Jessica Gross

Bathroom Etiquette

In people watching on September 10, 2008 at 12:42 pm

In a Starbucks bathroom:

Someone yanks on door.

Me: Someone’s in here.

More yanking on door.

Me (louder): Somebody is IN here!

This continues for several rounds. When I realize I’m screaming, I bang on the door, since the yanker either cannot hear me or is alerting me of fire. “Sorry, it says vacant,” she says. Curious, since the door is locked.

My first question: why do I always say, “Someone’s in here”? I know who’s in here. I’m in here. But this sounds creepier: “Hello, stranger! I am in here!”

What’s better? A knock on the door, apparently. But you’re not always in a position to knock on the door. Then what? “One sec,” “Hold on a minute,” “Yeah”?

Second question: how to check if someone is in the bathroom? Pulling on a locked door repeatedly is ANNOYING. DO NOT DO IT. But knocking is risky — what if you don’t hear an announcement from within and open the door by mistake? Isn’t it better just try opening once, slowly, and stop if you hear a yelp?

Thoughts? Post them in comments.

  1. I always knock and listen real closely. Then, if I don’t hear anything, I’ll attempt to open the door. Usually if there’s someone in there, they’ll yelp at this point.

  2. […] September 18, 2008 · No Comments Back to bathroom etiquette. […]

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