Re: Snappy

1

Norm enforcement!

My wife says she dreads this kind of thing happening when she's with me, because I invariably get confrontational.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:20 PM
horizontal rule
2

I never say anything in these situations, and always wonder if I should or if I would be just blowing off steam.

These are not mutually exclusive, btw.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:27 PM
horizontal rule
3

Good for Kieran.

How long before someone turns up at the CT comments to angrily assert that the provision of family toilets is a violation of the rights of the childfree?


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:28 PM
horizontal rule
4

Hm. Yes, it's sucky that he took a long time (presumably he was changing clothes or something?). But what's the consensus on, say, an able-bodied person using the handicapped stall in a restroom simply because it's roomier, if you're not going to be in there for longer than the time it takes to pee? I once heard someone complaining about that. But I do it all the time, and have never come out to find a disabled person waiting for it.

I think I have on occasion made a quick dash into the "family" restroom on my own, too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:29 PM
horizontal rule
5

But not, I hasten to add, when it's *right next to* the regular bathroom. So the businessman was acting like an entitled twerp. But I do wonder why, if Kieran's kid was so upset about waiting, didn't he just take her into the men's room?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:32 PM
horizontal rule
6

an able-bodied person using the handicapped stall in a restroom simply because it's roomier

IME at big companies, that's where the really large dudes go to drop a nuclear payload. No thanks.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:34 PM
horizontal rule
7

Heh. Well, I'm not a guy, so. And presumably they flush afterwards.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:34 PM
horizontal rule
8

Chances are that this guy was just a jerk. But if he was as large as Kieran describes, it might have been difficult for him to maneuver himself and his rolling bag within the confines of a standard stall, especially with an inward-opening stall door. This can be an awkward endeavor even for smaller persons.

Or maybe he just can't poop with other people around. If you're plagued with that particular anxiety, having someone mock you right outside the bathroom is probably pretty humiliating.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:37 PM
horizontal rule
9

I'm as pee-shy as they come, Amber, and I can't muster any sympathy for this guy. As we were mentioning in the handling-gross-stuff comments in the other thread, when you don't feel like you have a choice, you can get over lots of your apparently strong reactions/dislikes. This reminds me of the Chris Rock line that goes something like: nobody in Rwanda is lactose intolerant.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:47 PM
horizontal rule
10

8: True. There's also the thing, as a friend of mine with MS once pointed out, about not every disability being visible.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:48 PM
horizontal rule
11

I dunno, Ogged. I'm a parent, and while I really appreciate those parent restrooms, I see them as a convenience, not a necessity. Maybe that's just because I'm used to the lack of parental conveniences to which I ought to feel entitled, but it doesn't seem like *that* big a deal to me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:50 PM
horizontal rule
12

It's not murder, but those restrooms are there for a reason, and you should have a very compelling reason to use one. As Kieran describes it, the regular men's room was adjacent to the family room, so it's hard to imagine something that excuses this guy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:53 PM
horizontal rule
13

Did Kieran go into the regular restroom? Were there even empty stalls there? Nine times out of ten there would be nobody waiting outside, and there's a difference between being provided with a restroom that is physically configured to accommodate your needs and having a restroom configuration that minimizes your wait time. Which is the reason for which the separate room is created? Are both intended or only the former?


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:57 PM
horizontal rule
14

But what's the consensus on, say, an able-bodied person using the handicapped stall in a restroom simply because it's roomier, if you're not going to be in there for longer than the time it takes to pee?

I do it all the time. Obviously not if there's a crowd, such that someone disabled might need it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 10:57 PM
horizontal rule
15

12: Well yeah, I suppose the guy's a jerk. I think I'm just bemused by the outrage.

But maybe I'm far too tolerant.

14: Having said that I view family restrooms as a convenience, I think it's fair to say that they're about both. Little kids don't wait as well as grownups, and it's a *lot* easier to have room when you have to stand there for ten minutes while they piddle about. Plus, if you have more than one little kid, which one do you attend to--the one who's on the potty, or the other? Then there's the stroller as well as the rolling luggage, etc....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 11:04 PM
horizontal rule
16

how is using the handicapped stall different from parking in the handicapped spot while you run in to grab an americano? it seems more or less equivalent to me (maybe even taking the stall being worse as if you're in a wheelchair it's much harder to use a non-handicapped stall than it is to park three spaces further away), but i feel like i've been conditioned to view parking in handicapped spaces as a really bad thing.

this is an interesting article about enforcement of ADA regulations via lawsuit.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 11:11 PM
horizontal rule
17

15 is a good argument for minimizing waiting for a family restroom. It seems less obvious that a handicapped stall shouldn't be used by the able-bodied. There are no doubt some disabilities that would make crossing your legs and waiting problematic, but those are a much smaller percentage of the handicapped-stall user base than are families with small-bladdered and antsy children who would want to use the family restroom.

Then again, I always use the handicapped stall at work, because it's past the sinks and in front of the towel dispenser, and who wants people washing their hands to be able to see you through the cracks? To my knowledge (with, of course, the caveat that not all disabilities are visible) there is no one on my floor with a stallworthy handicap.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 11:15 PM
horizontal rule
18

16: Well, parking in the handicapped spot is actually illegal. (And I, too, see it as a Truly Bad Thing.)

I suppose I figure that everyone has to wait once in a while for the bathroom. And as I said, I'd view taking the stall for more than a minute as rude--it's really impossible to park a car, do even the quickest errand, and get back as quickly as you can pee.

I suppose parking in the handicapped spot right next to the depository while you dash up and return a book or video would be about the equivalent. You're basically right there, and you can tell if you're in someone's way and move.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 11:16 PM
horizontal rule
19

there could also easily be a handicapped visitor.

hmm... sounds plausible. i don't generally use the handicapped stall at work, but if it's the only one empty, i will. and i wouldn't give anyone a dirty look for doing so.

i'm also kind of amused by the personal nature of the outrage about the family bathroom, but yeah, to the extent that the family bathroom has a purpose, using it to change in is not real cool. much like having sex or doing drugs in a public restroom.

on a mostly unrelated note, daylight savings time sucks ass.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 11:22 PM
horizontal rule
20

If you were a 280 pound dude with a rolling bag and needed to use the bathroom and change shirts before your meeting, wouldn't you rather use the family room and avoid cramming yourself into the standard stall and risk dropping your tie in the toilet? You're dealing with a known level of inconvenience and discomfort there, versus the mere chance that a parent and child will want to use the family restroom while you are in it and be inconvenienced by waiting a few minutes. Unless families having to wait is so terrible that their aggregate disutility on those occasions swamps the gains that occur when nobody is waiting, we are probably better off if anyone can use the family restroom when they need to.

On the other hand, being so nonjudgmental toward users of the family restroom might mean that anyone who had the choice and was not altruistic would use it, and families would always have to wait. That puts us back at asking whether the gains to families from an immediately available room are what we're going for, such that we are willing to forgo all the convenience that single travelers get from using a stand-alone restroom because they are large, have lots of bags, need to change clothes, have elimination anxieties, etc.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 11:46 PM
horizontal rule
21

The handicapped stalls in restrooms that I'm familiar with aren't marked as reserved for disabled users. If they were reserved, I wouldn't use them, but you ethically challenged apologists for steroid use in pro sports no doubt would find a way of justifying themselves.


Posted by: Ham-Love | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 11:51 PM
horizontal rule
22

Er, yourselves.


Posted by: HL | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 11:52 PM
horizontal rule
23

Here's a thought. All restroom stalls should be accessible.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-10-07 11:59 PM
horizontal rule
24

Accessible stalls are larger, so you'd get fewer per restroom, and there's a line for the ladies' already, bitch.


Posted by: HL | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:06 AM
horizontal rule
25

Bigger bathrooms. It's possible. Truly.

Anyway, if you had all-accessible stalls and introduced women's urinals, then we'd get the best of both worlds.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:07 AM
horizontal rule
26

We can have accessible stalls on the ground, and a whole bunch of inaccessible stalls on the ceiling.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:10 AM
horizontal rule
27

introduced women's urinals

They already tried that back in the 50's. People didn't take to them.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:18 AM
horizontal rule
28

Space has to come from somewhere. Renovating or expanding a building is expensive. You might not want to go hacking away at historic buildings just to make the bathrooms bigger, which is why the ADA doesn't always require them to be altered.

These just look awkward.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:19 AM
horizontal rule
29

There is a Brittish study that concludes that people parking in handicap spots are more likely to be wanted for other crimes. The idea is that rule breaking becomes a habit. I cant find it now - so hey, it might just be an urban myth...
but I do wonder it those using the handicapped toilets are more likely to spend the whole working day commenting here...


Posted by: raster | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 1:53 AM
horizontal rule
30

ups: British...


Posted by: raster | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 1:54 AM
horizontal rule
31

But I do wonder why, if Kieran's kid was so upset about waiting, didn't he just take her into the men's room?

I left a comment (in moderation) asking that. If it's just you and one child, you really don't need a dedicated family bathroom.

Here, most of the disabled toilets seem to be locked now and parent & child rooms are separate, but much rarer.

I wouldn't bother saying anything in similar circumstances - mainly because you have no idea why the other guy was in there. But I am forever moaning at people who do other annoying stuff.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 3:55 AM
horizontal rule
32

re: 29

I've certainly noticed that the cars parked in disabled spots in Oxford tend to be larger and more expensive than the ones parked elsewhere.

I remember walking along one particular street [I was looking for a parking meter to pay my own parking] and there was a row of 10 or 12 huge SUV type cars, all with disabled stickers. I'd have laid a pound to a pinch of shite that no more than 2 or 3 of them were being used by people with a mobility problem.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:54 AM
horizontal rule
33

If he was using the family/handicapped bathroom to change clothes in, at the very least he should have apologised profusely when he realised that his making use of it had meant someone from the group for which it was intended had had to wait.

I admit I've used a handicapped/family bathroom myself sometimes - though not if there was a gender-appropriate bathroom next to it in working order - but always as fast as possible and hoped not to find anyone outside waiting.

And yeah, airport bathroom cubicles ought to be (and IME generally are) big enough for you to take your luggage in with you and clean enough to change in.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:55 AM
horizontal rule
34

Also, a few months back I had had some minor surgery -- biopsy [negative] -- which necessitated changing the dressing fairly regularly. At the time I consistently used the disabled toilets, i) because they have a sink in them and ii) because there just isn't room in a normal stall to do that sort of thing, and I'm not that big. So I'm more inclined to cut people some slack on that one than the parking space thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:57 AM
horizontal rule
35

20: Is that intended as parody?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:11 AM
horizontal rule
36

32: I didn't realize that there were disabled parking spaces in Oxford. The person I knew there who had a disabled pass just parked wherever she wanted, mostly in spots in which it would otherwise be illegal to park.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 5:56 AM
horizontal rule
37

20, etc: Here's the thing: I checked afterwards (when I had to go myself) and O'Hare has three kinds of bathrooms. Regular stalls, wheelchair accessible stalls, and assisted care/family rooms. Every group of regular stalls has one wheelchair accessible one inside. But in the terminal I was in there are only two individual rooms, marked "Assisted Care" (not "Handicapped") and labeled with a parent/child icon. In those circumstances, any able-bodied person who uses that room to take a dump or change their clothes or whatever can bite me.


Posted by: Kieran | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:11 AM
horizontal rule
38

Ok. This pisses me off.

I have a 15 1/2 year old autistic daughter. She cannot go in the bathroom by herself. So if it is just me with her, then I depend on the family bathrooms.

At 3, you can take your daughter in the men's room. 15 1/2, not so much.

I would have definitely said something. The same thing happened to me at the gym. Some lady brought her two daughters in the family changing room outside of the pool, instead of the women's locker room. Then, she took forever. I was left with my daughter dripping wet, waiting for her. I told her that I would appreciate it if she didnt use that room. She seemed shocked and rushed away, after apologizing.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:29 AM
horizontal rule
39

People without kids are adults. They have good control of their bladder.

Handicapped kids do not always have such control.

Stay out of family bathrooms. Otherwise, I have to race my 15 year old daughter into the men's room. And that really pisses me off. I am normally a pretty sane guy, but when you do that crap, I am going to get upset.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 6:34 AM
horizontal rule
40

or if I would be just blowing off steam.

