thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Keep Hoping Machine Running ([personal profile] thefourthvine) wrote2011-01-21 09:58 pm

[Poll] Potty Polling

Best Beloved recently attended a meeting. (This is not the unusual part of this story; there is apparently a strict policy where she works about the percentage of one's total working time one must spend in meetings, and they do not let you slack on that.) This particular meeting was held in a location that her colleague, S (I think you will see soon why I am avoiding revealing any personal information about her), particularly hates, and during a break, S told BB why she hates it so much:

When they have meetings there, S ends up peeing behind a dumpster.

And, yes, there are totally perfectly acceptable bathrooms at the meeting location. S (who is a middle-aged professional woman with a highly responsible position, dignified and at all times well-dressed) is peeing behind dumpsters on the way to the meeting, because in the early morning, she has to pee every hour or so, and the meeting location is about an hour and a half away from her house. So what happens is, S gets to the hour mark, really really has to pee, pulls off the freeway, and finds herself in a profoundly sketchy neighborhood. (Locals: Compton. For serious.) She finds a gas station, is told they don't have public restrooms, and pees behind their dumpsters.

This has happened three times in the last year.

S shared this story with BB in the sort of mildly amused tones most people would use for relating the story of how they got all the way to the meeting and realized only then they'd left their shoes at home. (True fact: BB once did this. She put a pair of socks on over her hose and went to the meeting that way, and no one noticed, or at least no one said anything.)

BB was horrified. BB, before we had the earthling, had very strict policies about potty privacy that included, for example, a hermetically sealed door even if she was alone in the house. ("What if burglars came in?" she asked me, when she revealed this policy. And she was right! I absolutely did not have a special plan for dealing with a sudden home invasion while I was peeing.) Now, of course, we have a small child, so privacy is one of those things we sort of vaguely recall, like the mornings we slept in until ten. BB, remembering how I mocked her for the locked-door-home-alone thing, thought maybe she was the weird one, so she came home and related this story to me. (I am never going to be able to meet this woman now, for the record, without a real risk that I might blurt out, "Hi! We don't have a dumpster, but the bathroom's right over there!")

I wasn't exactly horrified, but I was definitely surprised. What I focused on was the three times thing. Once, okay, desperation, needs must, whatever. I have never peed behind a dumpster, or indeed at the side of a road, but I can envision circumstances where I might have absolutely no choice. But if it happened once, I personally would take steps, like finding a McDonald's along the route and making sure to stop there. In short, I would do whatever I could to keep my chances of peeing behind a dumpster in a sketchy neighborhood to an absolute minimum. (It's a pity I didn't hear this story a few weeks ago. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but this seems like a fruitful topic for one.)

But maybe we are just weird. Maybe it's totally normal to view peeing behind a dumpster as a relatively reasonable working hazard. Obviously, it's poll time.

Poll #5702 Peeing
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 485

How often do you need to pee?

28 (5.8%)

I know where the restrooms are in every place I visit regularly, let's just say.
143 (29.5%)

I would say I am well within one standard deviation of normal, in bladder terms.
203 (41.9%)

Oh, you know. Couple times a day, maybe.
105 (21.7%)

I am a sloth.
5 (1.0%)

Have you ever peed in public? (In this case, behind a dumpster or similar counts - we're talking about extra-restroom urination, here.)

Sure! All the time. It's very freeing.
1 (0.2%)

From time to time, but only in, like, remote wooded areas, that kind of thing.
241 (49.8%)

Yes. And I've done it even in built-up areas, where people were around.
58 (12.0%)

Are we talking only about sober behavior?
47 (9.7%)

Once. Or twice. No more.
133 (27.5%)

85 (17.6%)

Let's say you've been in S's situation once. Your policy, going forward?

No big. Sometimes you gotta pee behind a dumpster if you wanna make it in the working world today.
50 (10.4%)

I would do my damnedest to be sure I was never in that situation again, I'll tell you what.
432 (89.6%)

And what would your stance on sharing this story around be?

I definitely wouldn't tell my colleagues. What if it became the topic of an internet poll?
348 (73.3%)

I would totally tell my colleagues. 'S funny!
127 (26.7%)

dzurlady: (Default)

[personal profile] dzurlady 2011-01-22 06:22 am (UTC)(link)
None of that story is something I would do myself, but I can understand why she did.

BB, before we had the earthling, had very strict policies about potty privacy that included, for example, a hermetically sealed door even if she was alone in the house. ("What if burglars came in?" she asked me, when she revealed this policy. And she was right! I absolutely did not have a special plan for dealing with a sudden home invasion while I was peeing.
Reading this, I suddenly felt concerned when I realised that I too lacked such a plan. But then I realised that I also have no plan for sudden home invasion when I am not peeing, and for some reason I am therefore no longer alarmed.

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[personal profile] libitina 2011-01-22 06:22 am (UTC)(link)
So is it now time for the comments to fill up with fun peeing stories. One time, at college...

I am particularly amused because I totally posted a thing about my peeing on my journal today.

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[personal profile] exceptinsects 2011-01-22 06:26 am (UTC)(link)
If it happened once, I might tell my colleagues. But three times?! That's just crazy.
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[personal profile] innocentsmith 2011-01-22 06:28 am (UTC)(link)
I assume we're not counting in "in the ocean, as a child"?

I just feel sorry for the service people who have to use that dumpster. I mean, I'm sure they've encountered worse, but still.

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[personal profile] copernica3 2011-01-22 06:35 am (UTC)(link)
I like hiking. When hiking, peeing in the woods is something you just deal with, because if you don't drink enough water you get dehydrated and feel terrible. The water has to go somewhere, plus there are nice scenic rocks and whatnot to hide behind. So technically outdoor peeing is a hazard of one of my hobbies. But! A dumpster? In an actual city? I don't think I'd be too comfortable with that.
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[personal profile] winter_elf 2011-01-22 06:37 am (UTC)(link)
I do admit to peeing on the side of the road (behind a bush! in the middle of no-where in the desert!)

As for finding somewhere where you can use the restroom, I can probably understand the ladys frustration. A few years ago, in SF, a group of us took the bart into town. We were with a group of kids. It was 4th of July. It was a huge amount of people heading for the pier. All the restrooms at the train station were closed (security reasons). All the restrooms in the area (including McDonalds) had big signs on the door - NO RESTROOMS EVEN FOR CUSTOMERS. We were like - WTF?!?! Hell, I've gone into a fast food place and bought a drink/snack to use the restroom. Or even paid a few quarters. But no where in the area was there a restroom! It was like freaky. We eventually found some porta type ones, but lets just say, there were only a few and miles away.

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minim_calibre: (Default)

[personal profile] minim_calibre 2011-01-22 06:46 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, man. I had one of those semi-under-the-table jobs that I only did ONCE, because a: semi-under-the-table; and b: I was doing landscape clean-up work for 8 hours in the cold with NO FREAKING FACILITIES. I had no cash, so I couldn't go somewhere and use their loo, and it was at a REALLY PUBLIC location (where there was NOWHERE I could drop trou and piss), so at some point, I managed to find a large paper coffee cup in the detritus of my car, hide my lower half under my coat, and find sweet, sweet relief that was a LITTLE TOO CLOSE to that line from that Crowded House song.


I mean, I'll pee in the woods, but in the city? HELL NO.
minim_calibre: (Default)

[personal profile] minim_calibre 2011-01-22 06:46 am (UTC)(link)
And wow, this was SO MUCH URINATION TMI.
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[personal profile] rachelmanija 2011-01-22 06:49 am (UTC)(link)
I put "never," because I was only counting my adult years. I peed by the side of the road a couple times when I was a child.

