Using Your Phone in a Public Restroom
How important is your phone call that you can't wait until after you complete your business in the stall? Modern Manners Guy tackles awkward toilet talk.
The other day, I went into the bathroom at my office and overheard – very loudly – someone using their cell phone while on the toilet. Now, I’m admittedly a bit of a germaphobe, but come on people, this goes far beyond just germs! When you are at home, I don’t care if you work on your thesis, record your podcast, and brush your teeth while on the toilet (which would be gross, but to be fair, everyone's home is their castle). But when you're in a public restroom – in your workplace, no less – don’t use your phone while going to the bathroom. And for the record, my coworker was going #2,which is doubly disgusting. Pun intended.
There are many reasons why it’s improper to be on your phone while in a public restroom. For starters, it’s rude for someone to know that you are relieving yourself while talking to them. And I could hear this was a business call.
Secondly, when someone is talking, everyone else in the bathroom stops talking because they don’t want to be rude. Have you ever noticed this? I did, the day I walked into this guy's stall conversation. I was in there with two other guys and all of our body language gave the impression that we were trying to be extra quiet, as if not to disturb the guy on the phone.
Really? So not only is the bathroom your office, it’s also your private domain where everyone must keep quiet while you have a bowel movement and chit-chat? Not cool!
If your phone rings while you are going to the bathroom in public, wait until you are done to take any action. If you are going to be in the bathroom for quite some time, and you get a call, don’t answer it and then text the caller that you will call back in a bit.
But I don’t know anyone who has a life that is so frantic and urgent that they can’t find the few minutes a day to go to the bathroom without talking or texting on the phone. In the end, don’t turn the office bathroom into your private phone booth. Oh, and when you’re done, don’t ever let me borrow your phone, no matter what!
Image courtesy of Getty Images.