Social Question

Trillian's avatar

Which stall do you take? Do you have a preference?

Asked by Trillian (21116points) March 25th, 2012

I’m writing from work because I thought of a question and had a minute, so….
When using a public estroom, I always take an end stall. I don’t care which, but I don’t want people sitting on either side of me if I can help it. I also try not to sit right next to someone if I can avoid it. I’ll wait.
I don’t understand why someone would choose a stall right next to someone if there are open stalls further down. It really bothers me to have someone plop themselves down right smack next to me if they don’t have to,
I understand that there is the barrier of a wall there, but it’s mostly psychological. Geographically speaking, that places you within two feet of me and I really, really would rather that you sat a bit firther down.
I won’t get into the cleanliness thing right now, I’m more concerned with people being inside of what I consider to be my bubble. What do you do when you are in a public restroom? Do you care? Do you even notice?

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47 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Anyone where I can use my wide stance.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

I agree, I take an end stall as far away from the “crowd” as possible. I would also take the one next to a handicapped stall since chances are you’ll only have someone on one side.

Some people don’t even think about this or care if anyone is next to them… I’m just not like that.

Honestly .. unless I have no other choice .. I avoid public restrooms at all costs! Yech .. just plain Yech!!

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t put that much thought into it and I definitely don’t look to see if there is someone in the next stall before going into one of them. The only thing I look at when choosing a stall is finding one that’s clean. I don’t have a certain one I always go to.

Coloma's avatar

I almost always go for the bigger handicap stall and have never had a situation where I caused a truly handicapped person to have to wait. I prefer the bigger stall, and the extra space. I don’t have a problem with being next to someone else if that’s the way it is. I am not an “anal” person. Pun intended.

I also do not EVER go poo in public restrooms, only the quickly number one thing.
No, I don’t park in handicap parking spaces. lol
Hey, we’ve got it good here in the U.S. I traveled in Asia 2 years ago and be grateful that you are not having to squat over tiled basins in the floor, on moving trains etc.
One restaurant, a very NICE restaurant, the men & womens bathrooms were separated by only some decorative bamboo sculpture.

When at the sink washing your hands you could see the men lined up pissing through the bamboo.
It became my travel pals and my mission to immediately scope out the bathroom scene and finding an american toilet was sheer joy! That was one of the first things we’d do, go check out the bathrooms, and some of them would have one REAL toilet at the very end of all the basins in the floor. Jump for joy, no pissing on your pant legs and splattering your shoes!

marinelife's avatar

I am exactly like you, @Trillian!

DrBill's avatar

I use the handicapped, because I have to. and a lot of time have to wait for the healthy person to get done and leave

Coloma's avatar

@DrBill Just how handicapped can you be if you are able to tote around a 40 lb. cat? jk ;-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@DrBill How often do you have to wait? I prefer the handicap stall too, but I never had to make someone wait that needed the stall.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I will do everything in my power to not to use a public facility. My pristine posterior prefers purified potties. I rarely use a stall. But when I must, I select the one next to the end. I figure most people use the end one (like you) and most people try to avoid sitting next to an occupied stall (like you) so the next to the last one is the least used.

Coloma's avatar

@LuckyGuy Haha, leave it to the brain of an engineer to calculate the least used toilet.
What about structural soundness? Laughing, laughing! ;-)

DrBill's avatar

I wait about 50% to 80% of the time depending on location
i.e. Grocery about 50%, Movie theater about 80+%
@Coloma I have PM’d your answer

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@DrBill That’s a lot of inconvenience. I guess I’m not using the handicap stall any more.

Kardamom's avatar

Being a female, it really doesn’t matter to me which stall I use. Us gals can be pretty chatty in the bathroom whilst doing our business and oftentimes you have to ask if the gal in the next stall “can spare a square.” But I never actually sit down, I always hover over the bowl and use a piece of tissue to open the door when I exit. Plus I always have my own hand sanitizer in my purse to use, even after I’ve washed my hands with soap and water. The worst thing is when they don’t have a hook to hang my bag, then I have to hold onto it, whilst hovering over the bowl, which is quite a balancng act. You don’t ever want to put your bag down on the floor of a public toilet!