A couple years ago, I was driving to Mariposa when I realized that I really had to pee. Just then, as I was looking for a turn-off, traffic stopped dead. I was on a lonely, two lane country road. (I later found out that a semi had overturned across it.) My car was stopped, with cars lined up in front and behind, for four hours. I contemplated getting out and finding a bush, but the road was lined with barbed wire fencing, and there were no bushes. I'd have to pee within three feet of stopped cars, out in the open.

Let me repeat: jammed for four hours. And yet, I DID NOT PEE.

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[personal profile] keerawa 2011-01-22 06:57 am (UTC)(link)
I'm fairly blase about peeing behind a dumpster, and my partner and I never bother interrupting conversation for anything so petty as a need to urinate. But I wouldn't want to do it in COMPTON. I mean, there are probably some scary people in those alleyways! That could be someone's bedding I'm peeing on!

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[personal profile] melannen 2011-01-22 06:59 am (UTC)(link)
For a long time I literally *couldn't* go anywhere but a toilet (and not a public toilet, either.) I mean, one Girl Scout Camping trip, I held it from Friday afternoon to Monday morning because the toilets did not meet my standards.

Now I am older and my bladder is less forgiving. Some days, *considerably* less forgiving. And there was that one time the bus was two hours late and I had a UTI and I was tempted to just GO THERE. But I agree with the people up above: I will pee in the wilderness and the wasteland, but I have known too many folks (including, occasionally, myself) whose job was to clean up after people who are inconsiderate with their body waste to be willing to pee anywhere that means someone else will have to deal with it.

...mmmaybe once, in an emergency. But doing it when you had the opportunity to plan around it is just inconsiderate and entitled.

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[personal profile] shrift 2011-01-22 07:15 am (UTC)(link)
THREE TIMES? In Compton?

I mean, I likes me some contingency planning, which is why I always use the bathroom at the office before I get on the subway after that one time I had dinner with a friend and did NOT use the bathroom even after drinking two margaritas and then got trapped on the subway forever and ever because a drunk guy jumped on the tracks after one stop (and even THEN I managed to waddle the half mile to my apartment, not pee behind a dumpster, and I guess I should clarify that the drunk guy was fine?), but even for normal people who don't get all whackadoo with the planning, this kind of thing should only happen once. Right? After that, you either moderate your fluid intake or find a convenient stopping place. Right?

Due to the nature of my job, I often have absurdly inappropriate conversations at work, but man, even we don't discuss public urination.

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[personal profile] blushingflower 2011-01-22 07:16 am (UTC)(link)
My medication contains a diruetic, and many mornings I also drink a cup of tea en route to work. I also try very hard to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. I have to pee a lot.
I know where I can find restrooms when I need them (and have, in face, used my gym membership simply to get in and pee).
I also take precautions such as peeing when I have the opportunity, in case I might need to when I don't. (I'm a tour guide, and you can't excuse yourself in the middle of a tour, and I've worked for companies where tours could be two hours long. You go before you leave.)
So, in this situation, I'd go before I left the house, make sure to plan a route that had somewhere with a bathroom on the way (McDonald's, Starbucks, something). And probably leave extra time so that I could also go when I got to the meeting before it started.

I think the only time I've ever gone in what could be called "public" I was very very drunk in an alley. Fortunately I was wearing a skirt and no panties and it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 AM.

During snowpocalpyse I was in the car with friends. They got out to help push cars, and left me in charge of the vehicle. I had just about reached the point of figuring out a way to go in the McDonald's cup that was in the car when they returned. (This is something I still don't know how to do. Esp. without getting out of the car.)

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[personal profile] musesfool 2011-01-22 07:31 am (UTC)(link)
Dude. This lady should just get herself a portable lady urinal for emergencies and/or long trips. Then she wouldn't have to get out of the car.

