Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Telephones and toilets don't mix

Last week, I was on the phone with a teacher from Hannah's school.

See, Hannah has recently started going one day a week to a creative learning campus* and the adjustment has been a bit of a struggle. She feels lost, is frequently in tears, and is begging to return to her home school.

I have worried and wrung my hands about how to help her. I feel that to let her quit something after such a short time goes against everything I am trying to teach her about commitment and endurance.

When she faked sick last Friday to try and get out of going, and my tears mirrored her own, I decided it was time to ask for help. I made calls and sent emails to the school counselor, as well as her morning and afternoon teachers.

One of the teachers eventually found a few minutes in her busy day to return my call. As we chatted, I shared with her the struggles that Hannah has been having. I found myself pouring out my anxiety and worries quite tearfully over the phone. I begged and pleaded for her wisdom as an educator to help me help my child.

And then, over the phone I heard --

-- the distinct and disgusting sound of a flush.

Followed shortly thereafter by the sound of running water.

And the unmistakable crank of a paper towel dispenser.

Her 'mmm-hmmms' suddenly seemed a little less attentive than I thought they were.

I was horrified and repulsed. She could not take two minutes to go to the bathroom BEFORE calling me back? She couldn't mute her phone? The fact that I was crying and pouring out my soul to her while she sat on a toilet did nothing to reassure me that my daughter was in good hands.

Albeit, very clean post-toileting hands.

I must beg the question of you, dear internets -- have you ever made a call whilst on the pearly white throne? Do you flush and dial? Are you a pee talker?

I. am. not.

And I'll try not to judge those of you who are.

*Hannah begged and begged all last year to be tested for admittance into our district's Center for Creative Learning. I finally acquiesced, she was admitted this year, and absolutely hates it. In spite of the phone/toilet interaction, we have come up with some good strategies to help her and she is feeling better about it. I, however, will likely be scarred for life.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I usually like reading your blogs, but one word came to mind after reading this one: GROSS.

the girl in the red shoes said...

Ewww that is gross! Who does that? I wouldn't even do that to my own mother!

Annie said...

No, never. Yuck. Who knew that Emily Post needed to do a section on bathroom use and telephones?!

Although this reminds me of a funny scene in Elizabethtown where Orlando Bloom and Kirstin Dunst have a marathon phone call lasting hours and there is pee talking and flushing. Nope, even Orlando Bloom can't make that acceptable. And that's saying something.

Tristan said...

Oh my Mother is a toilet-talker and it bugs me to much! Cuz you can clearly hear the flushing and the water running! At least I suppose we should be grateful these people are washing their hands.

I for one, am NOT a toilet-talker. Except for once when I was on hold and I had to pee like crazy LOL

Denise said...

I have to admit that it depends on who it is I am talking with. If it is my dear friend of 20 years, then proper phone etiquette states I advise of my need, and offer to call back or continue on. (only if I am peeing. by no means do I do the other on the phone). But if it is a professional call, or someone who I have only been friends with say, 10 years, then No. that is not proper etiquette and should never happen.

danandcindy said...

Give her a break. She's trying to multitask, and make better use of her time.

Whenever I walk into the men's room, and find a toilet talker, I immediately flush the toilet to help the person on the other end of the line to understand how the conversation is taking place.

Christy said...

A teacher? Bwahaahaa! She must not have realized you could hear, could she? So unprofessional, how old is she? To answer your question, admittedly I do toilet talk to my sister and mother, who do the same to me, and occasionally to my husband, who feels the same way you do about it, so not often, but it is so hard to get ahold of him at work, when he calls I take it, no matter what.

Christy said...

p.s. I loved your post on 9/11. It was my favorite of everything I read about that day.

danandcindy said...

In reading your reader's comments, it is easy to observe that they are all liars. I'll bet that they claim that they don't fart either.

It is perfectly acceptable to chat on the phone, and keep peripheral noise to a minimum. For example, cleanup activities could take place quietly, and with the hand that is not being used to hold the phone. The flush could always be done a few minutes later, as could hand washing activities.

The only reason you found it repulsive, was that you figured it out on the other end of the line. A much more careful restroom patron could have done their duty without you knowing, as I have done with you on multiple occasions... You're welcome for that.

Lindsey said...

I'm with Dan. Everyone else is a liar, and I have done it, and I am careful with hand assignments, noises, etc. However, I usually only do it when I am conversing with my husband. But is is possible. It is not like I am switching hands in-between wipes....hey, YOU STARTED IT! :)

Dalene said...

Just yesterday I was on the phone with Maren and had to flush the toilet BECAUSE I HAD JUST CLEANED UP A BUNCH OF AUNTS AND NEEDED TO FLUSH THEM. I quickly explained to her what was going on lest she think I was talking to her on the potty. No, I'm not. But I find myself helping my daughter go and clean while I'm on the phone, which is just as bad I suppose. That poor teacher - what was she thinking? I would NEVER do that at work - and I'm a teacher!

Christie said...

Daniel, you are asking for me to delete your comment. I *hate* that F word and will possibly lie and say I never do it, so strong is my hate for the word alone. Repeat it again and you are deleted.

Please try to act like the lady that I know you are, mmmmkay?

Anonymous said...

Please, everyone. Ignore "danandcindy" (and by using such a name, it tells me that I claim to fart but they obvious can't claim a gender.)

Christie said...

