Sunday, November 28, 2010

Miss Manners

There is a house that has been converted to office space.

I'm always a little puzzled - does one just walk in like you would a normal business office or stop at the front door and knock? When needing a signature from them I've opted for knocking and it seems to work as they always come promptly and answer my inquiries.

Best to err on the side of caution, yes?

Keeping that in mind...

I go into a convenience store yesterday. I need the wash room and inquire if I might use it. The clerk smiles, nods & waves her hand toward the back of the store. The door to the men's and women's rooms are both open. I can see that each is a single seater with no 'stalls'. I enter the women's, close the door and lock it.

So far, so good. However, I have tried to lock doors before only to find that they spring open when the knob is turned from the outside. And frankly, there are few things as uncomfortable as having yer britches down around your ankles when a door pops open leaving you and your disheveled self on view to the world.

Never happened to you? Well, just wait. You live long enough and go to the bathroom often enough and it'll happen sooner or later, a time or two or three.

As I sit down I eye the lock with skepticism, but really, I have other matters to attend to ...

Not more than a minute later I hear footsteps and a body collides with the door as the knob is turned.

The lock holds and I let out the breath I was unaware I was holding and sang out...."occupied".

There are no retreating footsteps and not 10 seconds later another person approaches and vigorously works the door knob.

Again... "occupied!"

Okay ladies...Lets review the facts.

There is another bathroom directly across the hall (marked MENS) that has the door WIDE open. One can not miss it. There is one toilet. Chances are the room you are trying to enter is the same design. So if the door is closed there may be someone in there.

Next I'm sure woman #2 was not personally acquainted with woman #1. Unless you're someplace where there are a lot of creepers, if another woman is standing in front of the women's restroom and not going in? Once again, it could be a clue that it is in use. Trying to wrench the door off of its frame is just brutish.

Finally, I must say, in my defense, that I was tending to matters as quickly as possible. Bad form to camp in the water closet, eh old chap?

But what I really want to know is: what ever happened to the nicety of knocking before one tries to barge thru a closed door?

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