While I have never peed in a public place, I was once in a limo with someone who had to go so bad after we were stuck in traffic for three hours that she peed into someone's big gulp cup. We were all like, thank god M. stopped at 7Eleven before we left! (Funnily enough, it was not the person who'd drunk the big gulp who needed to pee.)
Edited 2011-01-22 07:32 (UTC)

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[personal profile] neery 2011-01-22 07:31 am (UTC)(link)
It hasn't happened to me yet, and I don't anticipate three rounds of the same dumpster, but there's probably going to be some outdoor peeing in cities in my future. Both my mom and my older sisters have weak bladders, and this is a country where not every small town has a gas station or McDonald's within walking distance, so sometimes when we're in a strange city on a Sunday, finding a bathroom at regular intervals can be a bit of a problem.

I sure as hell wouldn't tell anyone about it when not on the internet, though. I can barely look people in the face while asking where the bathroom is.
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[personal profile] megaptera 2011-01-22 07:33 am (UTC)(link)
I hate movie theatres because it's cold and movies are long. Even if I don't get the gigantic bucket of caffeinated soda I still have to pee. The last fifteen minutes of Apollo 13 were made even more anxious by the fact that my bladder was about to explode like that oxygen tank did.

You know what -- there's this thing that women can use to pee standing up. It's this plastic tube with a flanged end that you put over your cooch. Then you pee into it. It's like a plastic penis. If I had one of those and I could not find a clean bathroom I would totally find a corner and pee because all I'd have to do is unzip my fly and stick the thing in there. Otherwise? Peeing outside involves pulling pants down and making awkward contortions. I feel very vulnerable when I do that, even in the woods.

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[personal profile] everysecondtuesday 2011-01-22 07:36 am (UTC)(link)
The reason of having to pee in semi-public (i.e. not a proper restroom with doors and locks) is why I have never been tempted to go on a three-day rafting trip down the Grand Canyon again. Seriously, if I had been told the vacation involved peeing in the great outdoors, I never would've gone. I only realized when the guide told our group the official policy for taking care of business why every other member of my family but my dad didn't go.

[personal profile] axelrod 2011-01-22 07:45 am (UTC)(link)
For the last question, it would depend so so much on my pre-existing relationship with said colleagues. Like, my fellow student-workers, at my work study job, who I ended up friends with? Yeah, sure, we'd LOL.

The full-time workers, almost certainly not. Maybe A, if somehow she and I ended up hanging out; S, very likely, now that we aren't co-workers. Definitely not B, she was uptight and not shy about getting all uptight at you.

tl;dr imo you need more options for that one question!

Also, the only times I can recall not using a toilet were when I was camping i.e. I was not expecting there to be a bathroom. And once when I was going for a walk in a wooded area and I was 20 minutes from the car.
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[personal profile] azurelunatic 2011-01-22 07:49 am (UTC)(link)
Agreed: there are people I'd never ever tell, and people I would tell, though I'd take care to do all this such that the gossip circles didn't make it absolutely inevitable that it get back to the OMG NEVER folks.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2011-01-22 07:47 am (UTC)(link)
At some point I should probably write down the utterly humiliating 'how I got a ticket for being a fire hazard by peeing in the woods' tale.
giglet: (Default)

[personal profile] giglet 2011-01-23 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
That sounds awesome and hilarious (in the retelling, at least)!
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[personal profile] kellyfaboo 2011-01-22 07:49 am (UTC)(link)
I have some caveats

1) I know the location of every restroom not only for the pee thing. Though I do drink lots of water and my bladder can be very silent until it really, really needs attention.

2) I NEVER have peed in public, but I have been tempted. One night I had to sleep on 80-94 in a blizzard. I think I did my bladder some damage that night, but luckily I was in the front of the traffic so when they started to clear/the semis got out of our way my little car was able to make it to the gas station at the first stop on the other side of the state line. Now I make sure I have a bottle with a large neck in the car. JUST IN CASE.
kellyfaboo: Photo Shadow of me July 09 (Default)

[personal profile] kellyfaboo 2011-01-22 07:53 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, though I have never done it, I do consider peeing in the woods when you are hiking/camping/on a multi day raft thingy not in public per se. And I have thought about getting one of those pee standing up things before I decided I wouldn't need it for that trip.
lapillus: (Default)

[personal profile] lapillus 2011-01-22 07:58 am (UTC)(link)
"Never" for a value of "Never" = "never since puberty."

