If it wasn’t so petty and disgusting, this would be funny. Our small company has one restroom. A lock on the door keeps the public out, but our real problem is our manager who persists in leaving the toilet seat up.
Every woman who works here has asked him to please put it down after he finishes, but he responds, “if you ‘ladies’ need the seat down, you can put it down; I have to put it up.” As you might guess from this, he’s crotchety and after a painful divorce is angry at all women. He’s also within a year of retirement and isn’t interested in making changes.
It wouldn’t be so disgusting if he had better aim, but he uses the restroom regularly and leaves splatters on the rim. This means we grab paper towels, lower the toilet seat and are left with the feeling that our fingers, though protected by towels, might touch remembrances from our manager.
It’s not worth quitting a good job over, and it’s not an issue we want to take to the Human Rights Commission, but it’s the subject of daily conversation among all the women in the office. We’ve bought disposable latex gloves and sanitizer that we leave under the sink.
Can you help? I’m sending you our manager’s name and phone number but ask that you keep me out of it. He might fire me, but he won’t fire all of us.
On your behalf, I called him. As you predicted, he was angry and demanded I tell him who called me/
I answered that it might be any or all of the seven women who worked for him or any of the female customers who visit your business.
I asked him if leaving the seat up was worth losing one or more employees or customers over and reminded him the fix was simple. He sputtered that it “wasn’t fair, that women always had the upper hand” and instead of arguing with him, I just responded that “it would be a gallant and appreciated gesture” if he changed his ways. Thanks for giving the chance to help.
© 2020, Lynne Curry
Lynne Curry is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016) and “Solutions” (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com). Send your questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.