offices were still under construction, with only a few locations (like the bathrooms) being finished enough for us to come in. Like I said, we were in, and out in about four days. Really nice job too, the partitions were this sweet green color, with polished aluminum brackets and floor mounted pilasters.

A few days after the job was finished, my dad (at the time my business partner) called me while I was on the road doing sales. He said that the company had called, somewhat in a panic. They needed me to run by and talk to them.

When I arrived, I find that the building was burned to the ground. NOTHING was left standing. The panic was obvious. Supposedly, one of the HVAC guys had caused a short, and the fire got out of hand. The company was wanting to know what they should do. I mean, we were backed up beyond belief, and they needed a new install and a new set of partitions right?

Well, I quoted them then, at a "reinstall" of the partitions at six thousand. That was just Labor and to replace the hardware. The guys balked, not understanding. Smiling, I simply instructed them to tell the clean up crew, that when they got to the bathroom to save EVERYTHING.

When they got to the bathroom, imagine their shock to find the partitions lying under the rubble, relatively unharmed.

I say relatively because we did end up having to replace the pilasters and all the hardware. The heat had been enough to melt the brackets and warp them, and something heavy had fallen on the pilasters to break them. Beyond that, all it took was a little bit of Old English oil to clean off the soot, new hardware, and pilasters to reinstall the partitions.

Phenolic is awesome stuff. A variation of it is used for those stovetops that you can set a hot pot on and not scorch. Same stuff really, just a bit thicker.

Bliss
10-22-2006, 02:11 PM
Repsac, you remind me of one of Larry games, I think game 2, where larry leaves an aiport runing with a bomb-suitcase in his hand, when he reaches outside the bomb goes off, and you see your character all charred and burning.

The guy then sweeps off his clothes, and they're back to pristine white-leisure-suit condition, and the character says to camera: "Gotta Love Polyester"

Heh

Crosshair
10-22-2006, 06:04 PM
Wow, just imagine if they had used that stuff on the Space shuttle instead of those flimsy tiles.

DesignFox
10-23-2006, 03:59 AM
I have to agree that, usually, the women's room is a worse mess that the men's room (no matter where you are). That's why, since our bathrooms at work are single person bathrooms, I usually use the men's. ;)
I don't understand women who pee all over the seat because they feel a need to hover...just sit on the damn seat and the bathroom would be a hell of a lot cleaner!
Plus, our bathrooms, like many, do offer those little sanitary toilet seat covers- so if you are that squeamish....use one!!!!!
I also hate finding toilet paper, sanitary napkins, paper towels, diapers, etc etc. strewn on the floor...there's a huge garbage can in the room for a reason... and it doesn't matter where you are- office building, gas station or retail store- women can't seem to control their mess... :cry: /rant

Seanette
10-23-2006, 06:23 AM
I don't even understand the point of those seat covers. Paper is porous, and I'm quite sure that germs are smaller than the non-solid portion of said paper. Seems like a rather pointless waste of paper for a show gesture that wouldn't really do much.

I *hate* the hovering type who make a huge mess *and don't clean up after themselves like civilized human beings*. Guess what, Princess, there are other people involved here and dealing with your body fluids because you're too special to let your sacred skin touch that seat is not a happy experience for those other human beings you're inflicting this on. JUST SIT DOWN ALREADY!!!

At least men have some semblance of an excuse for less-than-wonderful aim.

Crosshair
10-23-2006, 07:59 AM
I believe that the human butt is one of the more sterile parts of the body. I need to look around and make sure that is right.

Ryu
10-23-2006, 12:48 PM
the toilet seat is the cleanest, or close to being the cleanest, area in the bathroom as proved by mythbusters

DesignFox
10-23-2006, 06:30 PM
That doesn't surprise me...afterall, very few people actually sit on it :lol:
Seriously, that makes sense...I mean, no one puts the more germy parts of their body on it- hell, most people won't even cover their hand with some TP to clean up a little water on the rim (or god forbid the mess they made with THEIR OWN pee). So it's not like the toilet seat gets touched a whole lot...

CrazedClerk
10-24-2006, 05:07 PM
I had to clean bathrooms when I worked at an arcade, and yes the womens room sometimes gets very messy. I particularly disliked the "rag bags" which were bags in every stall for women to despose of their feminine products, if you catch my drift here. There were metal boxes with bags inside for the items. That way when we cleaned, we could just lift the bag out and put it in the trash. Numerous times I'd be in there to find out that our female patrons that day had completely IGNORED the inner bag, yes I had to reach in there and grab all that nasty stuff out (I wore two layers of gloves when I cleaned, I'm no fool). But still, ewwww.

RecoveringKinkoid
10-24-2006, 06:13 PM
I believe that the human butt is one of the more sterile parts of the body. I need to look around and make sure that is right.

Penn and Teller did a show on that, once. Ever watch Bullshit! ? They are sort of like mythbusters for whatever sacred cow people love to believe. turns out butt cheeks are suprisingly clean. It's a person's hands that are utterly filthy. You're gonna pick up more nasties on the door handle of the bathroom than you ever will on the toilet seat.

aqutalion
10-24-2006, 08:02 PM
One year, for a senior prank, the class disassembled the partitions in the boys' bathroom (Yes, just 1. It was a small school.) and reassembled them in the middle of the main hall. I remember being surprised at how tame the graffiti was, compared to the girls'.