And if nothing else I'd keep these in the car:

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[personal profile] cadee 2011-01-22 08:05 am (UTC)(link)
I have concerns about this. I do not understand how one can pee and not get the clothing wet by accident without some serious disrobing that I would not want to do in a sketchy neighborhood. Or, in fact, in any public local.

As a child I vaguely recall having to pee so badly that my parents pulled over on the side of the road and let me go. I wore skirts all the time as a kid, so no issues there, really.

I don't even like peeing in public restrooms.
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[personal profile] lilacsigil 2011-01-22 08:39 am (UTC)(link)
You can do it if you crouch like using a squat toilet. That way if you have a hip-length jacket or any kind of skirt, you can pee without showing anything at all.


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[personal profile] copracat 2011-01-22 08:10 am (UTC)(link)
Is that the Compton we are, as the poet says, straight out of?
Edited (typo grrr) 2011-01-22 08:11 (UTC)
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)

[personal profile] st_aurafina 2011-01-22 08:25 am (UTC)(link)
I want to mail that poor woman a she-pee. Poor, poor thing.

I have to know where the bathrooms are, for my mental health, because I worry about being caught in exactly that situation for shame. It's never actually happened, but for shame! I would die. And I'm with BB about the hermetic door vs burglars.

If I were S, and I knew I was going to this place? I'd stop fluid intake the night before, pre-operative style.

lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2011-01-22 08:29 am (UTC)(link)
Poor woman! The problem with disability accommodations is that as soon as you ask for them, *you* become the problem rather than the actual condition!

My aunt had this issue - peeing at least every hour - and had an hour-and-ten-minutes drive to work. She would always stop and pee in the bush half way along, because then she could pee in peace with only koalas watching, whereas if she risked trying to make it to the end of the trip, she'd be caught in town. Eventually, it turned out that she had hundred of tiny kidney stones too small to see, and this was only diagnosed when she got a big kidney stone. They broke them all up with ultrasound and then she was fine.*

*Well, she still has to pee more often than most people, because of the permanent damage to her bladder, but not every hour.

ETA: I've peed behind a tree many, many times while camping, but also lived in Japan with squat toilets, so I have great crouch-and-pee skills. I also live in a fairly remote area. I am unafraid!
Edited 2011-01-22 08:30 (UTC)
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[personal profile] vass 2011-01-22 12:36 pm (UTC)(link)
*winces, crosses legs* Your poor aunt.

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[personal profile] julian 2011-01-22 08:45 am (UTC)(link)
I'll pee in the woods, sure. Camping and such. I've managed to avoid ever having to pee somewhere less, um, hidden, though.

I can also see telling a co-worker, but only under specific circumstances, perhaps whilst sharing some grape of the vine, and like. Not treating it as /normal/...

Speaking of which, this does enable to me to tell the story of the time, oh, three MONTHS ago, while I was engaging in my normal everyday commute, and hanging out at the train station, waiting for a bus. 8 p.m. or so, this was, and I was off behind the ATM, because there was a place to sit and there was some privacy. This dude wanders over behind it, turns his back to me, and then notices me.

At which point he /asks/ me if I mind if he pees. (Well, he said pissed, but you know.)

I blinked at him, and said, "Well, maybe you could kinda," and waved a bit somewhere further away from /me/.

He explained, earnestly, that that was more visible to the public at large.

So I muttered something ("Oh, well, privacy, sure") and then exited the premise post haste, whilst he relieved himself.

Sooooo drunk, I cannot tell you.
Edited (Specificity!) 2011-01-22 08:55 (UTC)

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