Re: Out of order

1

I can see what that makes you angry. I stock both items in my bathroom cabinet, but I often think that since I live alone, my female friends don't think to ask me or go looking for them when needed. (When I've brought this up, this has been the general response -- that they wouldn't have ever thought to ask me if I had any supplies.) Perhaps I should get one of these unused machines to make it more apparent?


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:43 AM
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Lots of science-oriented buildings don't have those machines at all. I was surprised that the boyfriend's workplace, which provides free (good) coffee and stocks the bathrooms with both soap and hand lotion (and the gym has free soap/shampoo/razors/etc), has no such machines. Older buildings on university campuses often don't have a women's room on every floor, because they were all men's, originally, so the administration would retrofit every other floor. Yuck.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:44 AM
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3

Bathrooms have tampon and pad machines?


Posted by: Crpytpci ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:45 AM
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4

Not the ones you and I use.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:46 AM
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Our building seems to keep the tampons stocked, though the cleaning crew is all women and I think they do it. We also have a People's Revolutionary Tampon Machine, although I think it only gives one tampon and your quarter back. The machine in the other restroom only charges 20 cents for a tampon, though, so I suspect people get lured away from the secretly free one.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:47 AM
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6

The women's room at my office has an end table. I don't know why.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:47 AM
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7

Maybe with the advent of antigravity tampons, it was just too much trouble keeping the machines within reaching distance of the floor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:48 AM
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8

3: Like a vending machine but uglier. And exorbitant.
6: If it also has a chair, perhaps for pumping?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:48 AM
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9

I went in a women's bathroom once. It had a couch.


Posted by: Crpytpci ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:49 AM
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10

8.2: It has a white porcelain chair.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:49 AM
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11

Everything about being a menstruating middle/high school student is awful. The whole structure of the typical public school day, arrangement of bathrooms, and rules about leaving the classroom, combined with the extra unpredictability of periods at that age, is horrible horrible. Argh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:49 AM
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12

11: This was one real benefit to an all-girls high school. You could just yell in the hall that you needed a tampon and someone would throw you one from her locker. (Or you could be more prudish like me and just not, but it helped even tiny prudes like me learn to loosen up a little, and also apparently made the male teachers uncomfortable.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:51 AM
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13

Our machine currently has a sign:
Out of Order. In case of emergency, please go to Director's Suite.
Nice of them to provide a contingency plan, but um, what?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:56 AM
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14

13: you've been caught in the middle of somebody's really fairly disgusting fantasy role-play scenario.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 8:01 AM
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15

I'm somewhat convinced that the institution I'm a grad student at in is trying to address the gender gap in math and science by installing twice as many women's bathrooms as men's bathrooms. I haven't actually counted though.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 8:15 AM
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16

*at


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 8:15 AM
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17

The main library at my fancy graduate institution has little cabnets in every women's bathroom stocked with tampons and pads. I thought that was lovely: they're just another paper product that people require in the bathroom, like tp and paper towels. They were some generic brand, nice enough that they weren't horrible to use, but not so nice that you'd want to steal them all or anything.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 8:17 AM
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18

Not that people didn't steal them all sometimes, I assume. But the cabinets always seemed to be stocked.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 8:18 AM
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19

middle schoolers and high schoolers are most likely to get caught by surprise, find it humiliating to scrounge up protection, and could really use a stocked machine.

But is it true that middle schools and high schools have stopped stocking their machines? Maybe the adolescents still have some flimsy means of protection.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 8:21 AM
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20

My plan for a Walking Dead type apocalypse is to hoard tampons. I figure that booze and cigarettes will be the go-to things to hoard for trading, but nearly all men will overlook tampons, so the competition will be roughly halved when I'm out looting.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 8:25 AM
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21

20: excellent plan.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 9:00 AM
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22

But is it true that middle schools and high schools have stopped stocking their machines?

They may have resumed. As of the late 80s, they'd certainly all stopped, and I've long since stopped pushing the pellet bar.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 9:27 AM
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As of the late 80s, they'd certainly all stopped, and I've long since stopped pushing the pellet bar.