You have to have a pretty good understanding of your temper and an ability to manage confrontation to do stuff like this. I'm not sure I do, and so I now try to avoid performing this type of norm enforcement. It does feel fulfilling, though. (Actually, that's probably part of the problem for me: fake fulfillment.)

I have no idea about the value of the specific norm. In the past, I certainly considered gender norms about bathrooms to be primarily guidelines. But that's easier to do when you're young and everyone around you is as well.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 7:05 AM
horizontal rule
41

20: Is that intended as parody?

Uh, I've been in that very situation myself. Coming off of an overnight flight to Duesseldorf, where my airline didn't have an arrivals lounge, and I needed to change into a suit for a 9:00 meeting. I will confess that I used the family restroom in that situation. AFAIK I did not inconvenience anyone, but I suppose that was just a matter of luck. Come to think of it, I'm certain I didn't inconvenience anyone, because the lock on the door was broken so anyone who wanted to come in could have barged right in.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 7:06 AM
horizontal rule
42

You have to have a pretty good understanding of your temper and an ability to manage confrontation to do stuff like this.

This is important, because if you just spew invective at the offender, as likely as not he will be reinforced in his sense of righteousness. Kieran's response was well-calibrated in this regard: pointed enough to cause embarassment, but not caustic enough to necessarily trigger the offender's amygdala.

A "more in sorrow than in anger" tone is particularly effective with some people. Then again, some people are incorrigible, and should you positively identify one of these, intemperate invective is okey-dokey.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 7:11 AM
horizontal rule
43

41: The situation wasn't what I thought was parody, it was the form of the argument.

The question isn't really whether the man benefited from using the family room, or whether he had rational reasons to want to use the family room.

During my time working in a hospital I did see people seriously inconvenienced by the misuse of handicapped parking spaces, and Will's story is an example of how this kind of misuse can be a real problem. "Nobody seems to be need it right now" is an argument that applies to fire extinguishers and all kinds of emergency equipment too, but there's a fallacy.

It's leaping to conclusions, but the description of the guy made me suspect (and made me suspect that Kieran also suspected) that this guy was one of those high-powered guys who believed that the rules didn't apply to him, and who went through life scavenging up every opportunity to free ride. There are people in my brother's coffee shop who will take quarters out of the tip jar so they don't have to break a bill, and he reports that they're usually very prosperous and successful looking.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 7:23 AM
horizontal rule
44

If Larry Craig had used a family bathroom a whole lot of confusion and unhappiness could have been avoided.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 7:24 AM
horizontal rule
45

that this guy was one of those high-powered guys who believed that the rules didn't apply to him, and who went through life scavenging up every opportunity to free ride.

Why do you hate Chet so much, Emerson?

There are people in my brother's coffee shop who will take quarters out of the tip jar so they don't have to break a bill,

That, OTOH, is very wrong.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 7:27 AM
horizontal rule
46

Timbot, have I ever told you that the alternation of capital and lower-case letters in your handle lends it a jaunty, masculine air, much like a young Cary Grant walking with his hands in his pockets down a cobblestone italian alley, but like a million percent less gay? because fucking A, dude, it does.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
47

...[T]his guy was one of those high-powered guys who believed that the rules didn't apply to him, and who went through life scavenging up every opportunity to free ride.

Those are two different things. One is arrogant, the other mean.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 8:04 AM
horizontal rule
48

43: It was not intended as such. Given 38 and 39, it seems like waiting poses fairly serious problems for at least some people, so condemning people like this guy may be more desirable that I anticipated.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 8:14 AM
horizontal rule
49

46: They don't call it StudlyCaps for nothin'.

I've never thought of the handicapped stall as reserved myself, but if I walked out of one to see a guy in a wheelchair glaring at me, I'd probably start thinking so. So this makes me think it is analogous to the parking space.

And: nobody in Rwanda is lactose intolerant.

Not at all true, but more accurate than I'd have guessed:

Three-fourths of the adult Tutsi of Rwanda and Burundi have a high ability to digest lactose, while only 5% of the adults of the neighboring Shi people of eastern Congo can


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
50

I have pondered this handicapped stall thing at some length: what about bathrooms with only two or three stalls, and one is handicapped? What about fast food bathrooms with one toilet that is handicapped accessible? I don't think I one-size-fits-stall policy is really appropriate; you have to consider the circumstances.

Family bathrooms in an airport, on the other hand: don't be a jerk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 8:33 AM
horizontal rule
51

Another thing to consider is that it can take some (not all) wheelchair bound people a heck of a long time to navigate a bathroom trip, even when you have a dedicated handicapped stall that is open for them.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
52

In bathrooms with only one stall, a handicapped stall, you have to limp out of the bathroom and keep limping until you're out of sight.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
53

I've never thought of the handicapped stall as reserved myself, but if I walked out of one to see a guy in a wheelchair glaring at me, I'd probably start thinking so

Nah. Lots of those guys glare at everyone for no particular reason at all. Also, as mentioned before, some handicaps aren't all that visible. I got lots of glares parking the two-seater sports car in handicapped spaces when driving the transplant patient around. She looked ok but had the endurance of a half-drowned puppy during those soap opera episodes.

As for enforcing norms, one does so at one's own risk. Had anyone gotten confrontational with me back then they would have suffered greatly.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
54

The standard toilets at O'Hare are perhaps the smallest I've experienced in public restrooms in the U.S. Not the stalls, the toilets themselves. For a person of size, cleanup can be an exceptional challenge once one's business is complete. If the family restrooms have larger toilets, they would be a tempting alternative (I don't recall whether the handicapped toilets are different than the majority).


Posted by: Too Many Variables | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
55

see, KR, that's why I just change suits out in the waiting area.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
56

My father developed MS when I was just a wee lad and I rew up with the whole handicapped parking place and bathroom stall thing. There is a big difference between the reasons for each that make them not comparable.

Parking places are all about providing ready access; ideally, they minimize the amount one has to go and provide extra space for things like the motorized chair lift to swing out the door.

Handicapped bathroom stalls are all about providing appropriate facilities. This is not just space for a wheelchair, my dad had a scooter but could amble around for short distances. But he absolutely needed the extra railings and the higher seat. He could not lift himself off of a regular toilet. (Also having grown up in a handicap-friendly house I have to say I think "normal" toilets are a bit on the short side.) But the most important thing was the existence of the handicapped stall. It was never a big deal to wait for an able bodied user to finish, and if here is a line and people see you actually need it generally they just stand aside and let the handicapped person through to the head of the line.

Just based on my own gut feeling developed growing up in a handicapped household, handicapped parking spaces are sacred while the bathroom stalls are fair game. It only matters that they are there.


Posted by: ukko | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
57

Wow, that was only semi-literate my part. Hope you get the gist and I will preview next time... I promise.. Honest...


Posted by: ukko | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:08 AM
horizontal rule
58

Also having grown up in a handicap-friendly house I have to say I think "normal" toilets are a bit on the short side.

I had to use a raised toilet seat thingy last year and they are pretty comfortable. But one does worry about splash when releasing from so far up.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
59

Does this mean I'm allowed to walk up the wheelchair ramp too? Sweet.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
60

You have to have a pretty good understanding of your temper and an ability to manage confrontation to do stuff like this. I'm not sure I do, and so I now try to avoid performing this type of norm enforcement.

Yeah, this is interesting. I go through this whenever I witness people littering.

Littering, for fuck's sake: unless I'm in an especially depressed, affectless mood, I see red. I want to leap up (or out of my car), stride along over to them, and demand to know Just What the Fuck they think they're doing, Pick that up, you Asshole, I can't Believe you just Threw that on the Ground like that, and right in front of everybody too, wtf wtf.

But I've done this only once, was sneered at, and wound up picking up the litter myself. This has a lot to do with the fact that I'm a white female living in a city that's roughly 50/50 black/white.

I fondly remember seeing a youngish white guy jump out of his car at a stop light to bitch out, with great upset, a big black guy in an SUV who'd just dangerously cut him off: White guy was gesticulating and ranting by the driver's window: "You could have killed me, you keep doing that, you're gonna seriously hurt someone one of these days, so fuck you! Fuck you, you better pay attention, don't look away ..." Black guy was sitting at the wheel totally speechless, staring straight ahead. White guy had the line of traffic at the light backed up while he said his piece. I figure the white guy must have been from the west coast.

