Six Rolls of Toilet Paper

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There are 6 rolls of toilet paper on the back of one of the toilet's here at work.

Violetta and I have struggled to understand this situation for some time now.

Because, you see, despite the fact that there is a plethora of toilet paper rolls to choose from, not a single one has managed to make its way to the toilet paper dispenser. Not one. Why?

Now, I could accept that occasionally someone uses up the current toilet paper roll and forgot to replace it. However, this is a near daily occurrence for both Violetta and myself [to encounter an empty dispenser].

What's going on here?

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You two arenít the only ones who ponder upon this mystery. A few of us on this end of the floor wonder the same thing. one time I was complaining about how much a couldnít stand the people who never replace the roll and the person I was venting to confessed that she is one of those people. I couldnít help but laugh-both at my hysteria over something so minor and the fact that the one time I flipped about it (since itís a daily observation for me too), the person Iím venting to turns out to be a culprit. How funny! She said it was one of those weird things about her-she just didnít like doing it...which made me wonder if there are people who actually enjoy doing it. anyways, since that chat, she said she started to be one of the participating members of the ďI changed the empty toilet roll because itís an unspoken rule that Iím supposed toĒ club.

Yay, a successful conversion! :-)

um.....EXCUSE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! not daily, MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY! I can't stand it. Every time I walk into a toilet, there's an empty roll of toilet paper. Yesterday I counted: THREE TIMES. And every day it's the same thing.

But I know why this is because it drives me insane and it's been that way for two years.

I have the answer.

The more you increase the number of people that use a toilet, and the number of toilets, the less you feel a responsibility, in a geometrically inverse proportion, for keeping the toilet clean and the toilet paper rolls on the dispenser.

We're about thirty or forty women using, what...ten toilets? So each person's responsibility is like....0.000004%.

And we have people who clean the toilet once a day so everyone either thinks "Oh, someone else will do it" or "Oh, the cleaning people will do it."

It still drives me bonkers.

If it is any consolation, we have the same problem here. Big institutional bathroom, messy bathroom. The one that bugs me (the toilet paper doesn't so much because we don't have the option to fill the dispenser since they lock away the spare rolls) is the people who can't seem to hit the waste basket with the paper towels. And those who are so afraid of germs that they use a paper towel to open the door, THEN DROP THE USED PAPER TOWEL ON THE FLOOR! The worst part is that we have a handicap automatically-open-the-door button so if they want to open the door without touching the germy handle, all they have to do is lean on the button with their hip. And what is with the little tiny pieces of toilet paper, some not even a whole sheet, that are all around the floor of the toilets? How do they get there? I have been using this toilet several times a day, five days a week for about eight years (that's over 6000 times!) and have never managed to drop a scrap of toilet paper. Does this make me perfect? No, but it does mean that I really don't understand how they do it. And it is around each of the 4 toilets, all the time. To make things even worse the toilets, which were remodeled about 6 years ago, seem to alway leak so there is water on the floor that the toilet paper hits, creating a real disincentive to picking up that little scrap of paper. I mean, I do pick up the paper towels (yes, I find myself cleaning the public bathroom when I use it), but I can't quite bring myself to clean up the toilet paper.

Mara, I think you have hit a nerve here.

It appears so... any men out there want to tell us what it's like on the other side? Or is it so bad that a paper towel on the floor would be a welcome change?

My mother instilled in my sisters and I that, 1) you change the toilet paper if you use the last of it and 2)that the toilet paper should be placed as to allow the paper to be pulled from the front of the roll.

I can't say that I understood the front of the roll practice, however I find that to this day I always replace my toilet this way and will even adjust someone else's toilet paper roll to this position. The only conclusion that I have come to is that you only touch the toilet paper you are using if you have the paper rolling from the front rather than fumbling with the paper if it unrolls from the back. My mother's reasoning must have been for this also.

The door handle is tricky, perhaps if restrooms had trash cans outside as well as inside, people would throw away their towel scraps.

Actually, I doubt this would work; people are just too freakin lazy to clean up after themselves and take some pride in the areas in which they work and live.

I don't think any guy is going to get into this conversation.

That statement, for the Dornbrook clan, is a challenge.

Either that, or they'll get into a semantic debate about whether they are a guy or not.

The only problem we have is that the sinks are poorly shaped, as well as the counters, so water builds up and frequently ends up on the kids and or me cause they have to lean on the counter to turn on the water, and every now and then I kust forget and lean against it too.

Our counters have the same problem, but I didn't mention it because it is not a function of people's sloppiness, but of bad design. It is also a bugaboo of mine, though, and leads to more mess. And then we have cleaning people who, in an attempt to help, leave stacks of papertowels inbetween the sinks. Since the counters are poorly designed, the papertowels become a sodden mess. (Can you tell I really hate this bathroom?)

As for the placement of the paper, I prefer mine to come from the bottom, but I have decided that this depends on the placement of the roller. Since my dispenser is at or above shoulder height, it is physically more convenient to have it come out below. In some of the hotels I have stayed, where the dispenser is below seat level, it is easier to access from above, therefore indicating for the paper to come out above.

In all cases, I respect the right of others to self-determine the direction of their toilet paper, and though I may curse and fumble, I will not rearrange others toilet paper. If I need to replace toilet paper in said bathroom, I will even replace it the way I found it. I expect the same respect of my toilet paper choice.