ArenaBoy
10-24-2006, 09:26 PM
Fortunately for me, my department has its own building which means employees only. Now at the arena, we don't have a problem with bathrooms because they're inside the arena. At the party venue and the college venue we have some whiny customers. The party venue, we have our own bathroom and place to punch in. It is strictly employees only and we reinforce it by having security at the entrance. Now most people when told that we don't have a restroom out in the parking lot will use the woods. No problem with that. However one guy didn't like that at all and decides to relieve himself a load inside our booth. :eek: We promptly had him thrown out immediately and people refused to clean it until one of our supervisors did it himself.

chainedbarista
10-25-2006, 05:58 AM
I don't even understand the point of those seat covers.

neither do i; i now think of them as 'buttplacebo' for idiots. nothing kills like bleach, but we don't always have that available, so...:eek: what we see can nearly kill you (from disgust).

walking with scissors
10-25-2006, 05:47 PM
"Planned Parenthood Center: Grey metallic object which demands quarters be held together and knob turned to aid in planning parenthood. "

I very nearly spit water all over my monitor. Funniest thing I've read today.

repsac
10-29-2006, 05:19 PM
phenoilc will burn, you just have to get it in a pretty good bit of heat. The way I understood it, was the paper (yeah, it was heavilly pressed paper) was compressed so tightly, that the fire couldn't oxidize it for fuel.

SongsOfDragons
11-01-2006, 09:57 PM
Isn't that Phenolic stuff basically thermosetting Bakelite? Or am I mistaking it for that 'cause it's a brand name?

*ex-A level Product Design mode*

EDIT: nope, I've just read it again, it's the paper one. Wow-wee. O.O

repsac
11-02-2006, 04:07 AM
Phenolic is, from what I remember of it, something of a brand name. I do know how it's made though.


They start with nothing more than craft paper. Thin sheets of that brown stuff that paper bags are made of.

I forget the exact number, but several thousand of these sheets, possibly tens of thousands, are stacked one atop the other and saturated with glue. (Glue first, then stack.)

Next, the stuff is put in a huge press, under about one thousand tons pressure, and squeezed to a half inch or so thickness. This produces heat which cures the glue and turns the stuff this odd black/brown color.

Lastly, it's cut using special diamond saws, and sent out to companies that in turn cut to shape and ship. The colors are put on in the layering process.


Laminate is made the same way, though with less paper.

Sofar
11-02-2006, 06:10 AM
Oh, I think I know that stuff. They use it for the partions on the newer buses, having been in one of these buses when it was broadsided, I can tell you it's pretty strong. Floorboards all splintered, steel cladding rent in twain, but for some reason these cheap-looking plastic partitions are still intact.

repsac
11-02-2006, 06:44 AM
That's the stuff. Suprising just how much damage the stuff can take.

Banrion
11-02-2006, 01:32 PM
I think that might be the same stuff our counters in the chem lab were made of. Could be wrong, but when you describe the strange black/brown color, that instantly what I thought of. You couldn't hurt those counters with anything.

Zombi
11-05-2006, 11:47 PM
I have to agree that, usually, the women's room is a worse mess that the men's room (no matter where you are). That's why, since our bathrooms at work are single person bathrooms, I usually use the men's. ;)
I don't understand women who pee all over the seat because they feel a need to hover...just sit on the damn seat and the bathroom would be a hell of a lot cleaner!
Plus, our bathrooms, like many, do offer those little sanitary toilet seat covers- so if you are that squeamish....use one!!!!!


Our toilets at work are DISGUSTING. I avoid going in there as much as possible, but hey, when the hot weather starts up, you need to drink more water, and you're going to need to pee at least once in a 9-hour shift. We have four cubicles, and I have to carefully open the door to each of them and find the cleanest before I can go. Well, I say cleanest, but I really mean the one with the least visible ickyness in it. I don't actually know whose job it is to clean them - from the state of them, probably nobody's.
If you really have to lay toilet paper over the seat before you can go, PLEASE, for the love of god, put it in the toilet when you're finished, and flush it! Don't just leave it on the seat for the next person to find. Oh, and when (if) you flush the toilet, make sure everything's GONE before you leave!

People disgust me. I would dearly love to place a Bathroom Nazi (TM) inside both the mens and ladies toilets, equipped with a pump-action shotgun.
"Didn't wash hands?" *bang*
"Didn't flush?" *bang*
"Didn't flush EVERYTHING?" *bang*
"Did that stupid toilet-paper-over-the-seat thing and didn't dispose of it?" *bang*
"Left blood/pee ANYWHERE inside the cubicle (floor, walls, you name it)?" *bang*
"Dropped litter on the floor?" *bang*
"Graffiti?" *bang*

"Thank you for shopping at ___, see you again soon!" :wave:

Though give the filth that we encounter within the store itself, I think the Bathroom Nazi (TM) may need to upgrade his or her weaponry to tactical nukes. Let's see you make a mess in the bathroom now, matey! :devil: