Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The writings on the wall

Every so often, they will appear, unannounced and unbidden, upon the stall doors in the bathroom at my office. They're not really passive-aggressive notes so much as patronizing messages, from the mysterious and unnamed mother-figure who apparently watches over our building.

Did you remember to wash your hands?

Ladies please remember to flush when you're done

All female hygiene products must be placed into the recepicle —Someone helpfully inserted a T into that particular misspelled word, but neglected to replace the errant I with an A. I shake my head. The responses to any syntactical error on our restroom PSA's are always merciless, and frequently entertaining.

Last year, the message was a long diatribe about bathroom courtesy and how we should pick up any paper that we happen to drop on the floor, culminating with a preachy "It was harder to get into UMD than that!" and though I unfortunately have forgotten the exact words of the replies, a long handwritten conversation followed, mainly regarding the author's failure to use proper English.

I don't know who comes into the bathroom armed with a pen (I guess a lot of people, if they happen to be students carrying backpacks), but I don't, and sometimes I feel the sorrow of missing out.

Today, when I was unable to dry my hands because of a lack of paper towels in the dispenser, I was tempted to add my own little question to the mix: Did you remember to wash your hands? Yes. Did you remember to stock the paper towels? I would etch it out using the residual wash water that still soaked my fingers--my own little way of writing in blood. But sadly, I didn't think my hand would stay wet long enough, nor would my message fit on the remaining open area of paper. Or last long enough to really be appreciated.

Alas, I am doomed to be ever the observer in the grammatical battleground that is the ladies' room, my smug redactions and wry observations never to see the light of day. Except here. Enjoy them.

2 comments:

Geoff said...

I feel your pain.

Funny story of similar aggression, sort of.

A friend of mine used to work at this large office on a late shift. Every time she would go to the bathroom, she would pass this certain lady's desk who had a note written on it reading "DO NOT PUT ANYTHING ON TOP OF THIS DESK" (or something like that).

So of course, said friend started putting a single piece of white paper on the lady's desk every night.

Oh man. No one ever thinks this story is funny, but I applaud my friend for paying back the office note bitch. +1 for humanity.

Ray Hoy said...

I've been guilty of correcting the spelling/grammar on such notes myself. And I always had a pen or pencil with me while working. I often wanted to leave a note about how the toilet paper should always come over the top of the roll. That is unless you have a cat around that likes to roll it all off onto the floor.