We enjoyed our short stay at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa a while back. However during our visit, I think I discovered one of THE most poorly designed bathrooms in the state.
We were hanging out on one of their 2nd-floor terraces when nature started calling, so I walked to the elevator and up to the 4th floor. Since there was a bar (named “Edge”) there, I figured there would, therefore, be facilities, as well. And I was right – there was a men’s room and a ladies’ room right off the elevator.
I opened the door to the ladies’ room and the room was dark but as I stepped in to look for the light switch, the light suddenly went on automatically. I was then able to see that the “regular” light switch had been replaced with something different, so I surmised that in an attempt to
save money on electricity when no one was actually in the bathroom be green, the light was controlled by a motion sensor. Interesting.
The ladies’ room was very nice. Looked clean. Didn’t smell bad. Ample supply of soap, tissues and paper towels. Trash had been emptied. It was a relatively small restroom and only had 2 stalls – the one that was accessible to wheelchairs, and a regular-sized one. So I walked into the regular stall and did my business.
Now, you know how sometimes you “go” and you can get yourself clean in short order and sometimes it takes a little more effort? Well, this time it was the latter for me. What can I say…I had had coffee earlier in the day (and if you’re thinking “TMI,” (1) remember that my nickname is Princess Overshare [thank-you, Rob] and (2) the title of this post included the words “Toilet”…what did you expect???) So anyway, I’m doing what I need to do to get clean, and it’s taking a while, when all of a sudden, POOF, the lights went out.
Apparently, the motion sensor didn’t take whatever movement may be happening in the stalls into consideration.
Unfortunately, I was still IN the stall when this happened. And, even more unfortunately, I wasn’t done! So there I was, sitting in the pitch darkness (it’s not like there are any windows or anything. It’s dark. Like “camera darkroom” dark), my pants pulled down to my ankles, reaching like a blind person to find the toilet paper next to me and then having to use the light of my freakin’ iPhone to look at the used toilet paper, to see if I was “clean” or not.
Not one of my more graceful moments, let me tell ya.
Now, the thought did come to me that I could just go out of the stall and get the motion sensor’s attention to turn the light back on. The thing was, I didn’t want to pull my pants back up because, well, as I said, I wasn’t done yet and didn’t think that skid marks on my underpants until I could get home to change them would be very comfortable. And I couldn’t go out of the stall with my pants down by my ankles because with the luck I was having in that bathroom so far, someone would walk in at that very moment, the motion sensor would go to work, and the lights would go on with me showing off everything I had. So I did the best that I could with what I had…TP and a 99¢ “Flashlight” app.
Eventually, I was done and able to finish up and leave the stall. As soon as I walked into the “main” part of the bathroom, the lights, of course, went on and I was able to wash my hands in normal lighting conditions.
Being me, I did some experimenting after that and yep – the movement sensor gave you exactly ONE MINUTE to be in the stall. Any longer, and regardless of what you were doing in there, if there was no one else in the main part of the room who was moving around to keep the light on, you were going to finish your business in the dark.
Don’t believe me? Watch (video is totally safe for work, not gross and is less than 30 seconds long).
So keep that in mind when you go into a public restroom…not only do you need to check to see that the seat is clean, the lock works and there’s toilet paper to be had, maybe bring a flashlight with you. Cuz you never know and you don’t want to be caught with your pants down.
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