Author Topic: Workplace problem - Need advice  (Read 1932 times)

raven2963

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Workplace problem - Need advice
« on: April 03, 2018, 01:54:45 AM »
I work in a predominately male environment in a very small organization - 8 males, 2 females.  There are two bathrooms, one for males and one for females.  We are all responsible for keeping our areas clean as we do not have a maid service.  Us ladies keep our restroom much cleaner than the men.  The level of cleanliness also includes refill of paper towels, hand soap, and toilet paper.  They've actually gone weeks without hand soap in theirs.  Our attention to detail has backfired.  The men have resorted to using the girls restroom.  I've come in to urine and feces on the toilet seat, under the lid, on the rim of the toilet, and urine on the floor frequently.  Guess who has to clean it?  This problem has been going on for a few years.  I've gone to management (no resolution, he uses it too and there is no one above him) and even went so far as to put a keyed lock on the door.  When I put a lock on the door, they actually took the door off of its hinges to break in when I wasn't there.  They've also used their knives to jimmy the lock open.  These guys are relentless and I know that the more I push, the more they will push back with passive aggressive antics. 

Any ideas on how I can resolve this problem?

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 02:08:15 AM »
My guess is that there's one bloke responsible. Get a camera and then name and shame. Most blokes wouldn't bother to take a damn door off the hinges, and most blokes don't poo on the seat. Sounds more like a personal thing to me.

How about you girls arrange to use somewhere off site? The boss will get sick of it, but unless he allows you a clean bathroom, there's not much he can do.

raven2963

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 02:19:39 AM »
There are definitely multiples,  heck there's probably just one that doesn't use it.  The "skid marks" are usually located at the back of the seat.  Several of these guys are pretty big dudes and the restrooms are fairly small.  Going offsite is a great option, I don't live far from the office.  The other girl is newly PG and lives about 15 minutes away.  I don't have a problem letting her go to my house to go to the bathroom there.  Great idea, thank you! 

marty998

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 03:00:21 AM »
Who the hell is that vindictive to take the toilet door off the hinges?!?!

Do you have any recourse under sexual harassment laws against the perp?

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 03:09:52 AM »
There are definitely multiples,  heck there's probably just one that doesn't use it.  The "skid marks" are usually located at the back of the seat.  Several of these guys are pretty big dudes and the restrooms are fairly small.  Going offsite is a great option, I don't live far from the office.  The other girl is newly PG and lives about 15 minutes away.  I don't have a problem letting her go to my house to go to the bathroom there.  Great idea, thank you!

I was thinking more of an office next door or something. Just ask the manager and explain the situation.

I would also be mentioning harassment. I mean if you can't even have the privacy of a bathroom without some neanderthal taking the door off the hinges, you've not really got a friendly workplace, have you??? What are you supposed to do when the door is off the hinges?? Just hold it in place while you squat? Frankly, I would be expecting your boss to handle the situation.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2018, 03:49:25 AM »
My advice: find a new job. If this is happening with the restrooms, I can only imagine what the work environment is like. Nightmare. Until then, absolutely go somewhere else and stop using them and let the men deal with their own filth. Only other option is to call a team meeting, address it and demand a cleaner for both restrooms. Sheesh. Fin pigs.

dummy

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 03:56:38 AM »
If my wife was in this situation I would be pissed.

Having said that, I would offer her the same suggestions.

Start an email trail with the boss, if you haven't already. Document each issue.  I would then talk with a local lawyer that specializes in employee/employer relations.  I can't understand how this hasn't been stopped. 

Removing a door from a women's bathroom and even men using a dedicated women's bathroom sounds like at least sexual harassment or privacy issues.  I would even suggest filing a police report if the police will let you. 

The lawyer will advise on what to do and typically offer free consultations.

Good luck.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 03:59:24 AM »
The misuse of you toilet is a form of harassment. But it is also wrong cheapness that employees need to clean their own toilets.

I suggest that you ask management to hire a daily cleaning of the toilets by a professional cleaner. I think the main reason these men are using the lady's toilet is that their own is dirty and without paper. If none of the men wants to clean theirs, then they need to hire professional help. I think the men are appalled by having to clean their own toilet. It would be a good investment for overall morale to hire a cleaner. And make sure the cleaner provides lots of extra paper in the toilet to cover the time between the cleanings.

As long as this doesn't change, then men will keep using your clean toilet.


raven2963

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2018, 04:31:16 AM »
Some more info might be helpful here.  Our office is about 1200 sq ft. The restrooms are about 5x5.  One toilet and one sink. There are plenty of both cleaning supplies and toiletries available.  The girls are office staff and they are field staff.  When they are not out in the field, they watch TV and play video games in the main rec area that is attached to the restrooms.  I do feel it is a form of harassment.  The first time I went to the chief about it, he told all of them not to use it anymore.  It was then that one of them drew up some obscene art calling me a "butt bandit".  I wrote up an official complaint and that stopped. 

I truly have thought about leaving but overall my job is great.  Further, sometimes I feel I'm overacting and being petty about this.

raven2963

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 04:37:05 AM »
Perhaps it is time to go and I've just become used to these issues.  They may get called out once or twice a day, the rest of the time they are lounging around. 