"Dandandcindy" is actually my brother, Dan. I love him and he loves me. We have the privilege of a relationship where we can (and do) say anything to each other without fear of offense. Please don't ignore his comments. They are the best ones. I really ought to have a disclaimer. Others have worried about his comments before.

As you were.

Stefani said...

I admit I dislike it when people do it to me, but I have been known to do exactly what Dan said keep the noise on the DL, flush later... use hand sanitizer etc. I only do this in emergencies though and depending on who I'm talking to I do explain with the option of calling back, or tell them to hold on for a minute if I know it'll be short.

I must caution those who think flushing and hand washing are the only things people hear while toilet-talking. My husband can spot (hear) the echo-y sound of a bathroom a mile away. He ALWAYS notices if I try to get away with it.

Darby said...

I want to know which Aunts Dalene is cleaning up and needing to be flushed.

danandcindy said...

You say,"We have the privilege of a relationship where we can (and do) say anything to each other without fear of offense"

Except for the F word apparently, but not THAT F word. The real queen mother of all dirty words would probably be acceptable to you, but I guess not the other F word

Christie said...

Yeah. I do really hate the bathroom F word. But I would punch you in the kidney for using the other one. Go figure.

Christie said...

I meant wouldn't punch you in the kidney. Geez. I've commented more on this post on anything in my entire life. ENOUGH.

Mooster said...

Ew! I think I have once, but I was disgusted with myself and never did again. If I catch someone doing it to me, they get an ear full!

Too funny about the F word and THE F word. LOL

Darby said...

that was the husband Matthew commenting above on my log in.

I'll confess... if your name is Mom, Teresa or Matt you just may be on the other end of the line when a flush may be necessary.

Biz or calls to anyone else.. no way.

Becky said...

Oh no she DI'int!!! That made me laugh very very hard, ... I would have totally called her on it. So weird, so gross, so unprofessional. but, since you ask: Yes, I am a toilet talker when I am talking to my sisters. That's it. totally comfortable with that kind of multi-tasking brillance. No shame about it.

But to friends, strangers?, teachers????? NO!

Stephanie D said...

I am totally outing Lauren in GA as she is my sister, and is a HUGE toilet talker! But, if she didn't talk to me while she was on the toilet, I probably wouldn't ever get to speak to her. Man, I love that girl... :)

Lauren in GA said...

In my defense I would like to point out that I only talk to my sister and other family members while using the *ahem* facilities...

I was gonna say that perhaps Hannah's teacher was employing her own brand of multitasking...but Dan beat me to it.

The banter between you and Dan is hilarious. Next time you talk to him on the phone I bet he flushes the toilet 6 times just to gross you out.

I thought this post was going to be about someone having their phone in their back pocket and it falling in the throne.

Lauren in GA said...

...and by the way, Stephanie...you read the lovely Stie's blog all of the time but you COMMENT to share that I am a toilet talker?! Why I oughta...

Rochelleht said...

Toilet talker here. But only to family and CLOSE friends and even then, I'm a faker. I try not to let it be known.

Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

I have to say that the comments on this post are seriously my favorite ones ever! I have been guilty once or twice of toilet talking, but I agree never with anyone unrelated and I do as Dan encourages and wait to do the noisy stuff after the call has ended. Hand sanitizer requires no water. ;)
And Please don't ignore Dan. His comments are always my favorite.
xoxo,
Amy

Dalene said...

@Darby/Matthew - ANTS, OKAY? Have I mentioned that I JUST had a baby like yesterday and still don't have my brain back LET ALONE MY ABILITY TO SPELL! Thanks, Christie, for letting more than one sibling rivalry on your comments. :-) Okay, okay, the baby is 6 months old but I am still crazy in the head. No sleep'll do that to ya.

jen@odbt said...

I posted about the same thing although I was not on the receiving end. I was at the store and a lady was in a stall talking really loud and going at the same time. Ewww. I felt bad for the person on the other end of her call.

Lala said...

This was pretty funny. Once when I was on a study abroad where the teachers wore wireless mics, so we could all hear as we were out and about. Well, one teacher - you guessed it - forgot it was ON when she went to use the facilities. Not totally the same - but hugely embarrassing - for everyone!

the wrath of khandrea said...

you already know my dirty little secrets.

this was totally over the top though. i would report her.

Because My Sister Told Me Too.... said...

The best way to toilet talk is with a bluetooth earpiece. Just sayin...

shilo said...

I'm a toilet talker, but only to close family of the female and nearly deaf variety.

I would NEVER have done that when I was teaching. 1) It's disgusting 2) After my 1st year I never called parents on my cell phone. The crazy parents should never be able to get ahold of me after I leave work.

As much as I tried to stifle my laughter I just woke Autrey up from his Sunday nap and he came out all worried because he thought I was crying. Oops.

brooke said...

The comments on this post are so funny...especially Dan's. I shamefully will admit I am a toilet talker, but like Dan, I never flush (save that for later) and I pull the tp ever so quietly. You would never know. There I said it. World, I am a toilet talker and I am not ashamed!!

ristowswife said...

I am not a toilet talker. Never have been. My father has forced me to be. And that deserves some explaining. Truthfully, it's a long story that, if you really want to read, is on my blog in brief tidbits. It all ends with our relationship now being the sum of only a few very LONG tenuous phone calls, in which I have to pee so bad I am crossing my legs (not really. okay, yes really). Three times now, I have turned on the faucet, peed as quietly as possible while saying, "mmhmmm. mmhmmm," hoping he can't hear. Because he probably wouldn't think it was that awkward. Which makes it that much more awkward.