Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Slice of Life- 24 of 31: A PSA about bathroom knocking

 It's March! That means that I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I am happy to co-host this event with the team at Two Writing Teachers. Everyone is welcome!

Based on how I'm envisioning and verbally rehearsing this post, it could be a PSA. I wasn't sure what my slice would be today, and I just discovered it in a moment of non-knocking. 

I do not like to use public bathrooms. I never have, and I like them even less in the era of covid. I don't like the smells, sounds, or occasional sights, and I also don't like the doors and stalls. (How many times have I realized that the little turny thing that is designed to hold the door closed doesn't work and the door swings open at an inopportune time or I've tried to lean forward, hover, and hold the door at the same time. And also do whatever needs doing in that public space...)

School days are long, so there is no avoiding the faculty bathroom. This morning while I was in there, I heard footsteps approach the door. (Yes, I listen as I go.) Then, no knock, just a pull at the door. Even though the rational part of me knew that the lock would work, my reflexive nature sent my heart skipping. Maybe it's because there was a time when this same situation happened, and I had forgotten to lock or the lock didn't work or there was some other sort of malfunction that allowed the non-knocker to pull the door open as I was hovering. 

This morning, I whispered under my breath my wish that people would knock. (I might have whispered another word or two as well.)  And not only knock, but then wait for a moment. Give the potential occupant a second to respond! Don't knock and pull at the same time! Knock... wait...then enter. That way, I can say, "Yes, I'm in here." And no one has an uncomfortable moment. 

And also, maybe my next one will take on the debate and etiquette of leaving the toilet seat up. 

So there it is, my slice for the day and a PSA, as well. 

Happy slicing,


  1. Great PSA... I have the same fear each time I am in there! I also fear because that bathroom is right near the children's bathroom... a true recipe for disaster!
    As for the PSA on toilet seats... I will begin that post ASAP!

  2. People NEED this message! You should turn this into a PSA and post it on the doors as "Bathroom Etiquette 101."

    BTW: The reason we haven't left PA in MONTHS is because I refuse to use a public bathroom in the middle of a pandemic and in the middle of winter (think scarves, coats, etc.) with a newly potty-trained child. It's beyond gross!

  3. Thanks for putting into words my frequent feelings about using shared bathrooms. I also liked your witty lines that made it humorous and fun to read!

  4. I think this PSA should be a sign on all bathroom doors..sigh we have all been there.
    It's a requirement at school and you would think teachers would know better...sigh again...

  5. I echo all you r said here. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to use the top of my head as a door stop. I forgot to lock the door to a single stall toilet twice in my career. It did not go well. I think I wrote a post about the toilet seat issue once, but it’s a lesson ghat needs repeating. I’ve actually sent make colleagues back into the restroom to put the seat down.

  6. This made me laugh out loud. I smiled throughout, the whole time. I hope you hover on public toilets like I do - going to call you now to confirm. XX

  7. The last school I worked at had one of those locks that showed "occupied" on the outside of the door when it was locked -- like an airplane bathroom. Why doesn't everyone have that??

  8. Just reading this gave me anxiety! I hope you are able to deliver this message to the necessary readers.

  9. At least you're not a kindergarten Clare... There is something about school bathrooms that feels even riskier than your classic public stall. Probably the idea that anyone walking in 99% knows you.