Monday, June 6, 2011

...Fascinated by the sign in the second stall

I was a temp at a media company 2 days a week for the last 6 months. The position was wholy unremarkable with the exception of the sign clinging to the back of the second stall door in the women's bathroom. My greatest regret in life is that I never took an actual picture of the sign, but here's what it said accompanied by a brief description of the corresponding clip art:

(arrow) Please be considerate and flush. It doesn't take that much effort to push the little metal handle on the side. Do it more than once if necessary. (toilet with action/emphasis lines and plunger clip art)
(arrow) Be sure to throw all paper waste in the garbage. (woman with one squinty eye smiling throwing stuffed bag in garbage)
Thank you so very much.
Remember this is our bathroom, we all use it!!!
I love that this poster is so angry. I love that it is both condescending and subservient. I love that the janitor who posted this sign clearly did so without bothering with corporate approval. I love that there was a need for this sign! And the questions it poses: The office was perfectly tidy when I was there, what kind of war zone was it back in October? Why is this the only stall with a sign? Did the signs on the other stalls get ripped 6 months ago and if so, why does no one take this one down? Did no one else notice the sign or conversely, in an office devoid of humor, did everyone else look forward to giggling while they hovered over the toilet?
Now that I think of it, there was another brilliant, angry sign on the wall near the sinks. Can't believe that I didn't snap a photo of either one! This one had 2 pictures, both awkwardly staged: The first, a lady's hand holding a piece of toilet paper over the toilet. The other- same hand, same toilet, but with a roll of toilet paper. This one read:
One piece will do the trick
One roll will get you fired quick!
So, THAT'S why I wasn't hired. I met with my superior and the head of the company, but the janitor...I knew that interview didn't go well! Either that or because I spent a significant time in the bathroom with a paper and pencil.


  1. Nice piece of writing. I once was a janitor and made signs of my own. I did it largely to amuse myself while doing a boring job.
    Your uncle.....bill

  2. I love angry office signs. I always figured they were created by disgruntled cubicle jockeys, but the idea that a janitor might make one...well that's great.