All is not well in the land of Oprah. As O: The Oprah Magazine editor Lisa Kogan explains, female staffers at the namesake magazine of the daytime doyenne have a habit of pissing on the toilet seats, and one, in particular, is to urine-spraying what Jackson Pollock was to abstract expressionism. Nicknamed "The Tinkler", this indiscriminate urinator has, Kogan says, "turned me from a happy-go-lucky columnist into a bitter, paranoid germaphobe." But it's not just Kogan: Every woman working in an office has encountered a Tinkler, and there seems to be no way to stop her.
When I had a real job, I worked in a small office on a floor with two other offices and one particularly bad Tinkler. Frustrated, I hung signs in bathroom, illustrated with toilet clip art and accompanied with admonishments that the Tinkler please stop, well, tinkling. It didn't work, so one day, I went to the bathroom earlier, figuring that I might catch the Tinkler in the act and wouldn't you know it, the minute I stepped inside the restroom, I spotted a woman coming out of a stall containing a urine-soaked toilet seat. "Aren't you going to clean that up?" I said. Without hesitation — and despite being caught in the act — she replied, "Oh, that wasn't me." Argh! My rage knew no bounds, but my bladder did, so I ducked into the handicapped stall to pee and seethe.
Why do they do it? Is it, as one colleague of Ms. Kogan surmises, a primitive, gesture mean to mark one's space? A passive-aggressive way of giving the finger to an unwelcoming office environment? Or is it, as one Jezebel staffer once philosophized, just a symptom of the Tragedy Of The Commons? I get that some people don't want to sit on public toilet seats, but can't they at least clean up after themselves? The sad truth is that those who spend their days peeing on toilet seats are giving birth to a new generation of seat hoverers, a snowball effect that proves exceptionally detrimental to those of us who actually poop at work as well. As Kogan puts it, "I'm not asking for cloth napkins and classical music. I don't need a mint on my pillow. I just want a bit of common courtesy, a modicum of civility, a touch of class, or, failing all that, a good supply of Lysol."
Beware of 'The Tinkler' [CNN]
Related: Logn Lines At Women's Toilets? It's The Law [NPR]