Claudia Schiepers


3 American toilet things to hate
October 28, 2008, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Bathroom blogfest

Blogfest-logo-2008 Last year, I wrote only one blogpost on the Bathroom Blogfest, but when I got the email this year that the fest was on again, I promised myself I would put in more effort! The official title is Bathroom Blogfest '08 – Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us. A lot of other blogs are participating again this time and you can find a full list below. There is a Facebook event too this time, you can join it here.

After talking about my little room experiences in Belgium (my home country) last time, I think I should just continue with that story and move to another country: The USA.
There are three things that bug me tremendously in the United States bathroom world. First of all, the spaces everywhere! Seriously… what is up with the holes between the door and the wall; between the walls and the floor; and between the walls and the ceiling??? I don't care that much about people knowing what I'm up to in my daily life (I wouldn't have a blog otherwise), but I do value my privacy in the bathroom! I want to be able to take my time, make embarrassing noises and use as much paper as I want to without feeling like everyone in the space can see me, hear me and worst of all: judge me… For my readers who are not used to American toilets, see these pictures as evidence.

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The second thing I don't like about my new home's bathrooms is the amount of water in the toilet. Why is there so much? It seems to work fine in Belgium with a lot less water and the water also seems to be much farther away from my butt on the other side of the continent… I can't believe anybody likes it when the water that you just relieved yourself in, splashes back up and wets your bum. I know I'm being quite graphic here, just trying to explain my dislikes to you, innocent readers…

The last thing I don't like about American toilets is their location in a lot of restaurants. Now, it is not fair to call this an "American toilet" problem; "New York toilet" problem is probably more accurate. A lot of the bathrooms in the restaurants here are unisex. I have no problem with that. Whoever says that men are more disgusting than women has probably never done any real comparison. Women are way more gross, so sharing the same bathroom with men does not fade me in any way. In fact, I am that person who (when they are separated) will skip the women's line and go straight for the one free stall on the men's side.

Anyway, back to the location… Since most restaurants only have one or two bathrooms, the door opens straight from the eating area into the bathroom. No hall way, no second door, nothing. So if you don't lock the door properly, you will be exposed not only to the person invading your toilet space, but to a full restaurant (if you go to a popular place, that is). Embarrassing, yes, but that is not the worst part. The "only-one-door-between-eating-food-and-taking-a-dump" – fact is WAAAAYYY worse. Can you already imagine the smell coming from that door when that 300 pound guy decides to empty his bowels? Bon appetit!

So, as you can deduct from this little rant, I am not a big fan of the toilets of my new home country…

Next up: Japan

Other participating bloggers:
Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
Katia Adams at Transcultural Marketing
Shannon Bilby at Floor Talk!
Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
Jo Brown and the blogging team at Kohler Talk
Lisbeth Calandrino at Lisbeth Calandrino
Sara Cantor at The Curious Shopper
Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!
Katie Clark at Practical Katie
Iris Shreve Garrott at Circulating
Ann Handley at Annarchy
Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
Elizabeth Hise and C.B. Whittemore at The Carpetology Blog
Maria Palma at Customers Are Always
Sandra Renshaw at Purple Wren
Kate Rutter at Adaptive Path
Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology
C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer



Bathroom Blogfest starts now
October 29, 2007, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Bathroom blogfest, ladiesrooms

N652654045_197845_7204_2Today the Bathroom Blogfest starts! A year ago, 9 bloggers wrote a whole week about the importance of a decent, clean bathroom in the customer experience. This year, a whopping 22 bloggers will be writing about the same subject. See below for the full list of all the ladies (and one man) who will be going on about the good, the bad and the ugly of the little rooms. There is a blog that unites all the posts and there even is a Facebook group.

I’ve been thinking for a while on what to write about, as I do have some strong opinions about toilets all over the world. So I decided to go exactly with that, my experiences in the different countries and how they compare to each other.

As a proud Belgian (although I don’t live there anymore), I’ll start with my home country. Now I can’t really complain about the cleanliness in general of Belgian toilets. Compared to my travels all over the world, they will rank quite high on that scale. I’ve never had any big problems that I can think of. Of course, you will always have some of these dodgy bars that need to get some cleaners in on a more regular basis.

But overall Belgium scores good on my satisfaction scale. I even remember the Brussels airport (after Schiphol airport) being quite innovative when they placed urinals for ladies in their new terminal (although I’m still trying to figure out how exactly you should use them). Lady P was the name of the toilet… Or remember Rock Werchter and Humo working together years ago to help ladies go to the bathroom at festivals. They gave away these "Plastuiten" or P-mates, so you didn’t have to touch anything and could pee like a boy. I tried that at home and it was absolutely brilliant.

There is one thing I do really really really hate about Belgian toilets, and that is that more and more places will make you pay for going to the bathroom. Now how ridiculous is that! And no, it’s not a matter of tipping, they actually list the price for going. And these toilets are not any cleaner than the ones where you don’t pay, it has just become a habbit and everyone just pays. Even very classy (read expensive) restaurants have the balls to ask for half a Euro to go. I really don’t understand why everyone thinks this is normal. As a lot of my readers are Belgian, what do you think about this?

Here’s as promised, the full list of bloggers: