As if using a public restroom wasn’t bad enough, dealing with awkward conversations in the bathroom makes it even worse! Modern Manners Guy has 3 tips to help you handle stall talk.
Although I think his reaction is a bit extreme, I do sympathize. I mean, who hasn’t had to deal with a chatty coworker in the office, let alone in the restroom? This is the person who doesn’t care if you’re puking up your lungs in the stall or just washing your hands (which is the only proper time to chat), this coworker will talk your ear off about anything…at any time.
So how do you handle conversations with a coworker in the restroom? The only time it’s proper to chat is when washing your hands after you are done. Not during, not while you are about to walk into the stall, and definitely not while you’re doing your business. This is a big time invasion of privacy. If you were late for a meeting, would you want to someone to stop you in the hall for a chat? No. Same thing with the restroom. Someone is going to a destination, with sometimes limited time in between, so don’t bother them with random business talk in the restroom. NOTHING is that serious. And I promise you that when someone is in the restroom, what they are about to do is MUCH more urgent than prepping for your 11 o’clock.
Tip #2 – TMI
TMI = Too Much Information
This is rule #1 in the world of restrooms. I don’t want a play-by-play of whatever may be occurring in your stall. In fact, I don’t want to know what happened after you were done, either. My poor friend Stan encountered his worst fear the other day. He was at the urinal and a senior level manager found it necessary to describe his current bathroom experience. To Stan. In detail.
What was my friend to do? Here he is, so new that he keeps forgetting where his office is located, with only a 2-inch metal divider separating him and a senior level manager who just told him, “Wow, I need to drink more liquids…” How do you manage that?