The policies of my administration: Bathrooms and Blackberries

It is time for another announcement of one of the policies of my administration. When I take over, things are going to change.

Not a work space.

Not a work space.

I have a co-worker who is loud. Everything he does is at top volume. He even literally thinks out loud. If he decides to call someone he says aloud, for example, “I’m going to call Carla about that paint.”

With that opening,you might think that this policy announcement is going to concern talking to oneself. Perhaps it ought be. It isn’t.

This post is about how multi-tasking will be limited by my administration.

You see, this morning I went into the mens room at my office, because that’s the one I’m supposed to use. As I walked in I heard my co-worker say “I need to call Mike about the fleet.” Sure enough, he was in the stall, thinking aloud. I told myself that he wouldn’t make the call. Not there.

I was wrong. I heard his Blackberry holster click.* He called Mike, they talked about the fleet. The conversation ended with “ok, I’ll do that when I get back

Ive got a message for you. Dont ever call me from the bathroom again.

I've got a message for you. Don't ever call me from the bathroom again.

to my desk, I’m in the bathroom.”

My friends, I will admit that this event was so disturbing to me that I forgot why I was in the bathroom and left.

Have Blackberries made it so easy to multitask and so expected that you will multitask that it is acceptable to do so while relieving yourself? Is it so accepted that you actually tell people that’s what you’re doing?

Now you have the why, let me give you the what in this policy announcement.

When I take over running everything, my administration will strictly limit multi-tasking, especially regarding the use of Blackberries.. The policy is based on what I consider to be an important principle of life : just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it.

This policy also applies to portable toilets.

This policy also applies to portable toilets.

Blackberry users will be prohibited from using them in any way in the presence of porcelain. This is for my own sanity. Before the Blackberry was invented, I made it a point not to do buisness with anyone who was sitting on the john. I see no need to change that practice now that the invention is ubiquitous.

Additionally, Blackberry users will be prosecuted for reading email while someone is engaged in conversation with them. Some users of this device are enabled to be rude by it’s technology. They shouldn’t.

Finally, Blackberry users will be violating the law by using their device during any event at which their children are performing. A man whose son’s attend high school with my son has never failed to spend the entirety of each band concert his sons have played in over the last three years working away on his Blackberry.

My administration will usher in a new day of civility inside and out of the restroom. Blackberry people, don’t wait until the last minute to start changing your ways.

* I have decided that I will let all this gentleman’s calls go to my voicemail. I will return the calls after a fifteen minute delay. This will allow me to convince myself that he is not on the toilet when I talk to him. Of course, now that I know he will cross that line and tell someone he is doing it, I can never truly be safe, can I?


16 Comments on “The policies of my administration: Bathrooms and Blackberries”

  1. Ben Godby says:

    That’s hilarious. It must be a new trend, because one of my co-workers routinely uses his BlackBerry to write e-mails while he’s on the can. I call this manoeuvre the “DingleBerry.”


  2. omawarisan says:

    Ben, Thanks for the comment and bringing that up…I’m going to add email to the policy! The dingleberry isn’t acceptable either. In general, I’d rather not be a topic while people are in the bathroom.

  3. Yep, we have this problem at work too. Every month a reminder goes up: “Please leave your cell phones outside the restroom.”

    I really don’t want to hear someone’s conversation in the privacy of my stall. And I don’t understand why they don’t care what their phone partner hears…

  4. omawarisan says:

    I’m thinking of flushing all the surrounding fixtures the next time this happens. Just sort of my way of letting their phone partner know, “yeah…you suspected it because of the echo, but now you know that you’re dealing with a toilet talker”

  5. frigginloon says:

    Lucky he didn’t have his video calling on!!! I wrote a post last week about the problems with the British multi tasking on the loo, but I see the issue is larger spread than I originally thought!

  6. jammer5 says:

    The sports page of any daily newspaper should be the only thing a person is allowed to bring with them to the porcelain throne. Anything else should be considered verboten.

  7. Chestna says:

    I would flush all the surrounding commodes too, and then add some delightful retching sound effects for good measure. Over the top, yes, but that’s how I am.

  8. Kathi D says:

    David Sedaris tells of calling his sister and hearing her grunting during the conversation. She said she was in the kitchen, trying to open a jar. Later he was at her house and watched her go into the bathroom with the phone, and yes, heard the same grunting . . . Now it’s a running joke between my husband and me.

  9. Keli says:

    May I offer myself as your Attorney General in charge of prosecution of such heinous transgressors? I would have to broaden your policy to include all cellular devices in proximity to porcelain objects capable of being flushed. Drastic action is necessary in your case. Perhaps pouring a bucket of ice water over the top of the stall while the multi-tasker is doing his business? That ought to stimulate a few brain cells.

  10. omawarisan says:

    Keli, I think I am going to need you to take that on. I’m all for broadening the policy.

    I also would like to see people able to file complaints when they suspect someone is throne-phoning them.

    I’d love to ice water this particular transgressor, but I am lining up accomplices to help with a simultaneous flush of the other four fixtures in the room the next time I catch him violating.

  11. Tanya says:

    In order to get ready for your administration, I need a little clarification. Does your policy cover the following situation: standing in the bathroom to make/take a phone call? Let me explain….. Where I work, personal cell phone calls aren’t allowed. So, some people go to the bathroom, stand at the sinks and make phone calls. So….. I know it is a little dicey.

    • omawarisan says:

      It is very dicey. I would say that it is permissible on a limited basis. If one were to slip into the restroom in that situation and make a quick call to arrange an after work get together that’d be fine. Returning the next morning and having an hour long discussion of the prior night’s activity is not considerate of those of those there to shall we say…take care of biological needs.

  12. […] of my favorite co-workers and a few that I don’t like quite so much, like The Singing Guy, Blackberry On The Toilet Guy and The Boss. Here are my projections of what might be going on in our […]

  13. There is a woman in my office that regularly has full conversations on her cell phone in the bathroom stall. She makes an event out of it. I believe she brings a folder and her giant purse/bag, grabs the wheelchair accessible stall (which has a small chair in it) and lays out all her applicable items on the small chair. We know this, because she has accidentally left her items behind on the chair. It’s disturbing, particularly when she attempts to include other stall residents in the conversation. I fully support the policies and terms of your administration. Based solely on this one.

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