Friday, May 30, 2008

What Every Man Should Know

I'm a business professional. I work in the corporate world with grown men every day. And every day I see at least one grown man do something a grown man should never do. And I won't stand for it any longer.

Guys, if you don't know how to properly conduct yourself in a public restroom, you really should learn. Granted, there aren't any written rules, so that can make things tricky. But there simply isn't a valid excuse for violating proper urinal etiquette. Here's a test to sharpen your masculine intuition:

Urinal Selection

You enter a hypothetical men's room (an "x" above a number indicates that urinal is in use). Based on the unspoken code of urinal etiquette, choose the correct urinal at which to stand in each situation.

Situation 1:
  • Correct choice: 6 (If you can leave a space between you and the next guy, do it.)
Situation 2:
  • Correct choice: 6 (More distance is better. 5, 4, or 3 are technically acceptable, but they all put you at greater risk of being next to someone arriving later.)
Situation 3:
  • Correct choice: 1 or 6 (Walls are your friends. Both of these choices imply "Don't stand next to me". They also ensure you'll have space on at least one side. This becomes increasingly important in smaller urinal configurations. Given three open urinals, never stand in the middle -- you're begging for company.)
Situation 4:
  • Correct choice: 1 (Never stand between two guys if you can help it. It's not an ideal situation, but at least you've got the wall.)
Situation 5:
  • Correct choice: 4 (Choosing 1 or 3 would "couple" or "pair" you with the guy in 2. That's just awkward. In this situation, there's strength in numbers.)
Situation 6:
  • Correct choice: None (If you can afford to wait, it'd be better to go to the mirror or sink and act busy until the urinals open up a bit more. If you can't, opt for a stall. If you must use a urinal, take your pick.)
Other Unspoken Rules
  • No touching. Even accidental contact is unacceptable.
  • No talking, unless it's a good friend (even then, keep it strictly business).
  • No singing or whistling. Seriously.
  • No sighing. It's embarrassing.
  • No peeking. Look down or at the wall. (Exception: you may cast a small, quick, suspicious glance to acknowledge a newcomer in a "I see you there/don't try anything funny" kind of way. Never glance at someone directly beside you.)
  • No eye shutting. Again, embarrassing. And vulnerable.
  • No cell phones. I can't believe I have to say this.
  • No preemptive unzipping. Keep your pants on and your fly up all the way to and from the urinal.
  • No hands-free operation. If you're one of those guys who keeps their hands on their hips or, worse, puts both hands up against the wall, know this -- everyone else thinks you're gross.
  • No loitering. Don't just stand there. If you need to take your time, use a stall.
  • No dawdling. When you're done, wrap it up.
  • No splashing. No one wants to hear that.
  • No mess. You should have learned to aim before you turned three.
Learn these rules. For more information, a search for "Urinal Etiquette" on YouTube will yield several interesting results as well, including a music video (I cannot vouch for the content or quality of these videos, so tread carefully). I also discovered a Urinal Etiquette Game that, alas, I cannot wholeheartedly endorse (at one point, it erroneously advises you not to wash your hands, which is gross. Always wash you hands).


the lovely years said...

I love it. Love. It.

If I were a guy, the people who don't follow these rules would drive me crazy too. It's not the same with women, but it is annoying when someone goes into the stall next to you when there are at least 8 other ones available.

I feel that this should be in 'The Dangerous Book for Boys.'