She has often had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and found herself in some uncomfortable situations at work where she needed to use the bathroom. While she found it embarrassing, she had developed a method that seemed to work well. First, she would try to find an empty bathroom if possible, then flush the toilet simultaneously, masking any sounds and/or smells.
But Some People Do Not Care
She noticed that some of her coworkers had no shame while using the bathroom, releasing gas and having explosive diarrhea without trying to cover it up. Meanwhile, she would sit and wait for the toilet to clear out before thinking about going number two. She worked in a very professional environment and would be mortified if a coworker knew it was her causing the commotion in the bathroom.
The Toilet Episode
One day, while she was using the restroom, someone came in and started to have a loud episode on the toilet. Curious, she decided to wait for this person to come out of the toilet. Not so long, the person emerged from the toilet as she stood in front of the mirror, pretending to fix her hair.
It was a girl on a team adjacent to hers. They had been friendly in the past, but she didn't know her very well. She started making small talk with her, saying something along the lines of “You too, huh?” The girl seemed confused, and she explained about her IBS. She just wanted to connect with someone who shared similar issues.
“You're In Trouble”
But a few days later, her manager and HR scolded her, stating that the girl felt she was being rude and intrusive. Her coworkers also got wind of the situation and called her out for “harassing” someone in the bathroom. She felt like the whole thing had been blown out of proportion, and now she was feeling embarrassed and awkward, and her coworkers were acting weird around her.
It all took place in a gender-neutral restroom, but she couldn't shake off the feeling that she was in the wrong. She genuinely didn't feel like she had done anything wrong.
The Unspoken Bathroom Etiquette
Redditor Lustle 13 gave a long comment about bathroom etiquette. They said in part, “There is an unspoken bathroom etiquette. Especially in public/work bathrooms like this. It's pretty simple. Everyone uses the bathroom. No one you know uses the bathroom. When you are in there, you are not whoever you are. They are not whoever they are. You are simply both bathroom patrons. Complete strangers to each other. You know what you're there for, you know what you're doing, and you don't acknowledge it, or each other, at all. You may give a slight nod. But you don't talk (especially about WHY you're there). You don't acknowledge. Nothing. Like a special ops team, you get in, do your business, and get out.”
Vik_thewomaninblack thinks she was intentional about being invasive. “You come, do your business, try to stay out of view if anything possibly embarrassing is happening, and pretend you heard nothing. OP was not just a little invasive. They stayed intentionally to see the person who was doing their stinky business.”
Valuable-Comparison7 agrees with Vik_thewomaninblack “A little invasive?” they said, OP's behavior was massively invasive. A useful general rule of thumb is to avoid commenting on how peoples' bodies look or function unless that commentary has been requested by the person who inhabits said body.”
In Need of Therapy?
Redditor Agihusssh thinks she needs to go for therapy. “I'd take it to another level and advise OP to go to therapy to find out what and who made her think that body functions are some kind of ‘sin' and inappropriate and somewhat forbidden. Everyone has a body full of strange things (naturally occurring bacteria, natural fungi, bodily fluids), and it works just the way it works. There could be trauma here regarding body image and function.”
What do you think?
You can read the original story on Reddit here.
This article was produced and syndicated on Wealth of Geeks.