A mensroom encounter I could have done without

I needed to use the bathroom today at work, something which I usually try to avoid. I generally don’t use public facilities if I can avoid it. We share bathrooms with the other tenants in our building, but they usually aren’t too busy. There are four stalls and no urinal. This has advantages, but there are some serious disadvantages if certain simple principles are followed.

A situation come up today where I went to the bathroom and all but one stall had the door closed and locked so that the little spinny lock thing showed the word “Occupied” in red letters.

It was natural for me to assume that the fourth stall, the one with the door partially open, was unoccupied. After all, who uses a stall and leaves the door half open. You either usually close it or, if you’re feeling particularly confident and carefree. So I moved to open the door, only to find a man already in there, sitting down doing his business.

“What the fuck mate?”

“Sorry dude. Carry on”.

If he’d left it at that, things would have been ok.

“Fucking idiot. Couldn’t you see that I was in here?”

This line of questioning “rustled my jimmies”, so to speak, and I felt the need to belittle him and put him in his place, but instead what came out was quite restrained I thought.

“No. There’s no way I could have known you were in there, you douche. There’s no way I could have known anybody was in there. If the door was closed and locked it would be easy to assume someone was in there. If the door was fully open, it would have been easy to see you there. But you chose to leave the door only partially open, so you essentially invited me to open the door. Why would you do this?

He mumbled something under his breath and stomped out without flushing, and also without washing. I felt some pity mixed in with my revulsion. The “douche” name-calling is something I was not exactly proud of.