I wrote a couple of weeks ago about two of my idiosyncrasies. In the interest of continuing my never-ending quest to convince you that I have severe issues, I continue that theme tonight.
I have this thing ... it's not a phobia, exactly, just a thing ... about knocking on bathroom doors. I don't like to do it. That's one reason I like the porta-potties we have on organized bicycle rides. If the person inside DOES IT CORRECTLY, in the locked position the door gives an indication on the outside that the porta-potty is occupied. (Not "occupied" as in the "occupiers," but wouldn't that put an interesting twist on their campaign?)
If I am forced to knock on the bathroom door and it's occupied, what is the correct response for the person inside?
"Come in?" I don't think so.
"Be right out!" Awkward.
"Who is it?" Someone who needs to use the restroom. If it's me, that person has waited until the situation is dire.
Oddly enough, if I have to knock on a bathroom door and someone answers, I am embarrassed almost beyond words. Why is that? I have done nothing wrong, and there is certainly no shame in the very human need to use the restroom facilities. But in those cases I'm so embarrassed that I retreat and am long gone by the time the person in the restroom emerges.
The ONE bathroom for faculty use (other than the ones in the office, which are in rather ... close proximity ... to the goings-on in the office) is located on the main hall, sharing a room with all the computer servers. The sign on the door says "Lounge," but there is nary a couch, table, nor chair in sight. The room is so small it would be hard pressed to hold two people at the same time. The bathroom itself is even smaller. I would venture to say it would be almost impossible to change clothes in there.
There are two doors, one to the actual bathroom itself, and one to the "Lounge." This one has a window in it, and I have developed the habit of looking in the window to see if the bathroom is occupied. One day last week I must have made six trips down the hall, peering through the window and saying some version of, "Damn it!" when it appeared to be occupied every single time.
Finally, in considerable pain and consternation (not that other con_______ation), I was forced to knock on the door. I was ready to run if anyone answered.
The bathroom was empty, just as it had probably been on at least four of the earlier occasions.
So I made this sign for the door:
(Who DOES that at school, anyway? That's an entirely separate blog topic, one that I will more than likely never write.)
So far it has worked beautifully.
P.S. I'm going to have to come up with a better term than the one that starts with "idio..." I'm not ashamed of it, but I can't SPELL it!