The only rule for use of cell phones in a public restroom

After having  read the title to this blog posting, you’re probably saying to yourself, “What?! Silly Sparrow…there’s no such thing as public bathroom phone etiquette!” Oh yes, I assure you, there very definitely is such a thing. There is one, just one, rule when considering whether to use the cell phone while in a public restroom, and it is as follows:

1. Don’t even freakin’ think about it.

The only caveat to that rule is if you are having an emergency that necessitates you to dial out for help. In that event it’s perfectly acceptable, but only in that event.

The reason I’m blogging about this today is because I had yet another experience in the ladies room dealing with this very topic. It might be a little different for guys, so you men who read this will have to comment and let me know, but when a woman goes into the restroom, the last thing you want is an audience. Not that anyone will see you doing your business, but sounds certainly carry in the echo chambers that are public restrooms. Yes, there is no real privacy, but we ladies like to pretend that there is, and anything that violates that makes us feel insecure and strange. And pissed off.

So, having said all that, I have a few bullet points to share with those who feel free to use the cell phone while sitting on the john in a public restroom:

Speaking quietly into your cellphone will not make it any less difficult to hear you. Again, public bathrooms are echo chambers, and sound carries. Nobody wants to hear the gory details of your life, especially when we have other “matters” to concentrate on.

Using the cell phone while you are sitting on the toilet makes you look pretty pathetic. Yeah, we saw you walk out of that stall after having that gossipy/angry/sad conversation. Bathroom stalls are very much like tents…the walls only give you an illusion of privacy. It’s not the same as being in a real room with a closed-door. Now we know the gory details…thanks – NOT! Next time I see you in the hallway at work, or try to take you seriously during a meeting, this is the thing I will remember about you the most. Please, for Gods sake, please go to your car, find a room with a door, walk away a distance from others, but do not spill personal life details while sitting on the can at work.


That's right...she knows what you're doing.

Please consider that the person on the other end of your phone call most likely will not want to hear you taking a leak while they are trying to have a conversation with you. You can pretend all you want that they won’t know the difference, but I assure you they will. It’s happened to me, and I can tell you that the tell-tale echoey qualities of a bathroom coupled with the sounds of tinkling or, worse yet, grunting, in the background will tip them off. ( I think I just barfed in my mouth a little…ugh)

For the rest of us who know better than to do such a crass thing, what’s to be done when dealing with these rude actions? Shall we declare that we’re mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore by doing our best impressions of someone having eaten several burritos too many last night’s for supper? Shall we bang on the stall wall and demand they hang up or leave? Should we rain down toilet paper rolls on top of their heads until they cry for mercy? Or should we just mind our own business while having to endure their rudeness?  I don’t know what the right remedy is for this situation, but I do know that it’s becoming all too common.

What say you? If you were Queen, or King, for the day, how would you fix this issue?

4 thoughts on “The only rule for use of cell phones in a public restroom

Add yours

  1. I was just searching of ways to mask the dreaded echo when on a cell in a bathroom. I agree with you but don’t know what’s worse, the user or the person on the other end calling you on it. Just give me the benefit of the dought, I might be taking the stairs. I run a small business and I’d I want a coustomer to call where do you think I go? It never fails.

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