I wonder if it was a response to budget cuts. The only other motives which come to mind are sadism and laziness.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 9:48 AM
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24

11: And the need of some middle school teachers to be a huge asshole regarding permission to use the bathroom.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 9:55 AM
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25

24: I still vividly remember my sixth-grade English teacher's lecture to us about how the ability to leave her class to go to the bathroom was a privilege, not a right, and we had not earned that privilege.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 9:57 AM
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26

I wonder if it was a response to budget cuts.

That was my first thought as well. The schools have cut freaking copy paper out of the budgets here, so parents send in reams of paper to the teachers at the beginning of the school year. I suspect a large proportion of that paper has been smuggled out of workplaces.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 11:54 AM
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26: The private sector must be really suffering. It's a shame that there isn't a really easy way to check for that.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 12:44 PM
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28

12 is a very good detail.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 12:57 PM
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24: a middle school teacher who wanted to be an asshole could simply never let you go to the bathroom, without needing to tell you that there's no protection in there anyway.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 12:58 PM
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30

k-sky what happened with your escrow? I meant to ask you before, but comments were shut off.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:00 PM
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12: and also apparently made the male teachers uncomfortable

Men are the biggest pussies of them all.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:05 PM
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31: There was also a memorable announcement about not wearing bright-colored bras under our white blouses with a similar rationale. That I also still find a certain friend's hunter-green bras memorable means they probably had a point.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:09 PM
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33

they probably had a point


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:11 PM
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34

Adding further comment to that would have been like challenging Von Wafer to a foot race. Too easy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:12 PM
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35

30: the one with the secret passageways and the giant pot plant? We fell out, made ten more bids on houses, got into escrow on two more, and moved into one two weeks after our baby was born. That was nine months ago and we have yet to hang the art. But we got central heating.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:13 PM
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25: That's horrible. Did anyone ever pee in their pants in her class?

That was the biggest change I noticed when I went from public school in the 4th grade to a private girls' school in the 5th. In private school, there were no hall passes, and the teachers--for the most part--expected us to behave well. Drama about permission to go to the ladies room (and I think that's what it was called) was nonexistent.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:14 PM
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37

34: Sometimes the fruit gets hung low just to see who'll fall down trying to reach it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:16 PM
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38

31: In 5th grade, a friend of a friend was hanging out at my house and rhapsodized so passionately about the first girl in his class to grow breasts and how she'd wear black bras under white t-shirts just to personally destroy him that when I transferred into his school four years later I had not forgotten her name.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:19 PM
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39

I'm already down here lying on the ground ...laydeez.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:19 PM
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40

38: Not seeing how that means you were a pussy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:20 PM
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41

A charitable person would have assumed that was but a comment referencing error.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:21 PM
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42

Sometimes the fruit gets hung low just to see who'll fall down trying to reach it.

I assume that you're saying that the all-girls high school was pretty much one long re-enactment of the Banquet of the Chestnuts.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:21 PM
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35: I suppose when someone asks, "what happened with the escrow?" what they are really asking is, "why did you fall out?" Was there a problem with inspections?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:22 PM
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44

My work effort since the beginning of the year has been so staggeringly minimal that I find that I can no longer maintain it by simply reading things on the internet, and am forced to comment nonsensically from time to time. I guess I could send heebie some guest posts, but too much like work.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:26 PM
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45

I blame menopause.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:26 PM
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46

43: Sale contingent on sellers moving, which they preferred not to.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:29 PM
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47

Link in 42 led to Wikipedia article "List of sexually active popes":

There have been 266 popes. Since 1585, no pope is known to have been sexually active before, during or after election to the Papacy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:31 PM
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48

I'd bet the "during" category is pretty small regardless of time period.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:32 PM
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46: So they didn't want to sell their home anymore? Or they didn't want to sell it to you? Am confused.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:32 PM
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48: It may be short, but think of the heightened incentives.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:38 PM
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51

They still own it is all I know.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:38 PM
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52

42: No, but I... never mind.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 1:38 PM
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53

And because now I feel bad, I didn't just objectify people in school all the time; it was only the one friend-crush. And most announcements like that one were complaints that "some little girls" had been seen smoking or jaywalking in uniform and needed to remember that their behavior reflected on all of us at school, not the sort of thing where there were any punitive consequences.

