The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Thursday, June 23, 2005


In light of our upcoming move (at work) we received a memorandum to all D.C. Attorneys and Staff regarding the "Restroom Trip Policy" of the new offices. My first thought is of the current policy which is only that they lock the doors after 6:30, so bring your key. I am staring at this paper wondering why they need an entire page typed to tell me the new policy. And then I read on:

In our current quarters, [firm name] employees are permitted to make trips to the restroom under informal guidelines. In our new offices, a Restroom Trip Policy (RTP) will be implemented to provide a more consistent method of accounting for each employee's restroom time, ensuring equal treatment of all employees, and reducing costs by decreasing the duration of restroom trips.

According to the memo, basically, at the beginning of every month, a person is given a "bank" of restroom credits, each credit being worth 4 minutes of restroom time. The entrance to all restrooms will be linked up to a voice activated system to log use. There are repercussions to not using your time wisely:

If an employee's bank reaches zero, the restroom will not unlock for that employee's voice until the first of the next month. In addition, all restroom stalls will be equipped with timed paper roll retractors. If the stall is occupied for more than three minutes, an alarm will sound. Thirty seconds after the alarm sounds, the roll of paper will retract into the wall, the toilet will flush, and the stall door will open.

The names of employees who have had the stall door open automatically will be posted on the bulletin board in the seventh floor lunchroom. Anyone whose name is posted three times in a calendar quarter will be required to seek counseling.

I cannot begin to describe the influx of firm-wide "reply to all" emails that resulted from distribution of this memo.

UPDATE: Yes, they are joking:-) um...I hope!