And I do have a tendency to use "guys" generically -- meaning people. Not sure where that one came from. Verbal laziness?

For those waiting for the response of the "guys", Nathan has a valid excuse; his DSL will be down for a week.

I spoke with him yesterday, but I will let him explain why he is internetless.

Oh, and as far as rearranging the toilet paper, this is something that I do at work or at my sisters' homes (more of a joke there, since we laugh about the position thing); not something I would do elsewhere, especially in the home of someone I am unfamiliar with.

However, if I replace the toilet paper somewhere, I can't say that I have ever paid close attention to how they have it positioned; it is replaced as I would replace mine at home, this is out of habit and not disrespect for their preference.

ange, Please know I am playing with you. You are such an easy mark! I am ashamed of myself. I promise that if you come to my house and refill the toilet paper 'upside down' I won't care. I might turn it the other way, but don't take it as a rebuke. When you read my blog entries, please remember that Nathan is, after all, my son. That makes me his mother, or something like that, and our humor, though different, is equally warped and strange.

Yes, yes, I am used to the Dornbrook humor. Although I don't think of it as warped and strange; I think it is fantastic! As long as I have known Nathan, you would think I would be prepared for the challenge! He gets me all the time.

I will say that I didn't realize others had a toiletpaper roll position preference, I was extremely interested to see that you did!
Of course my being aware of this now will cause me to became more cautious in my toilet paper replacing; not because I think I will offend, but because I know that other people do have a preference.

Oh, years ago there was a raging war in the Dear Abby column about toilet paper positions. Like there are so many, or so important. It is far more important that there is toilet paper then whether it come from over the top or underneath. And then there are those cultures that use different means to cleanse. I have always been curious to know of alternatives, but how do you find out -- delicately? Skylor wrote about the toilets in Baghdad and this whole don't-put-the-toilet-paper-in-the-toilet thing, which I also encountered in Mexico and I think may be in Iran too. (I didn't encounter it in Iran, never having been there, but I have seen the practice in the homes of my Iranian friends.) It has to do with the size of the pipe that leads away from the toilet. They only use a 2-inch pipe which is insufficient to handle the paper. I will delve no farther into the details, but the result is that the paper is deposited in a basket beside the toilet. Well, let me tell you, if that is not emptied on a very regular basis, it can get quite pungent!

Some of the funniest travel stories revolve around toilets and baths. I think it is facinating and a testimony to mankind's creativity to look at the very wide variety of ways that cultures have developed to deal with a universal issue.

Yes, I have had some strange toilet experiences in my travels. The most memorable one was during a trip to Okinawa, Japan. I guess the correct way to refer to the memory would be the lack of toilet, as there were nothing but holes in the cement where a toilet would have gone. There also was no toilet paper, so I am unsure of how that all worked. Honestly, I was too afraid to ask.

And, ange, that is what makes the whole toilet experience worth studying. It is so taboo. I'm sure that that system works just fine for those who are brought up knowing it, but looks baffling to us. And who do you ask? It is just such an off bounds topic of conversation.

This is hysterical! I love it. One of my most popular blogs is all about the use of toilet paper!


Oops! That last one was from me again. Comes from sharing a computer.

Yikes! Reading this toilet paper entry and the subsequent comments has made me realise something about myself. I am NOT normal! Well, you knew that already but: 1. I'm an obsessive toilet roll replacer. Not only do I replace the empty ones when I encounter them, but I also pre-empt the running out by replacing them before they are done. If a roll has just enough paper on it for one or 2 uses, I take it off and rest it on the back of the toilet tank and replace the roll. 2. I'm also rather obsessive about the direction of flow of toilet paper, definitely over the top - so Mara, Vi, if you prefer your toilet paper going out the back and underneath, belated apologies for changing it. I would like to think my toilet paper-related OCD stems from more than 20 years of not having had to share a bathroom with anyone... I think it's much more recent though. In University we were given one roll per person per week. My roommate and I had it down to an exact science so that on Monday morning when the toilet paper was left outside our room, it coincided with the penultimate use on the second roll from the week before. Once, it was delivered late....

oh yeah, and that scrap of toilet paper... could it be the little bit that was glued to the cardboard tube that someone ripped off? I personally have a phobia about using the first and last pieces of tp. The first couple of sheets, I'm embarrassed to say, get flushed unused. As do the last. My lifetime will probably see a good 20 rolls of toilet paper wasted because of this. The last are sometimes problematic because they are stuck to the roll. You start unrolling and oops, there's nothing there. You're left with a scrap of paper in your hand. What to do with it? Throw it in the bowl is the obvious solution, on your way out to the next stall. Due to it's single sheeted lightness, it falls leaflike, barely missing the bowl, and drops to the floor. Oops. Sorry, I'm not touching anything down there. It stays there. Sorry about that. Same thing happens with the little piece I use to protect my fingers from the germs on the lock to the toilet stall when I open it to leave. It's so small and light that the chances of it making it into the toilet are less than favourable. My attempts at avoiding germs in public bathrooms I think I'll put in my blog. It's too long to be a comment! See also for alternative cultural use of paper in the toilet....

Krisia - no apologies needed here. I prefer over the top. (unless, like back at my parents' place, the toilet roll is at eye level)

Yay!! Krisia has blessed my blog with her presence.

My life is complete.

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This page contains a single entry by Mara published on August 4, 2004 8:22 AM.

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