Actually, someone did once break into the tampon/pad machines in the first-floor bathroom but since it happened during a basketball game or something like that, everyone assumed it was not in fact some poor and desperate student the way the announcements implied. But we were assured that if we were ever in need of such personal supplies, we could come ask the women who worked in the office.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 2:17 PM
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54

53: And because now I feel bad

This is your problem in life, you realize. Or possibly your strength.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 2:25 PM
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55

53.1 - kid A's school got a very stern talking to in one assembly because a girl (in school uniform) had been seen in town the day before, kicking a pigeon.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 3:31 PM
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"If only the rest of you lazy kids would find something as useful to do with your spare time."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 3:37 PM
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kicking a pigeon

The students should wear pigeon masks en masse, in solidarity with the pigeon, or the kicker, or something.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 3:49 PM
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53.1 - kid A's school got a very stern talking to in one assembly because a girl (in school uniform) had been seen in town the day before, kicking a pigeon.

If you can catchkick [a pidgeon], you can catchkick greased lightning


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 4:12 PM
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24, 25, 36: As someone who as done some substitute teaching in public high schools and middle schools a few years ago, I can assure you that some form of bathroom restrictions were pretty common there, not just the work of one or two assholic teachers. The general assumption was that kids had 5-10 minutes between classes to use the facilities, and shouldn't be using class time to do it except in rare emergencies. I was asked to enforce various policies in that respect.

I was pretty lax about enforcing the harsher policies (one teacher wanted me to keep track of which kids used their "once per semester" bathroom pass, which I just conveniently forgot to write down), but it was pretty common, for example, to have a classroom pass that only one kid could use at a time. That one made a certain amount of sense, in that they didn't want kids sneaking off to spend the whole class period in the bathroom with their friends, and relied on peer pressure to make sure that kids came back reasonably promptly with the pass instead of just cutting the rest of class. No question, though, the kids took advantage of me to some extent - I probably got more kids asking to use the bathroom in one day than most of the regular teachers got in a week. A bunch of that is the typical student reaction to seeing a sub as a chance to goof off, I'm sure.

Similar restrictions applied to me too, of course - I couldn't just walk out for a couple of minutes in the middle of class to use the john. That was one of my least favorite parts of teaching. I'm glad to be back in a regular office job where it's not such a fricking big deal.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 4:54 PM
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60

In the school district in which I was raised, schools were not allowed to stock tampons, only pads.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 6:07 PM
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60 makes me laugh. They were preserving your virginity!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 6:24 PM
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61: I can't think of any other rationale.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:01 PM
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63

I'm pretty sure 60 was true at my school too.

Off-topic, I'm really sad that my plan to do a load of laundry a day seems to be working to keep our laundry under control. It's so boring and annoying and frustrating to have to load/wash/dry/fold/put away day after day after day, and now that this is the system I'll have to do it until the girls are old enough to take up some slack. Maybe I need to be added to the chore chart and get a weekly allowance or something. (And on my own subtopic I'm reminded that my HS crush always wore green shirts and would do all her laundry as one load and thus all her uniform blouses had a greenish tinge, which seemed extra adorable at the time.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:18 PM
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I'm trying to think of a suppository joke, but I do need to do laundry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:40 PM
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In my family the kids had to sort and fold the laundry as one of their chores, from a pretty young age. That's the most tedious part of doing laundry.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 7:43 PM
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Yeah, they'll get to that within the year, probably, but for now we need to focus on other things and I have to focus on the laundry even though I hate it. (Ditto dishes. Stupid unending chores!)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-15-14 8:08 PM
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52: No, but I... never mind.

Untold tales of Thorn.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01-16-14 5:30 AM
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