One of my co-workers uses his cell phone while in the office restroom. It’s annoying and feels like an invasion of privacy. He talks loudly which makes it worse in the small confines of the space. A few of us have tried some gentle suggestions to keep the calls to other places, but he has not changed his ways. What can we do to stop him since he won’t cooperate voluntarily?
— Wants Bathroom Peace
Since “gentle suggestions” have not worked, have you tried wishing and hoping? Crossing your fingers? Calling his mother? If all of those options also failed, I suppose you will have to grow a backbone and actually do something.
My favorite alternative is to drown the guy’s phone. Knock it out of his hand and into the nearest water source. If he is not a hand washer and never has his phone near a sink, you will have to figure out how to get into the stall with him on your own.
If you can’t bring yourself to destroy electronics, then fight fire with fire and make more noise than him. Be ready with as many of your colleagues as there are restroom stalls to follow him in and have a little concert while he tries to conduct his conversation. If you never learned how to make the requisite sounds during your elementary school days, don’t despair. You can learn how to use your hand and arm pit to make the sound here or how to use a mere piece of tissue paper here. You can even use a simple straw. If you are musically inclined, you could go for the advanced beatboxing method, found here.
— Evil Skippy
I faced this problem when I still worked for a law firm. Many of my colleagues were so very important that they felt the need to conduct business at all times – including during bathroom breaks. I discovered that repeated flushing tended to make their calls end right away. Another one of my friends always answered the phone addict as if the guy was talking over the stall wall to him rather than to a person on the phone.
Of course, the adult thing to do is to simply tell the other person to stop making calls from the restroom. (Hinting does not count). You might want to try that before you start imitating bodily functions.
Evil Skippy and/or Jim are available to speak at your conferences and seminars! For information or to send a question for Evil Skippy to answer, use the “Contact” link on the left sidebar.