I read an interesting article on CNN. I think I’ll just let it speak for itself.
It reminds me of a more entertaining article from The Onion regarding a subject very close to this.
Now before you think this blog has devolved (evolved?) into toilet humor and poorly suppressed, junior high inspired giggles, let me just shut that down right now. That isn’t what this is about at all. There is nothing humorous about either story. It is sick, disgusting and simply uncalled for in the modern work environment.
Okay, so there may be a tinge of humor there.
Still, the very fact that the first article was featured on the front page of CNN (below the fold but still…) is a bit disturbing and borders on inane. Especially when you realize that there isn’t some sort of lesson to be learned about dealing with this kind of situation in the article at all. It was simply intended to be a somewhat humorous look at a situation that is disgustingly common and makes me yearn for the days when I worked from home. Maybe the author wanted to just blow some steam off about the situation? I don’t know. But I do know that situations like these make me regret the day I picked HR as the field to work in.
There is a right way to handle this (just like almost all office interactions) and it usually doesn’t involve human resources. I don’t say this because I don’t want the work, but because human resources isn’t your mommy or daddy, it isn’t the babysitter, and if you feel you need one of those sorts of people to deal with the petty problems of the world, then you’re not cut out for the business world.
If you want to know why I think HR gets the shaft in a lot of organizations, it is because we have agreed to be party to this sort of crap (yes, pun intended). In some organization, this would involve a note on the doors of the stalls, or a company memo, or even a formal investigation. Ugh. No! Here is what I need to solve the problem:
- Regular janitorial service
- Paper toilet seat covers
- Paper towels
- Can of Lysol
Oh wait, I have all of those things. Problem solved. The janitor will clean up any mess within 24 hours (or less if requested). If it is that big of annoyance, I have given you all of the tools to solve it in less than a minute. Here is how:
- Shake can of Lysol vigorously
- Spray on surface to disinfect
- Wipe clean with paper towel
Now that was certainly less grief than writing an article for a national magazine griping about it. You can all thank me later.