Using a public toilet in a shopping mall, train station or festival calls for certain adjustments due to the uncertainty of some facilities. Toilets that are regularly supervised by a cleaning staff or portable unit hire staff could present a more pleasant experience. In other words, toilets that are not regularly cleaned may require certain mental and physical preparedness.
Practical ways to prepare before using a public toilet
1) Pay attention to wet floor signs: It is not uncommon to find the floor of a public toilet wet from water spill, urine or toilet cleaners. Being observant to wet floor signs will ensure you walk into the toilet gently whilst maintaining a firm balance.
2) Place your mobile phones in your pocket or handbag: It is quite easy to spend one’s toilet moment replying to emails, texting, posting on social media or making a phone call. Our phones are exposed to bacteria when we use them in a public toilet and we run the risk of accidentally dropping them in the toilet whilst flushing.
3) Finish chewing before entering the toilet: Public toilets could be somewhat unwelcoming with the unpleasant smell they generate. You just grabbed a sandwich at a train station, and have a mouth full when you suddenly realised you need to have a quick wee. It is best to finish eating your sandwich or snack before encountering a hostile smell from a busy public toilet. Failing to do so could make you feel like throwing up.
4) It is not a place for exchanging pleasantries: Everyone entering a public toilet has a goal in mind. It is either for a pee or poo, making friends is not an objective. Be prepared to avoid eye contacts and keep a straight face whenever possible as it shows you are there to do your business. It is not out of place to say hello to an ex-schoolmate or the staff cleaning the facilities.
5) Be prepared for the worse when raising the toilet cover: We are reminded it is best to let down the toilet cover before flushing. This reduces the spread of bacteria from faeces. It is quite common to meet the toilet cover down in a public cubicle. When lifting the seats, be prepared for the worse.
6) Avoid urine splatter from the user to your right or left: Leaving a urinal free between you and the next user is part of the unwritten rule in the men’s toilet. This prevents awkward moments like urine splashes or helplessly staring at the wall. In busy times, this golden rule cannot be kept and you will have all the urinals occupied and there could be a possibility of queues as well. You need to plant your feet slightly away from the urinal to avoid any splash from the user to your left or right.
7) Running out of hand wash: You’ve just done a number two and realised the hand wash in the facility has run out. What do you do in this circumstance? It is always a great idea to have hand santisers in your bag to ensure situations like this could be remedied.
8) Avoiding a handshake from a friend you met in the toilet: Have you ever met an old friend or ex-schoolmate in a toilet? They are so excited to see you but they’ve just done a poo whilst you are about to do yours. They stretch their hands for a handshake but you are unsure if they’ve had a proper wash of those palms. What do you do? Opting for a fist pump might be a better option to ensure you don’t leave them hanging and you are not left wondering if they have had a good wash.
Using a public toilet could have pleasant and unpleasant moments. Preparing yourself mentally and physically will ensure you are not overwhelmed by any incident.
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