Tuesday, May 14, 2013


     I am doing something I have not done since writing this Blog.  And here is why.  Dad went with mom this week to a meeting in another town.  It was in a nice little cafe in an old historic downtown building.  Having a good meal in pleasant surroundings was ruined by a trip to the restroom.  The attempt to be handicap complient was stopped short by either ignorance, a cheap owner, or a contractor that should be required to use the facilities that he puts together.
     The room was big and the porcelain thrown was miniature.  There was not a bar within reach and getting up was virtually impossible.  I will stop here before details of getting up are discussed.  Needless to say it will be a place I hesitate to go to myself.  And I love to eat in these places.
     So I am going to repeat a piece I did in August of 2012 because most of the papers that pick this up did not publish, but I have yet to have a piece be complimented as much by those who get it online.  One of my most valued readers clams it was the best piece I have ever done.
(Aug. 2012).   OK I am going to be the resident curmudgeon and climb on my soapbox and irritate a lot of people!  This is a subject that I have had a burr under my saddle for years and if it applies to you TOUGH!
     I have gone up and down with my weight over most of my life.  At one time not long ago I was to the point of being and invalid.  Thank God I have fought the battle (still fighting), and have gotten my life back.  So I have a particularly delicate subject I now want to discuss.
     BATHROOMS, RESTROOMS,WATER CLOSETS, THE FACILITIES, POWDER ROOMS, the HEAD, what ever you choose to call them.  And I want to address the ARCHITECTS, PLUMBERS, BUILDERS, OWNERS, AND DECISION MAKERS that are responsible for them.  Ask any woman and you will get an earful about the public and many private facilities in this country.
     Only because of the ADA laws are many, not all, facilities actually friendly to the users of them.  And even these rules get messed up for the convenience of some builder is too lazy to give any consideration to them.
     Miniature toilets stuck in unreasonably small rooms are a sure indication of either stinginess, unconsciousness, and/or stupidity.  Sure thing that those responsible are so skinny that they should be watched for bulimia or sadism.
     The fact that 60% of the American people are obese should have those responsible for customer and user comfort paying attention.  Anyone paying for the design and installation of the facilities should insist on the privy being built for the comfortable usage of everyone including themselves.
     For years we have been squeezed into stalls or rooms that you cannot turn around in.  We have doors that swing inward so it is impossible to get around to set down.  Toilet paper holders have been installed so low you have to be double jointed to get at the paper.
     If you have ever seen these huge plastic appliances on the wall, so low that only a 4 year old could get into, and wonder why so many of them have been damaged?  It is because, through desperation, many have hit, pried, or otherwise popped them open to get to the massive rolls of narrow, sand paper, to clean themselves in a civilized manner.  I don't care how much money is saved by these monstrosities it just shows that you don't care about easy usage by your customers.  HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR CUSTOMERS ATTITUDES?
     I feel so sorry for the truly disabled trying to have some bit of decorum while fulfilling a basic body function.  It can be maddening.
     There are some companies and builders that do good jobs and seem to care, but take a trip across the country and see the horror that awaits you in many places.
     I have also been in homes that were either built by people so cheap or skinny that you cannot even get through the narrow doors let alone use the throne.  If you can spend thousands on a kitchen to make it user friendly can't you spend a little more on doorway widths and size of bathrooms?
     If you shared these frustrations I hope this will move you to be more vocal.  If this irritated or embarrassed you, FANTASTIC!  That was the whole point of this.
      When I point our simple remedies to problems in the restrooms most will be very attentive and then ignore it when I am gone.  Maybe if you will also point out the little things that could be corrected, enough of us could actually make them realize there is a problem.  SPEAK UP!!!
     Now here is some simple things that those of you can pay attention to who are responsible for the facilities:
  1. Toilets tall enough not to have knees near the cheeks (face).
  2. Toilets set out far enough to be reasonable.
  3. Doors that swing out away from the stall.
  4. Toilet paper above the bar and accessible for everyone.
  5. Grab Bars that do not protrude into the minimum space for the fixture.
  6. Toilet not too tall that your feet swing.
  7. Doors wide enough for everyone to get through.
  8. KEEP IT CLEAN.  Nothing is more disgusting than a filthy facility.
  9. Do all this because you want to do what is right and show you really care.
     As you might note I do this with much emotion and I try not to write when I am worked up.  But this has been brewing with me for years and it is time to point it out.
     There are a few companies that I would like to give an award to for their excellent facilities.  And to the others I want to scream, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING OF?!!!!
     I hope this will inspire more women to go into design and architecture because the men that do this need to go get a real job!
(note-I hope this gets published this time or your woman finds out why)

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