So great.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
61

Just based on my own gut feeling developed growing up in a handicapped household, handicapped parking spaces are sacred while the bathroom stalls are fair game. It only matters that they are there.

Thanks ukkko, this has always been what I presumed.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
62

handicapped parking spaces are sacred while the bathroom stalls are fair game.

I am not so sure - I've got MS and having to wait for a stall has caused more than one accident. Places that have added a changing table to the only HC bathroom really annoy me - add a family rest room. Situations like Will's are not that uncommon anymore, and we should build like it.


Posted by: tantalus | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
63

This exact same thing happened to me when I was in the airport a few weeks ago. I was very pissed at the single guy who had been hogging the family room until he darted back in there as soon as we came out, and I realized he must have had some bowel disorder of one sort or another that left him unable or otherwise deeply uncomfortable using the multi-stalled mens room. Then I felt more compassionate.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
64

I could have gotten the handicapped-parking thingy just for having twins; apparently some of the people at the DMV allow that loading and unloading multiple infants/small children in certain situations qualifies as a handicap. I never bothered, so my moral outrage against people who abuse such privileges remains undiluted. That includes people who park their enormous fucking SUVs in spots clearly marked for compacts, who should get the Ken McElroy treatment.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:34 PM
horizontal rule
65

Okay, Will wins the thread on the "this is the problem: when you don't need the facility, you're not always capable of imagining what it's like for people who do" grounds. But I thank Ukko for assuaging my conscience a little on the handicapped stall use.

Parsimon, on littering, I don't confront people. But I do pick up litter when I see it and throw it away.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 12:34 PM
horizontal rule
66

tantalus: I understand, but I never had a situation with my father where we were not able to "cut" in line ahead of the able-bodied. Then waiting for just the current occupant was usually not too bad. Whenever we did not make it we were really cutting things too close as it was. I guess part of it is how mobile a person is, we always had to move slow and deliberatly, after the hassle of getting to the restroom itself waiting for one person was not a big deal in the larger scheme of things.

I would say that one of the biggest problems is that there are lots of handicapped facilities that are designed to meet a requirement and not thought about actual usefulness. Things like having hand rails in useless locations, or not having a sane way to transition from the chair. Handicapped hotel rooms were bad in this way, I did not see it but once when my parents were visiting they stayed in a hotel with a "roll in shower" that had the toilet and sink paced so that you could not actually maneuver a chair into the shower. Good intentions -- bad execution.

We have lots of funny (in hindsight) restroom adventures (in a PG non-wide-stance sort of way) and you really don't know the kindness of strangers until you have some random truckers help drag your dad out of a stall after he fell and can't get back up. Some of the drugs they use to treat MS have wicked side effects that kick in at odd times.

Ogged: The pedestal on proper handicapped toilets is higher and the drop need not be any different. If you are looking for the plop-free experience try to score a german one with what we always referred to as the shit-shelf.

On littering: One of my past jobs was the guy with a nail on a stick (a "frog-stabber" in the trade lingo) picking up trash and I cannot abide littering to this day. This past summer I had like three pieces of paper blown out of my car when the top was down, and I still feel bad.


Posted by: ukko | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
67

Gah, they had a shelf toilet at my cousin's in the Netherlands. Horrible. Submerge! Submerge, dammit!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
68

I've never seen one of those, but it looks to be quite possibly the worst invention ever.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
69

If you are looking for the plop-free experience try to score a german one

I just thought this should be remarked.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 10:47 PM
horizontal rule
70

What's the customary tip for the attendant in a family toilet ?


Posted by: Econolicious, aka Anonymous D | Link to this comment | 11-11-07 11:27 PM
horizontal rule
71


Gah, they had a shelf toilet at my cousin's in the Netherlands. Horrible. Submerge! Submerge, dammit!

but, but, how else will you know everything is still functioning okay back there?


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 6:08 AM
horizontal rule
72

Besides, you should be proud of all your works.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 11-12-07 6:09 AM
horizontal rule