The Weekly Grind: 9

June 4, 2015

Nathan offers advice on WC etiquette and looking more CSR than you actually are


Dear Nathan,

Someone in the office isn’t cleaning up properly after using the toilet. (Which are unisex, sadly – much harder to track down the culprit.) Any suggestions?

When I was up at university, a foolish bedder tried to solve this problem. She sellotaped a prissy rhyme next to the toilet that read, If you sprinkle/ When you tinkle/ Be a sweetie/ Wipe the seatie. Needless to say, the users of the facility took this as a challenge, and by the end of the week the sign was straw-yellow and dripping with all the force of a rainy day at Niagara.

But, seriously – failure to meet toilet protocol is a terrible thing, right up there with eating burgers at your desk or wearing Lynx to the office. Firms are stressful places and the last thing you want is for the inner sanctum not to be a place to which one can happily unwind.

I suggest naming or shaming the malefactors once you identify them – possibly via a firm-wide email. Also consider re-purposing one of the toilets for the exclusive use of named individuals who aren’t maintaining the required standards. Something like this:


Dear Nathan,

I’m involved in a business development effort designed to win some housing association work. Any idea how I can make myself look more socially responsible and ‘culturally aligned’ at meetings?

Do these:

  • Carry a copy of The Guardian.
  • Wear a knitted tie.
  • Mismatch your suit upper with your suit lower.
  • When asked if you want some water, ask if it’s fair trade.
  • Quote George Monbiot.
  • Pretend you have children named Germaine, Porrit and Leaf.
  • Wear bicycle clips, even if you arrived via Uber.
  • Cover your legal pad with absent-minded doodles:

Let me know how you get on. I love housing associations, bless ‘em. NG

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