Monday, March 26, 2012

Cell Phones in Bathrooms: A Question for Miss Manners

bugs bunny leopold opera urinal

I just walked into the bathroom at work. It was empty except for a guy talking loudly on his cellphone. I bellied up to the urinal and began unzipping. The guy was talking business to a woman. The woman's voice was almost as loud as his. This was a formal business conversation. It was not his wife/girlfriend/co-worker/buddy.

I decided to relieve my bladder. He paused. He had heard me come in for sure but hadn't missed a syllable. Now that I was urinating, I sensed some hesitance but he started talking again. It was obvious that he was pretending to be in his office.

I let it flow.

For those of you who do not frequent public men's rooms, the shape of a urinal acts like the design of a fancy opera house. The sounds resonate clearly all the way to the back row. Business guy seemed flumoxed by the gushing sound of a water main break. His delivery got less smooth.

Still, he pressed on. I was thinking, "Close the deal, man." The needle on my bladder was approaching zero.

I shook off, tucked it away and zipped up. I grabbed the handle and paused. To flush or not to flush? I could have walked away quietly assuming that business guy would tidy up for me after he was done. I could have said, "Excuse me I'm about to flush maybe you want to cover up that phone."

bugs bunny opera guy
I decided to flush.

What should I have done, Miss Manners?


  1. Hi Bob,
    Thats a doozy! If you don't know him, I'd leave him alone. The flushing of the urinal was enough to blow his cover; you got him.
    If you do know him and hes a bigshot, ask him "how did the interview go?" but loud enough for her to hear, then scram.

  2. Mike,

    Thanks for the comment!

    I didn't know the guy. A couple of companies in "suites" share the same bathroom.