poop. yes, poop. (sorry)

If you’ve ever wondered about issues related to on-the-job defecation, you’ll want to check out the amusing heated discussion going on at Punk Rock HR.

On the other hand, I have heard there are some people who prefer not to think about such topics, so this may not be for you.

As I mentioned in the comments over there, I am currently in the midst of a dispute with a staff member about why the organization will not provide wet wipes in the bathrooms. He considers this an outrage. Feel free to weigh in.

{ 21 comments… read them below }

  1. Rebecca*

    Don’t cave in to this guy. Next he’ll be demanding that you wipe it for him too.

    But he’s not even the first guy I’ve heard of asking for wipes at work! There seems to be a tiny subset of the population that CANNOT LIVE without wet wipes. One of my relatives keeps a pack in his briefcase, another in the car, and always packs a supply when traveling. He actually becomes visibly nervous if he needs to crap and has no wipes.

  2. HR Godess*

    Your post on that site, and the one following it, was great! If people can’t be careful when they wipe, there is a bigger issue. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had complaints about others not washing. If I had a dollar every time I had weird complaints, I’d be on a beach somewhere sipping a margarita!

  3. Productivity Guy*

    Wet wipes are essential to any company’s arsenal of employee engagement tools.

  4. Anonymous*

    I am very very happy that Mrs. Ask A Manager (MA’AM!) has finally decided to address this important issue, as I’ve been writing to her about it for some time! Here’s my original note:

    Dear Mrs. AskAManager (MA’AM!):

    I have a question about an employer’s obligation to provide adequate toilet supplies in the workplace. Specifically, wouldn’t you agree that an employer ought to make flushable wipes available to employees who request them? There are three reasons why I believe a responsible employer would wish to provide these in office facilities:

    1) Quality of life. This should go without saying: A happy employee is a productive employee. (Hee hee — no pun intended re: “productive”!)

    2) Hygiene. If an employee were to accidentally touch feces with her hands, would you, as her manager, tell her to simply wipe her hands with a dry piece of toilet paper? Of course not! So why would you tell her to do so with her bottom? (Notice, I used the female pronoun? Just like you!)

    3) Health insurance. It seems logical to me that increased office hygiene would lead to fewer visits to the doctor. Not only would this decrease absenteeism, but it would also lower health insurance premiums. It’s a win-win!

    Thank you for considering my question. I look forward to showing your response to my boss so she’ll understand why she was wrong!

    (P.S. Please send me an “Ask A Manager” T-shirt — large, if you have one available!)

    Please to discuss.

  5. Shackleford Hurtmore*

    Tell him to see a doctor about why his poops are abnormal on the Bristol Stool Scale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Stool_Scale). I suspect that his poop is way too loose and excessive wiping is making his ringpiece sore unless he uses wet wipes. I will further deduce that he is obese. Tell him to stop eating the chocolate and burgers and he can rejoin the normal dry-wipe human race. IANAL. OAMD.

  6. Just another HR lady...*

    I’ve yet to meet anyone who has wet wipes available in their washroom at home for guests…most people use soap and water to wash, do they not? See, on AAM, I learn something new everyday.

  7. Dataceptionist*

    Anonymous @ 2:52 I find your comment and your question so SO amazingly disturbing that you think your employer should provide these to you.

    And that this is such an issue for you, that you would ask your HR dept, and then try to find “evidence” to support your argument when turned down.

    *runs screaming*

  8. Anonymous*

    OK… so I can’t tell you how timely this is. The following info falls into the category of TMI – skip if you don’t want to read it.

    I don’t know why, but the hair “back there” simply catches more than its fair share of stuff. Wiping with dry paper is not easy and can create excess irritation. So having water around (like a sink nearby) is awesome. For that reason, I like to “go” at home so I don’t have any cleaning issues.

    This doesn’t mean I think that my company should provide wet wipes in every bathroom. But I think some folks should remember that there are folks who have other challenges to deal with that might seem a little odd.

  9. class-factotum*

    This should go without saying: A happy employee is a productive employee.

    Not necessarily true. My Organizational Behavior prof said there is no research (this was in 1991) to support this idea. Slaves are productive but are not necessarily happy. People who spend all day at the water cooler gossiping are happy but are not productive.

  10. Evil HR Lady*

    I cannot believe I read this post and the comments and Laurie’s post and the comments.

    Buy your own wet wipes if need be. Blech.

  11. Anonymous*

    Hi! This is the original flushable wipe petitioner Mrs. AskAManager (MA’AM!) referred to.

    I’m have a sneaking suspicion that Class-Factotum is in fact my real life boss … because that’s exactly what she told me when I suggested we improve productivity by having two-hour Dave and Buster Morale Booster lunches every Friday!

    However, and I’m pretty sure MA’AM will back me up on this, in this day and age, proper hygiene is no longer a mere luxury. I don’t know of any off hand, but I’ll betcha dollars to doughnuts that there are studies that say people who use flushable wipes are less likely to get sick! And what employer wouldn’t want that?

  12. Anonymous*

    Oh, I almost forgot. Just to clarify, because I suspect there’s some confusion here — I want flushable wipes for my bottom … of course I wash my hands with soap and water, silly!

  13. Kelly O*

    If you have issues that Charmin can’t handle, I submit it is your personal responsibility to make sure you are adequately equipped to handle what may *ahem* happen during the day.

    Example: I have GERD. It causes me to have certain issues after meals (or during stressful times.) Does that mean my employer ought to provide Tums at all desks? Of course not. I bring my own, and even share if someone else is in need.

    And if one does happen to touch fecal matter during one’s visit to Mrs. Murphy, then one ought to do the best one can with t.p. in the stall and then wash hands thoroughly.

  14. Anon Emous*

    Wow, I just don’t get what all the fuss is about.. if someone needs special wipes, buy them yourself and keep them in your desk. Then take them with you to the john. This is certainly not a company or HR issue. I work in a hospital, and even they just use regular toilet paper – so if it is good enough for them, then it should be good enough for any office or workplace.

  15. Anonymous*

    Flushable Wipe Activist (FWA!) here again … I believe history will view me as the Upton Sinclair of the 21st Century!

  16. Anonymous*

    It seems like this activist guy is kind of deluded or at a minimum troublingly self-righteous. Kudos to AMA for even hearing him out at this point.

  17. Anonymous*


    FWA! here, and I just wanted to report that, thanks largely to your support here (and especially you, Mrs. AskAManager (MA’AM)!), our communal bathroom is now properly stocked with safe, sanitary flushable wipes.

    Since FW installment, we have seen a noticeable drop in illness rates around the office, as well as rates of violent interoffice confrontations and 911 calls. I will keep you all updated.

Comments are closed.