The Timid Hello

Do you ever wonder what the correct response is when the janitor pops their head into the bathroom and says, “hello”?

I always just give a reciprocal “hello” as loud as I can, but is there more that I could be doing as a patron of the restroom to make her feel more appreciated in such an awkward communiqué. It’s hard to say.

There must be some formal and nice way of communicating that you are busy and you don’t want her to come in for at least…I don’t know…another30 minutes, but I am not sure how to communicate that without sounded a little put out and flustered.

The question arose today and I wasn’t sure what she wanted from me as far as information goes. Does she want to know how many of us there are in the bathroom, how long we are going to take, and if we need any extra supplies?

The pressure of just knowing someone is out there waiting for me to finish up is a little nerve racking, am I right? And the fact the she will greet me as I am leaving with judgmental eyes that seem to say, “I know what you did in there and if it’s a mess I will be very disappointed in you."

Friends, if any of you have suggestions on what the correct, polite response is, please let me know.

We may have to make an emergency call to Ann Landers, because I am not sure what to do in such a delicate situation.


I feel that you find yourself in the bathroom too often when the janitor is getting ready to clean it. Perhaps you should learn her schedule and make sure you two stop meeting that way....
Bridget said…
How about calling out, "Hey, I'm in here dropping my load. Come back tomorrow!" If feasible, the funniest thing would be to climb out the window. If the old window trick is out, you could walk out exclaiming, "Wow! Do not go in there!" and wave your hand in front of your nose. Maybe pull out your camera phone with your other hand and catch the janitor's reaction.

Megann makes a great point, though. Check the cleaning schedule on the door and schedule your visits accordingly.
ShEiLa said…
how about...

YES, I am in here. I have a job to do and so do you... so get on with it. Don't let me stop you. Do a quick stall supply check and if you need anything request it right away.


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