Wednesday, July 08, 2009

What Would Miss Manners Do?

Miss Manners

For the past several months, I keep having to clean footprints off the toilet seat before I use it. Now, they aren't really muddy footprints... but I can see them, and how do I know where those shoes have been? I suspect it's someone who is from a different culture, where toilets are designed differently. ("How to use a western toilet" is not usually covered in guidebooks or orientation sessions.) What is the best way to deal with the situation? Do I post this note, or not? Is there a better way? Should I just keep cleaning the seat before I use it? Help!

(No, I don't know who it is.)


Deneen said...

Is this a multi-stall bathroom where they're looking over into another stall. I never heard of a culture who would stand on a seat. Weird.

noricum said...

It is multi-stall, but it's rare enough to have multiple people in at the same time that that doesn't explain the daily footprints. (This is a female washroom in the computer science floor of an engineering building.) I do know that some places you squat over a hole in the floor... and so if you were confronted by a large ceramic object instead of a hole, you'd just make the best guess you could. (I know that I have no idea how to properly use a bidet, but luckily that's optional.)

Andrea said...

It's definitely a cultural thing.. I work in a call centre and there's plenty of people there who stand on the seat to use the toilet. I think your note is actually pretty good, but maybe at the end it should be "That way those of us who sit won't have to clean off footprints when we need tp use the toilet."

Prairie Chicken... said...

omg too funny. POST IT! I think you should apologize on behalf of all westerners for wanting to sit too!

jessie said...

LOL. This is one for (yes, it exists!). I don't know if I'd post it (too late now, probably).

Do you have an Asian co-worker? In cultures where squatting is the norm, people have an aversion to sitting on a seat where strangers have had their nether regions (quite understandable when you think about it). It is not uncommon for some people to squat on a regular toilet seat, which is hygienic for them, but not for the next person who might want to use the toilet in the Western way.

noricum said...

This is a university... there are people from all countries, and Asians are well represented. ;) I have no problem if the person squats, as long as they raise the seat.

I'll have to check out that site. ;)