Friday, April 16, 2010

Postcard from the Kaisha: Bathroom Edition 2

Although you may call me a liberal for believing that women should have the right to do their bathroom business without the aid of a rushing water sound device, I do have to draw the line somewhere, and that somewhere happens to be gargling. Really ladies, are we doing this outside the house now?

It's bad enough that I must contend with the occasional sound of gargling and the even graver offense of what I can only call horking, when passing by the men's bathroom, but put me next to a Secretary in the ladies' room who has taken the liberty of throwing her head back and having a good old throaty gargle, and you can bet money on the fact that I will turn and give her a dirty look. No she will not see it, but it does make me feel better and not a little smug that despite my Pee Free morals, I will not subject others to the offensive and frankly gross sound of liquid being kept in motion in my throat by a stream of air from my lungs. We are not talking about prissy feminine bubbles in the throat here people, but about a deep watery pleghm sound that could rival those coming from behind the door with an icon of a human in pants.

I realize these women have probably been told that they should gargle to avoid the flu but really, let's keep this shit at home. Or, if we really want to be lady-like about it, start installing sinks in bathroom stalls so that the Sound Princess can do double duty. Yukity yuk.


kathrynoh said...

Gross! They could gargle in the toilet and use the sound princess surely.

Beth said...

thank you, oh my god. do they vocalize it, too? tons of teachers used to do that at the sink in the teacher's room where i used to work. i just wanted to yell YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE THE NOISE ARE YOU FUCKING FIVE YEARS OLD

Sarah said...

I'm with you on the grossness of gargling, but I also want your advice... the museum where I work does not have a sound princess in the staff toilets. (the shock! the horror!) There are two stalls and most of my coworkers will flush to cover the sound. I dislike the idea of the waste of water, but have actually found myself doing the same recently... aaaack! What to do? What to do?

Jen B said...

Oh dear!

I had no idea some people think gargling is gross! Picking skin, biting nails, burping, farting loudly, spitting in the street, disgusting. Gargling... I don't understand what is horrible about it. Will ponder. :-)

aimlesswanderer said...

Gargling stops you getting the flu? Well, you learn (or not in this case) something new every day.

You should shout in English at the gargler from a safe distance and watch what happens. Or, if you want to be somewhat covert, go into a stall and shout out in Japanese and try and startle the gargler.

Blue Lotus said...

The sound bothers me less than the spitting in the sink. Hopefully your office mates do it nicely, but I've seen entire groups of kids crowding around communal sinks to do their gargling. The resultant poor aiming and backsplash of gargle-spit made me shudder.

ELSN said...

I found your blog last week and read an embarrassing amount of the archives.

I'm American, young, white, and the only foreigner at a big Kaisha in Tokyo. I find myself balancing a "fuck-off" attitude with some crippling despair. My least favorite is when Shacho imitates my Japanese back at me while laughing.

I wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences and let you know that my day at work just got a lot better.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

kathrynoh - Totally.

Beth - vocalize as in output of sound? Yes. It's the most offensive part in my humble opinion.

Sarah - I find it taxing enough ensuring that I am always "covered" by the Princess and I can't imagine doing it with the actual flush button. If it doesn't bother you, I wouldn't use it, or I would not use it and wait until the bathroom is empty to sneak out!

Jen B - I think it's perfectly acceptable at home but the way it's done here at the Kaisha is loud and visceral.

aimlesswanderer - I don't think there is a safe distance in this case and I like the covert idea. Knowing my luck, I'd probably fuck it up and muddle my words haha

Blue Lotus - I never thought about the backsplash! Now I will be careful not to get too close when giving them the stink-eye! It seems to me in the kids' case it could be doing more harm than good in the prevention of disease.

ELSN - I'm sorry to hear you're going through something similar (quite possibly worse with the out and out mocking?!} and I think you hit it on the head with "balancing a 'fuck-off' attitude with some crippling despair." I usually can't decide which to choose. If you ever want to rant or I can be of some help, my email is on the right side of the page.

Apryl in Wonderland said...

ELSN: Wow! What type of hellish nightmare company do you work in where the Shacho is so rude?!

Back in the ol' USA, I experienced many outright rude supervisors, but as of yet, none here...

I am sorry you have that to taint your experience here.

ELSN said...

Thanks for the warm comment Geisha!

Apryl: I know, it's incredible. At the same time Shacho is very widely and openly disliked, as he seems to rub everyone the wrong way. I have no idea how he became Shacho with no interpersonal skills! When I had food poisoning and went to the hospital clutching my stomach, he implied I just had my period.