Saturday, May 30, 2015

Accessible Bathrooms

I've been doing a lot of mystery shopping jobs lately and it has resulted in my using a lot of public restrooms.  I think I have a bladder about the size of a pea.  Therefore, I have to pee frequently.

When using a public restroom, I use the accessible stall if there is one available when I have Isaac with me.  Which is almost always.  Isaac and I can squeeze into a very tiny toilet stall if we have to, but we both prefer more room.  With many stalls, the doors open inward and while Isaac and I are able to squeeze in, it then becomes very difficult to get the door open when I'm done in order for Isaac to get out.

Anyway, since I've had to use public restrooms more often lately, I've come to realize how often other people seem to prefer the larger stall, too, even if they don't really need the extra room.  Of course, it might not always be obvious to me that someone needs the extra room, but if they are an average-sized person and are not using any assistive devices like wheelchairs or walkers or canes or service dogs, it seems likely to me that they can use the regular-sized stall.

One two occasions, I actually had someone push past me, practically pushing me out of their way, in order to beat me to the larger, accessible stall.  In once case, this was actually a store employee (and since I was mystery shopping at that store, I made sure to describe what happened in detail in my report).

On several other occasions, I've gone into the restroom to discover the larger, accessible stall was in use, so Isaac and I went into a smaller, non-accessible stall.  We came out to discover the person that had been in the larger, accessible stall did not appear to need it.

If you are wondering, here is what is generally considered proper etiquette regarding use of an accessible bathroom stall.  There are no laws about it, as there are with regard to accessible parking spaces.  It's just respectful.  It's just polite.  It's good manners and the right thing to do.

1.  If you need the larger, accessible stall, then use it.  If you need it because you have an assistive device or are a larger-sized person or have poor balance and need the handrails (which are usually only found in that stall) or for any other reason, use the larger stall.  Even if you think you don't look like you need it, if you need it, use it.

2.  If you don't need the larger, accessible stall, use another, smaller stall if one is available.  Leave the larger stall for those that really need it.  Let's use the honor system here.  You know if you really need the extra room or not.

3.  If all the smaller stalls are taken, it is generally considered OK to use the larger one even if you don't really need it.  I suggest using your best judgment here.  Of course you cannot predict the future and you have no way of knowing if someone that really needs that bigger stall is going to come through the bathroom door in the  next 30 seconds.  You can decide if you think it's better to wait for a smaller stall to be available or to go ahead and use the bigger one.  But in general, don't use the bigger stall unless you need to.

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog Post :) Common curtsey and common sense and great thoughts you convey especially when one has a service dog.