Hang up and go to the bathroom already!

man on cellphone in bathroomOkay, this is a pet peeve of mine, but it’s just so weird that I am astonished it’s so common: men who talk on  their cellphones while in a public bathroom.

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?

5 comments on “Hang up and go to the bathroom already!

  1. I don’t know that I’ve done this in a public restroom, but must admit to doing so at home – only with REALLY good friends or family though. Does that make it any better? 🙂

    My reasoning? The bathroom is one of the only places with a lock to keep my kids out. lol

  2. I don’t talk on the phone in a public restroom but I have been known to do this at home. My husband will hear the water or tell tale flushing and cringe and hang up. LOL What?! I really had to go and you wouldn’t shut up already! 😉

  3. I will say I am an at home potty talker. The public restroom is not a place I typically have conversations but have been caught walking into the stall while talking and quickly asking to call them back (unless the restroom is empty and then I may or may not have kept on going with my conversation).
    I must clarify though that these bathroom calls are only conducted with family or very close friends.

  4. Two things that are never supposed to be in a bathroom: food and phones. And why is this? Because food and phones are two things you don’t want anywhere near the possibility of touching poop. And if the smell touches the food or phone, it’s the same thing. Even the aroma of poop is brown and clingy.

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