Coloma's avatar

Yep, gives pause for thought, I’d feel terrible if I kept someone in need waiting.
Then again, I’m sorta handicapped, I have mid-life dementia setting in. ;-)

Actually, I also HATE the auto flush toilets…scares the crap out of me every time! ;-)
Some go off the second you stand up, others have a delayed flush and the startle factor drives me nuts! haha

Coloma's avatar

@Kardamom Yes! This is why I go for the handicapped stalls because often they are the only ones with a hook to hang my purse or jacket. I refuse to let my belongings touch the floor too! Gag!

filmfann's avatar

I remember reading a guide to life, which instructed that scoring a handicapped stall is like getting a bigger apartment. I usually go for that one, or the one furthest from the door. Lighting is important, and a window usually means a place to set your newspaper.
I am very territorial, so once I use stall #3, I will continue using that stall.

flutherother's avatar

With men there is an unwritten rule that urinal protocol must be observed at all times. It is built into our genes.

josie's avatar

Depends on how bad I have to go. If there is a “crisis”, I will take any stall I can get.
If I can choose, I’ll take the end against the wall.
Having only one flank exposed is a better position than having both exposed.

marinelife's avatar

@DrBill How can you tell the person is healthy from the surface? They could have a heart condition or an ostomy.

MilkyWay's avatar

I just look for one which is flushed and has a clean toilet seat… I don’t like being in the middle though either. It’s like, someone can see your shoes, and hear you, and know you’re there… (cringe). Ideally I’d just hold it in till I got home.

Kardamom's avatar

^^ Yes, I will walk out of a stall immediately if I see it hasn’t been flushed, or worse yet, there is a used item of feminine protection laying on the floor. You’d think that that would be uncommon, but it’s not. I have no idea why people can’t put those things in the little trashcan that is provided just for that purpose. I’ve also ran right back out of stalls where there is poo sprayed all over the seat and the the tank. How does that even happen???

MilkyWay's avatar

@Kardamom They ate way too much chilli perhaps? I don’t know! Euch!

Coloma's avatar

Alright, let’s not get too graphic in describing the unflushed zone.
I have been extremely traumatized walking into sheer carnage in a stall…WTH is WRONG with people that don’t flush! Aaaagh!

MilkyWay's avatar

Hahahaha! “The unflushed zone”. Hahahahaaha!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Now you’re just getting gross.

john65pennington's avatar

I can see absolutely no difference in where I sit. We are all in there for the same reason, so what difference does a stall choice make?

Whatever is open, I will take and get it done.

rojo's avatar

The empty one.

Coloma's avatar

Seriously, when I got back from Asia I threw away a $100 pair of boots that were completely tainted from being spattered with urine and traversing some really funky cities. It was just gross.
I loved those boots but there was no way to disinfect them, they were NEVER going back in my closet again. haha

rojo's avatar

In Belize there was a sign on the toilet that said “Please do not flush the toilet with your feet”. Evidently this is a problem there and while I can see why someone might want to do that, I do wash my hands afterward anyway.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Hey @DrBill I was one of the apparently healthy looking guys you had to wait for. After I had my prostate removed and while I was still packin’ pee pads, I would use the handicapped toilet if the other toilet was in use. I had to drop trou’ to pee and could not hold it for more than a few seconds. The rules of public decorum clearly prohibit the use of urinals when one’s bare butt is exposed.

@flutherother That is a great link. Now I know the math! Thanks1

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @LuckyGuy you can’t always tell what “handicapped” is. It is not just obvious wheelchair bound people. Also, as a woman, let me tell you, there are times when us girls are on the verge of a feminine accident shall we say, and getting to a bathroom is top priority before our failing feminine protection completely fails. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

@DrBill Does this happen a lot? I use the handicap stalls too, sometimes and never caused anyone to have to wait.

