Boyleing Points

The Rockaway Times Human Resource department is having a tough time setting bathroom limits for employees. That is, we would be, if we actually had an HR department.

It seems a big stink is brewing as more and more companies struggle with determining how long is a reasonable time for employees to spend in the john.  Word from the corporate world is that too many people are working on their make-up, visiting travel websites, napping, or playing games all under cover of the stall.

Of course, households with several daughters have had battles through the years. But workplaces are now the new bathroom battlegrounds.

For some, the workplace throne is now a place to multi-task. Although it used to be a place for Numbers 1 and 2, it seems Numbers 3 through 10 are options now. Some employees update their Facebook statuses or Tweet important things like I’m in the bathroom.

These bathroom malingerers, aka stall campers, are savvy enough to engage in such activities with their pants at their ankles in an effort to evade detection by employers and colleagues who suspect stalling in the stall.

There’s no flushing away the hard feelings brewing. There are some people who are particularly miffed by potty potatoes (as opposed to couch potatoes) because they themselves can’t even use the work place john. In other words, they can’t do their business in their place of business.

These are the people who have system shutdowns and cannot use facilities outside the comfort stations of their own home. They just can’t go. They’ve got the daily double: shy kidneys and shy bowels. 

When I first came across this tempest in the toilet, I knew this would require further research. Who knew, for instance, that the can’t-go-away-from-home crowd had a counterpart?  Apparently there are some people who will only relieve themselves at work because it’s on the employer’s dime. They feel like they are getting paid to go. Hey, I made a sh**load of money last year.

It’s a mess according to Human Resource teams everywhere. How do they monitor loo etiquette? Some employees bring laptops in to the bathroom. Are they so dedicated to their work that they bring their work from their work cubicle to the private cubicle? Or is just a ruse? The employers and HR people are in a bind. What are they supposed to say, hey, what are you doing in there? And why is it taking so long?

Bathroom monitor is sure to become one of the fastest growing job opportunities for college graduates. I hear some schools are now offering degrees in Bathroom Management. It’s no easy job. There is more of a challenge than just standing outside the door with a stopwatch.

Some of the aforementioned people who can’t go at work actually have no trouble going if they have an option. Some need to travel to a bathroom on another floor, away from people they might know. Others have to leave the building. They can let loose at a Starbucks but not in the office latrine. 

It won’t be long before some politician introduces the Employee Bathroom Leave Act allowing people time to find the right throne. And you can expect technology to offer options. Can’t use a bathroom? There’s an app for that.

Oh, two things. Don’t tell me where you were when you read this. And wash your hands.

(This column first ran in 2014. As soon as Boyle gets out of the john, he’ll write new material).

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