I’m not talking about a bluetooth headset so they can listen to a conference call while washing their hands before lunch, I’m talking about guys who are standing at a urinal or hunkered down in a stall actually going to the bathroom while chatting away with some poor slob on the other end of the line who presumably has no idea that the ambience of the call has, um, changed.
This used to be an isolated incident — one that’s hard to miss, of course, because men rarely talk in public restrooms so anyone who is talking is easily heard by everyone else in the space — but when I flew home from Southern California last week I noticed this exact thing happened at the airport lavatory in both Orange County and Denver. In fact, the guy on his cellphone in O.C. was also lying to his colleague, telling the other person that “yeah, once we’re done I need to go to the bathroom before I get on the flight” while actually in the stall doing, well, you know…
There are two things about this that are weird, actually. First, who the heck talks to someone else while they’re going to the bathroom? I mean, even if you’re not on a cellphone, men, at least, are culturally conditioned to be quiet while using the bathroom. It’s a gender thing, I suspect, because I know a lot of guys who find their spouses or partners odd for chatting while going to the bathroom. Perhaps that means that it’s common for women to be on the phone while in the public restrooms? Obviously, I don’t know.
But more than that, there’s a privacy thing. Are these people who are having these conversations while in a public restroom really clueless about how easy it is to hear every single word they’re saying and how difficult it is to ignore them? Or have we reached an age of “enlightenment” where privacy is moot and people just don’t care?
I also find it odd that these guys that do can’t just say “hey, can I call you back in a couple of minutes? Thanks.” and do just that, after they’ve used the facilities and, hopefully, washed their hands.
Then again, perhaps I’m the only one who is annoyed by this inexplicably weird and rude behavior. As a reality check I asked a few other Dads about it. Here’s what they said:
C.C. Chapman: I HATE when people do that. There is NO need for a phone in the bathroom. I’m still waiting for the day that the idiot at the urinal drops his phone while talking. I promised myself I’d publicly laugh at him when it happens.
Michael Moebes: I do it all the time, but i’m emailing and tweeting, not talking.
Doug French: It’s especially awkward with a spread stance…
Roby Brown I try to be as obnoxiously loud as possible, in hopes that the potty talker gets put on the spot by the person on the other end.
Whit Honea: Bathrooms are for Instagram only.
So apparently I’m not alone and, yeah, well, sometimes I’ll email or tweet while I’m otherwise occupied in the restroom. But it’s not audio. I’m not talking to someone while using the urinal. I mean, eeewww….
In fact, a survey by LiveScience found that “More than half the surveyed users (63 percent) said they have answered a phone call in the bathroom, and almost half (41 percent) reported initiating a phone call.”
Yeah. What a great world we’re creating, eh?
Do you talk on the phone while you’re using the toilet? What’s your take on this habit anyway?