This post is dedicated to all the product marketing people tasked with coming up with the next gizmo none of us really need — except your boss, so he’ll keep his job.
Remember when using a public restroom was simple? Maybe not so much in the very beginning, but that’s what mom and dad were there for.
Back in the good ole’ days, you’d be walking through the mall and out of the blue, nature would make its call. You’d find the restroom designated for your half of humanity, return nature’s call and resume buying things at The Gap and The Foot Locker you really didn’t need. Why did stores back then always have “The” in their name?
Now going to the bathroom is so confusing.You’re walking through the mall and nature sends you a text message with a GPS application attached to it directing you to the nearest restroom. You check Yelp, which indicates that 83% of that bathroom’s previous visitors enjoyed the experience. Next, you must choose between “his” room, “her” room, a “handicap” room or a “family” room. If your room is locked can you use another one? Does having a personality disorder qualify me for the handicapped?
You finish your duty and send nature a reply text with some pictures attached to confirm liftoff but then the dilemmas really begin. Will the toilet flush itself? Will the faucet turn on, on its own? Where do I put my hands to activate the sensor? And if it does start, how do I control the temperature?
Will the soap squirt on its own, and if it does, does that qualify as a happy ending? Is soap enough or do I need hand sanitizer? Will the paper towels dispense on their own? Will there be too little or too much paper or will it be just right? Go ahead, call me Goldilocks I don’t care.
Will there be a hand air drier if I want to be green? Will it start on its own or do I have to punch the button? Will the wind gust be so strong I can see bones through my undulating skin? What if there’s only an air drier and no paper towels? I just washed my face, now what? If I go into the stall to get some toilet paper to dry off, the toilet flushes again. So much for being green.
This doesn’t even speak of those trendy restaurant bathrooms where you struggle to tell the difference between the urinal and the sink. No I’m not kidding, but you’ll have to ask a colleague about that one.
Worst of all is when the bathroom is inconsistent. Doesn’t it drive you nuts when the toilet is automatic but the faucet is not? Or vice versa? How will kids learn one of life’s few remaining routines if even going # 1 or # 2 is anything but routine?
When did it all get so complicated?