Dear Aunty B,
There are some men in our office who take newspapers and magazines into the loo, appear 10 minutes later and put them back on the lunch table. Some women in the office find this quite disgusting while the men cannot see a single thing wrong with it (although some agree that while it’s OK to read in the loo, the magazines and newspapers should not go back on the lunch table).
As a woman, I do find this habit unnecessary and would be quite happy to ban it outright except my business partner (male) is one of the worst offenders, and when I raise this issue with him, he ridicules me about my focus on trivial petty things.
Now some of our female staff are getting so annoyed, they are refusing to tidy the lunch table. I fear I will have a mutiny on my hands and have absolutely no idea what to do. I tried anonymously to put a sign up one day on the men’s room door saying no newspapers or mags allowed but someone just tore it off (I suspect my business partner).
Curl Curl, NSW
Eeeeww, yuk! Loo wars with men facing women on front lines! Phew. What a problem.
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But Sarah, what is this passive aggressive nonsense about anonymously putting a notice on the door? What a wimp!
Sarah, you are running a business where people have to spend at least eight hours a day working alongside each other.
There are certain things you do not do, such as picking your earwax and eating it, clipping your toenails/fingernails and flossing your teeth at your desk.
As for the unhygienic practice of putting the magazines and newspapers BACK on the lunch table… what are they thinking?
OK. Here is what to do.
Immediately send around an email pointing out that the problem is offending some members of staff and call for the practice to stop immediately.
Point out that as always the company will offer the necessary assistance.
This can include laxatives to hurry up those who favour the 15 minute break warming the throne, and consultants for those who missed basic toddler training on hygiene, handwashing, taking comics to the toilet etc.
Point out that if people do not comply, you will be forced to take the next step which is to publish a name and shame list that will be updated daily on the office whiteboard. Magazines and newspapers that visit the loo will be thrown out and the cost accredited to offending staff member.
When your business partner storms into your office to complain, look astonished and point out that you thought he had better things to do than raise such petty issues with you. Then take him out to lunch and tell him your next idea to make a million bucks.
Lastly visit the male loo (don’t forget to hold your nose… why can’t men aim straight) collect any mags and newspapers you find, throw them in the bin and replace them with egg timers.
I would say by lunchtime tomorrow you won’t have a problem!
Your Aunty B.