Tag Archives: public restroom

TP or not TP?

Years ago I was a custodian for about a year.  My tasks included cleaning the bathrooms and keeping them stocked once a week.  The stalls each had spindles for two rolls of toilet paper.  

The thing I learned in this job is first, that people will always use the roll with the most paper on it, and second, that it’s hard to keep it stocked when there are equally partial rolls on dual spindles.  

It is such a difficult decision whether to leave them both, hoping there was the equivalent of a full roll, switch one out and toss out a half roll, or go for broke and change them both.  I tried leaving the wrapping paper on the full one, only to come back the next week to find two half rolls again.  It would be so much easier if one of them was empty and could simply be replaced with a full roll.

I realized that even though it is years later, as a blogger, I can finally do something about this!  Maybe this post will go viral, to the joy of custodians worldwide!

Please start making a real effort, when there are two rolls of TP in a public restroom, to always use the smaller one.  It goes against nature, believe me, but somewhere there is someone responsible for keeping that stall stocked.  While you are thinking of that person, take a moment to ask God to bless him or her.  Most likely he or she is in a difficult financial situation.

Even though that was a fairly decent conclusion to this post, it seems I have more to say on the subject.  

I could tell which stalls were the most popular by the paper usage.  While you are modifying your behavior based on this blog, keep in mind that the stalls at both ends get used the most.  Consistently.  My theory is that there are people who use the first one they come to, and there are people who go to the last one, thinking it is used less, or for a better sense of privacy.  With only two kinds of people, those who read this blog will become a new third kind, the ones who use the center stalls.

For those who are wondering, the title is a play on words, or an illogical nod to Shakespeare, whichever you prefer, and not at all the subject of this post.  Always TP.

That was another false ending.  One more thing.  I hope only one.  In a home bathroom, the goal is always to avoid using the last square of paper and therefore not be the one who has to put a new roll in place.  It could be the reason why humans are so prone to using the larger roll when there is a choice.  As a human, I fall prey to this goal as much as anyone else, but every so often I get filled with a rebellious sort of love and decide to put a new roll on the spindle while the old one still has a few wraps around it.  That way those who live with me can avoid that one-square-short experience.  

I leave the almost-empty roll on the little shelf right next to the properly installed full roll, but when I return, the full roll has been used and the partial one is still there, in plain sight.  Or I will get a new roll out of the cabinet and leave it on the shelf for the next person who will likely be responsible for changing it.  You got it.  The larger one gets used from the shelf.  

I hope this has been educational for you!

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