MrThatsDifferent:  You have a valid point on the rest of the environment.  The head is the only supervisor.  He has short timers syndrome and will be retired in a few months.  I'm up for his spot but often wonder what they would have in store for me when I take over. 

sokoloff

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2018, 05:52:13 AM »
I'm up for his spot but often wonder what they would have in store for me when I take over.
If that happens, squash like a bug the first one of them that gets way out of line or tests you publicly. Thats straight up playground bullying bullshit and as the new lead, you need to nip that in the bud. Sometimes, the only thing bullies understand is getting (figuratively in this case) punched in the nose.

Id pre-coordinate with your new higher-up boss that this is a possibility and that you want to know that they have your back and that you see this as a temporary need to be on higher alert and establish a professional environment.

schmerna

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2018, 08:14:56 AM »
I agree with the PP that you should have another conversation with your supervisor.  He needs to hire professional cleaners.  You can come to the meeting with a few suggested companies and quotes to have the bathrooms cleaned.  That way you are prepared to hire them as soon as the expense is approved.

mm1970

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2018, 01:05:43 PM »
I would probably leave, but there are a couple of issues here that depend on the laws in your state.

There's no law where I live that says you have to have a men's room and a ladies' room.  If it's a single bathroom with a lock, then they can be "co-ed" and in fact, many restaurants here have done that.

The problem comes with the bad habits of everyone else. 

I would attempt to force the company to pay for daily maid / cleaning service.


Almost 10 years ago, when I started at my company, our office was similar.  Few women (I'm in tech) and our building only had 2 toilets, both with doors and locks.  So they were labeled men and women but were really co-ed, and we were required to keep them clean.

We also used to have issues with a few slobs in the kitchen.  It drove me nuts to the point of putting up signs to clean up after yourself.  Still, a few bad apples would leave a mess, use forks, bowls, and not clean them, leave them in the sink.  A couple of us just starting throwing it all away (actually, if I washed something, I'd move it to my desk drawer).  It helped a bit but what really helped is when the slobs got laid off.

Of course, we've grown and shrunk and moved now, and I'm quite happy to say that I have a full 4 stalls all to myself.  We have 2 buildings and I'm the only woman in mine.  Though the other office has 5 or 6 women.

If you cannot get the boss to back you up, it's time to go.  If you end up the boss, you make the rules.  Guys break them, write them up.

SunshineAZ

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2018, 02:07:26 PM »
Not just no, but HELL NO!  That is just ridiculous!  Grown men who can't even hang a new roll of toilet paper, or fill a paper towel dispenser??  Ugh!  I would definitely demand that they pay for cleaning service so the men will use their own bathroom.   It is pretty poor management if they are participating in it as well.   

p.s. There is nothing I hate more than childish adults at work who won't clean up after themselves.  It says so much about their character, and none of it good.

Imma

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2018, 03:51:39 PM »
Those guys are extremely childish and I wouldn't be surprised if they would try to give you hell if you become their boss.

The problem isn't so much whether the guys use your bathroom, it's not even that they're selfish idiots too lazy to clean their own one, the biggest problem is they feel they deserve to have a clean bathroom without doing to work. They feel entitled to profit from your cleaning. That's a big attitude problem. Especially if they're apparantly having a lot of down time between calls, so it's not like they don't have the time. I hope this bathroom break-in was reported? Someone who does that needs an official warning at the very least.

I also work for a small company and we have a cleaning schedule. Doing your part of the cleaning is part of our job so if we don't clean, it has consequences. We can clean on company time and cleaning supplies are provided.

COEE

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2018, 04:15:04 PM »
It's possible that you and the other female in your office are being sexually harassed.  I would consult with a sexual harassment attorney to find out if this is the case and if you have grounds for a lawsuit.  Assuming it is, I would do the following things in order until the actions stop:

1.  Write a formal complaint to the manager.  Don't pull the lawyer card.  Just say you feel that you are being sexually harassed with this kind of behavior.
2.  Have the attorney write a letter citing the laws being broken and insist that the actions stop immediately.
3.  I'd sue the pants off the manager and the company.  Both are at fault.  You may even have a case against all of the men that you work with that you can prove have used the restroom after filing the complaint.

It's possible that there are no laws being broken since there is only one toilet and sink per room.  In that case, I'd still proceed with step 1 and perhaps have an 'attorney' still write a letter in step 2.

jeroly

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2018, 04:27:40 PM »
Is somebody handling the human resources issues for your company? Raise the problem with them.

civil4life

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Re: Workplace problem - Need advice
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2018, 10:36:57 AM »
This is definitely unacceptable behavior.  In the end it depends on how you want to handle it.  I think everyone has presented an array of great options.

This is definitely harassment and even retaliation.  First step is having the paper trail to know that management is completely aware.  I would suggest an ultimatum that could be any of the various ones presented...cleaning service, going back to male and female facilities.  I would also give them a deadline.  A week tops.  If it is not resolved then I would be looking at your legal options.

Please let us know how this resolves.