Kardamom's avatar

@Coloma Your use of the word carnage is very apt. I’ve fled from some toilet stalls that looked as though a murder had been comitted. Me and my best friend have also noted that meat poo is often much more, hmmm trying to find the right word, animated? determined? life-like? rhhoids gone wrong???

Trillian's avatar

@Kardamom, I’ll walk out too. I sometimes wonder; “What the hell were you doing in there to get it on the seat in that place? How is that even possible without actively trying?”
My mon would shake her head and say in amazed puzzlement “What’s the MATTER with people?”

Kardamom's avatar

@Trillian Not only on the seat, but on the tank and the wall behind the tank!!!

Coloma's avatar

@Kardamom Haha, yes, horse and goose poo is nothing like cat & dog poo. Carnivores are stinky little poopers. When I scoop the litter boxes which are in my garage and accessed via the cat door I always pull my shirt up over my face, hold my breath and then, have to run out of the garage for a few seconds to take a breath of fresh air!

Still..I’ll take cat & dog poo over human canrivore poo any day o’ the week.
Honestly I am in absolute AWE of caregivers than can do adult diaper detail, bless their hearts, and please shoot me before I get to the diaper stage on old age. :-/

wildpotato's avatar

I almost always try to use the handicapped stall because it’s usually the only stall where negotiating an exit does not involve briefly brushing up against the toilet because the stupid bathroom designers didn’t leave enough space. I would rather save the spot for folks who are more handicapped than I am, but I’m just too grossed out by the thought of my pants contacting dried piss from strangers.

Dutchess_III's avatar

sigh. the silly paranoia that our society has created.

Kardamom's avatar

^^ You’re not saying that you like piss on your pants are you, dearest? LOL

Dutchess_III's avatar

Of course not. But I’m also not afraid that something hideous is going to happen if I DO come into brief contact with urine, mine or someone else’s. I don’t waste my time worrying about silly stuff like that.

stardust's avatar

It doesn’t matter. As long as it’s clean and it has a lock, it’s fine for me.

Berserker's avatar

I always take the end stall if it’s available. Must be a habit left of my school days when I always sat in the very back of the bus.

Coloma's avatar

Looks like we have “eliminated” any further need to discuss stall preference and everyone has “evacuated” this thread.

linguaphile's avatar

Uh… I tend to use the first stall by the door. It’s the least used stall.

I developed a pure, deepset hatred for hoverers who never wiped after themselves when I had a baby girl… She was too short to hover, and her anatomy somehow didn’t allow her to pee downwards, but diagonally, and she was too wiggly to hold above the toilet at an angle to direct her pee without splashing some of her pee on me. It is totally insane to have to tell a 2 year old who is being potty trained to hold-hold-hold it while you sanitize the seat, roll out toilet paper to cover the seat (with her screaming pottypottypotty!) and remove her clothing then plop her carefully on the toilet paper. There should be a solution for this… but thank god this phase is long over.

If women didn’t hover and splash all over, and if people just were cleaner overall, this wouldn’t be a dilemma for little daughters. She is still not tall enough to hover, so I still carry sanitizers and roll out rows of toilet paper to cover the seats.

augustlan's avatar

I’m inclined to the second stall from the door, for absolutely no good reason. I once saw a study (so long ago I don’t remember the source) that this stall is actually the most used one, because people naturally assume that the first stall is most used, so they pick the second. Even knowing that didn’t change my preference.

I’m not a hoverer or a cover-er… I sit right down on the seat (unless it’s obviously wet/dirty). Nothing you can catch from a toilet seat is going to kill me, and once I’m dressed again and have washed my hands, I’m not going to be touching my ass, so I just don’t worry about it!

OpryLeigh's avatar

I too, try not to sit in the stall directly next to someone where possible although, if I need to go and the only stall available is next to someone then I won’t wait. Like @augustlan, I don’t bother hovering either. I check the seat to make sure that it isn’t covered in someone elses piss and then plonk my bum down. I tried to hover once but found it really difficult to go in that position (trying to keep my balance and pee at the same time obviously isn’t my forte!)

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