So when I walk into the Men's room at work I sometimes run into this guy. Whenever he steps up to the urinal, he without fail vocalizes the process.

The repertoire typically includes:

  • different varieties of grunting noises
  • whistling (not that great)
  • humming
  • loud inhaling-exhaling
  • conversations with anyone who happens to be around and whom he happens to know or work with

Every. Single. Time.

He is the ONLY person whom I have ever met in that or any other restroom at this workplace who exhibits this behavior with such zeal and consistency.

There are other restrooms in the building. However this is the largest and most convenient one for where I sit. So I usually default to it. I could simply start going to another restroom, but what I want to know is whether this is basically normal.

I am witness to such multitasking every time, and every thing I catch myself sensing that something feels 'off' about this behavior. I cannot quite point a finger at it but it just doesn't feel quite right. What this boils down to is that he seems to be trying to attract attention, consciously or not, during what is supposed to be a rather 'private part' of the restroom visit (no pun intended).

Am I a little too sensitive to this stuff, or is being somewhat weirded out by such behavior justified?

Specific questions:

  • Is this normal and appropriate workplace pee-tiquette? Is he just being social?

  • Is this an indication of veiled 'odd' attention-seeking?

  • At what point does this type of behavior 'cross the line' and begin to suggest potentially inappropriate conduct?

Has anyone experienced employee restroom behavior that warranted a complaint and if so, what might that look like? For lack of better metaphor, is there enough to 'hang a hat on' here?

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    You can use the private restroom and if he talk to you, you can answer "busy here" – Juan Carlos Oropeza Oct 20 '17 at 15:10
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    If you want to know how to respond, this might be an appropriate question for Interpersonal Skills, but in its current state it's just asking for opinions on the behaviour with no goal - whether it's "normal" or not won't change whether he does it. If the behaviour "feels off", my first assumption would be that he's doing it as a way to make himself less uncomfortable with the situation, or my "feels off"-dar is off - nothing to concern myself with either way. – Bernhard Barker Oct 20 '17 at 15:16
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    There's one in every office. Two in mine, actually. – AffableAmbler Oct 20 '17 at 15:49
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    "Later, Bill, I've got my hands full here" – akaioi Oct 20 '17 at 21:31

Is this normal and appropriate workplace pee-tiquette? Is he just being social?

I wouldn't say it's abnormal or inappropriate. For most people it's just awkward. It has been ingrained in US male culture that any sort of interaction in the men's room should be avoided, so it's no surprise that this makes you feel uncomfortable. Clearly your coworker, for whatever reason, does not perceive these interactions as taboo. Whether you view that as a positive or a negative is purely subjective.

Is this an indication of veiled 'odd' attention-seeking?

No, you're overthinking this.

At what point does this type of behavior 'cross the line' and begin to suggest potentially inappropriate conduct?

When he starts peering over the stall or asks for a helping hand.

While it may be awkward to you (and many others), he's not really doing anything wrong. Just ignore it and move on.

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    asks for a helping hand at that moment there is not line to cross, you are so far the line is just a dot. – Juan Carlos Oropeza Oct 20 '17 at 15:45
  • @DavidK Thanks, this helps and completely agree. Will consider escalation in the event of peeing over the stall. Although I suspect that too will be written off by some in this community as an isolated manual dexterity accident. Which it could be. – A.S Oct 21 '17 at 15:56

You're probably being a bit oversensitive.

This could well be unconscious behaviour on his part, or a part of a coping mechanism, or it could be his way of making sure that other people don't stand too close to him.

I'd do my best to ignore it and carry on as normally as possible, but give him some space.

Or if it puts you off your own business, use another bathroom.

Don't be tempted to make this an issue.

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Don't go when he goes, or ignore it are your only two options.

He's not being confrontational or deliberately disruptive and he's not impacting your work.

Any problem here is yours, not his.

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You are making a mountain out of a molehill. You spend only a few minutes at the urinal, and you probably don't run into this guy that often. Life is short, and comes with many minor annoyances. Just ignore them and spend your energy on more important issues.

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