THAT’s the question.
(I’m so sorry, Mr. Shakespeare)
Here’s the story:
When tugboat man was still here and we were having our house re-roofed, one of the guys slipped and stuck his foot through the ceiling in our upstairs office.
I’m happy to say he wasn’t hurt at all.
Later on that day, the roofer’s drywall friend came over to do the repair.
Hub requested that I cover all the furniture and the rug in the vicinity of the hole to protect it from dust and stuff ‘cos he knows how freaky OCD I get about dirt, and the whole roofing experience triggered all THOSE issues.
After I found some old sheets and draped the area, I went downstairs to wash dishes while hub chatted with the repairman.
Hub came down to the kitchen to get a glass of ice water and my bat ears (that’s what I’m called cos I hear EVERYTHING) picked up the sound of the upstairs toilet flushing.
I looked at hub in horror.
“That wasn’t the drywall guy flushing the toilet, was it?”
“Yes, it was.”
“Do you mean that he USED OUR BATHROOM?”
“Did he ask you if he could use our bathroom?”
“Yes, why?” As he’s looking at me quizzically.
“And did you say yes?”
(Now I hear the sound of running water.)
I’m hyperventilating, my mind’s eye scanning each and every surface this person must have touched; the toilet seat, the flushing handle, the water faucet, a towel (a TOWEL!), and the light switch. Oh, and the door knob. Both of them.
I’m seeing germs, I’m seeing hoards of stranger germs (stranger danger STRANGER DANGER!) multiplying and spreading all over the bathroom and overflowing down the stairs to invade each and every corner of our house.
I’m thinking of the horror stories I’ve heard about stuff being stolen—or OMG WHAT IF HE WENT NUMBER TWO?
I’m not really a snob (I’m NOT!) but this was not someone we hired; it was a friend or acquaintenance of our roofer and we didn’t know his name or anything about him.
What if he had some kind of disease?
I couldn’t even handle that.
In a very controlled voice, I asked…”Don’t you know that as a general practice, one never allows strangers to use our personal bathrooms? I mean, we don’t even really have a guest powder room or anything. This is private.”
“No, I didn’t know that.”
“Do you mean that in the twenty-five or so years that we’ve been together, you didn’t know that that was one of the things I just cannot abide?”
(Did I just hear him whisper to himself that right now It feels like 40 million years?)
“No really, I didn’t know that, but why not?”
“WHY NOT? Because it’s just not done, that’s why!”
“Well, what was I supposed to say?”
“I don’t know, what I say is either, I’d prefer that you didn’t, or It’s not something I’m comfortable with or maybe, I have a crazy wife, so you probably shouldn’t.”
I mean, here’s the thing…there are two kinds of people; those who don’t care if strangers use their toilets, and those who think it’s not appropriate for a stranger, especially one who’s there to do a job, to use the customer’s facilities.
Most contractors bring their own porta potty for jobs that take a few days, or they leave to use the restroom at a restaurant or anywhere else but here.
When he finished the small job of fixing the ceiling, I donned my ubiquitous yellow rubber gloves, a respirator mask (not really) and a gallon of bleach and rushed into the inow possibly-infected-with-stranger-danger-germs bathroom.
To add insult to injury, do you know what I found?
HE LEFT THE SEAT UP.
Yup. He left the seat UP.
I yelled that to hub, “HE LEFT THE SEAT UP!!”
I could hear hub muttering to himself; I don’t even want to know what he said.
Ick. Yuck. I spent the next hour totally disinfecting every surface.
Don’t think I’m like this when friends or family visit; of course not, not if I know them, their genetic makeup, their social security number, their address, their medical history…JUST KIDDING!
According to a discussion of this very topic on Angie’s List, here’s one contractor’s thoughts: David Webber, who owns David’s Home Cleaning in Raleigh, N.C., says he would never think of using a client’s bathroom except in a dire emergency, even though he can sometimes be on a job for eight hours.
“It’s like a personal, private space,” Webber says.
On long jobs, he’ll take a break to use a restroom off-site.
Kristopher Toth, owner of Toth Painting Solutions in Parma, Ohio, says he doesn’t expect to use his clients’ bathrooms.
“I think it’s a courtesy; I don’t think we can just assume we can use their bathroom,” Toth says.
What say YOU?
Do you let repairmen use your bathroom? What is YOUR criteria?