When visiting the restroom, I've walked in on the same coworker sitting on the toilet three times now, from where he simply neglects to adequately lock the stall door. I definitely don't want to keep walking in on him, and, if I'm doing so, then perhaps others are also falling victim to his negligence.

Since he already knows I've seen him [thrice], should I just confront him directly about the matter? Would it be wiser for me to contact the building manager, or the office admin? Obviously there is some kind of disconnect on his end.. I use that stall nearly every day and I've never had this issue myself, or with anyone else.

  • 3
    Peek under and look for feet – paparazzo Oct 23 '17 at 17:02
  • 6
    @Paparazzi your comment and your username are well-matched. – Mike Harris Oct 24 '17 at 14:33

should I just confront him directly about the matter?

No, definitely do not confront them.

How about you just knock first and say something like "Is this occupied?", and then proceed to open the door slowly? By doing this you are giving the person occupying the stall an opportunity ( ample I would say ) to respond appropriately.

The person should know better, but why take a chance on another awkward encounter when my suggestion makes that un-necessary?

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    The problem is that there's multiple (three) stalls, and so people don't always respond to a knock. I guess because they can't tell if it's coming from their door..? – user75749 Sep 7 '17 at 16:50
  • 2
    Knock and open the door slowly. If he doesn't say anything at that point then it's his fault. – David K Sep 7 '17 at 16:53
  • 7
    @Charles You could always tape signs to the inside of the stalls saying "Did you remember to lock the door?" – David K Sep 7 '17 at 16:57
  • 12
    I understand the rationale, but I don't really think this is necessary. The normal behaviour is to walk into a stall that is open, under the assumption that people will lock the door when they use it. There is no need for 99.999% people to change their routine just because the 0.001% people don't follow the social norms. I once walked in on a couple kissing in a change room! (it was a men's change room) It hasn't persuaded me to knock every time I want to use a change room. – Masked Man Sep 7 '17 at 17:09
  • 2
    @MisterPositive Agree, to each their own indeed. Like I said, I understand your point, just that I don't think it is necessary. I am usually too preoccupied with important things, I would prefer some chores like these to be taken care of by subconscious mind. :) Otherwise it breaks my flow of thoughts. – Masked Man Sep 7 '17 at 17:13

Just say "Oh, I thought this stall was unoccupied.", step outside, shut the door and forget about it. If he isn't shutting the door when using the toilet, it is his problem, not yours.

No need to make a song and dance by contacting anyone. It is only going to create an unnecessary scene, with some "authority" type people educating him. You have nothing to gain by doing so.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    Some thing are hard to un-see....I would rather avoid if at all possible. – Mister Positive Sep 7 '17 at 17:06
  • 2
    Yes, I can still picture quite vividly.. – user75749 Sep 7 '17 at 17:09

If you are willing to talk about it with him:

Hey Bob, why don't you lock the door on the bathroom stall?

If you are not: if there is a gap under the door you can check if someone is in there, or perhaps knock or use a different bathroom.

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    I am going to guess that most of the commenters here are men. Women use stalls for all bathroom visits, and even the tallest among us get used to scanning for feet under the door or glancing at the crack between door and divider to determine if there is someone in a stall before opening the door. You can't see anything specific, but you can get a sense of whether there is someone occupying the space. This guy sounds like a goofball, but there are many situations where the door locks are faulty, etc., where you could accidentally walk in on someone. – magerber Sep 7 '17 at 17:06
  • Also its rare that unused stall have their doors fully closed, so only if the door is closed I check if actually is someone in there. And I never heard of this situation before, so I guess that besides the stupid "forgot to lock the door guy" op seems to be a little careless – Homerothompson Sep 7 '17 at 17:33
  • 1
    @gnsanty If you read the other comment sequences, I knock before attempting to open the door. Also, these are nice bathroom stall doors, made of wood, and are quite heavy, and do stay completely closed, even when unlocked. Not sure how I'm being careless. Can you elaborate? Lastly, there is only one bathroom on the entire floor. To use a different bathroom, I would have to leave the office and take the elevator two floors down to the lobby. To suggest that I avoid the bathroom all together doesn't seem like the correct solution. Thanks for your opinion though. – user75749 Sep 7 '17 at 18:16
  • 1
    That's the most straightforward answer to actually solve the problem. Bob is oblivious about locking the stall. Instead of making the whole world change their sensible default behaviour of just entering an ostensibly unoccupied toilette, the next time you step into bob making his business you remind him that locking the door is important. Of course, that does not work if Bob is your big boss. – NoBackingDown Oct 24 '17 at 6:10
  • 2
    Why is this so heavily downvoted? Failing to lock functioning toilet doors is antisocial so it seems perfectly reasonable to comment on it. – P. Hopkinson Mar 11 '19 at 16:36

In my former place of work I never closed the door in a particular bathroom, because the lock were malfunctioning and sometimes they stuck closed. We had an habit to knock the door before opening it, and leaving the door open when not using the stall.

I think that you either knock the door before entering or follow the advice of Masked Man to say you thought the stall was free.

| improve this answer | |

You must log in to answer this question.