Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Secret Fashion History of an Employee Restroom

Okay. This has amused me for quite a while.

Last January every museum employee moved up to the 5th floor to work in temporary shared office space while the rest of the building was being renovated. That is, every employee except me. Since mine was the only office not really undergoing major construction, I stayed put here on the 4th floor. Starting in June this year when some of the other staff members rejoined me on the 4th floor, some of our shared spaces – hallways, lounge, bathrooms – that had been gloomy dirty construction sites for 6 long months, became clean and painted, and occasionally filled with my co-workers.

These are big changes. For a long time it was just me, the dirt, and the construction guys. There were no working restrooms on my floor so I had to go upstairs to find such facilities. Once everyone moved back down here, though, the restrooms were put back in order.

One such restroom used to look like this:

Just your basic restroom, right? (I figure you don't really need to see the toilet, although I assure you there is one. For those who are curious, it is to the left of the camera's viewpoint.)

One day shortly after the rest of the staff moved back down to Floor Four, I walked into the restroom and found it transformed:

A total makeover! Every day after that something new was added. The lavender-scented cleaning products and air freshener appeared first. Then the fresh flowers in the vase and the handy girly basket to hold extras. The plaid curtain was last to appear, but I think it made the most difference.

I had no idea that my colleagues had been so frustrated by the utilitarian appearance of our employee restroom. As soon as they were given free rein a bountiful feast of frilly decorative elements appeared, like a desert blooming after a rain shower!

I’ve been so amused.


l-bean said...

I'm super curious-- what made you take a picture of the bathroom pre-makeover?

LaLa said...

Ah. Perhaps I should have explained that. I went in for other reasons on the weekend and since no one else was around, I removed all the frills so I could stage a 'Before' picture. It's not an exact representation of what it was like before - no one cleaned it for months and only construction guys used it. Shudder.

Pumpkin said...

Lol......'employee bathrooms' can and do tend to be on the bare and minimalist is definitley much nicer when they're personalised and prettified.....after all we do ....on occasion....have to spend time in there so why not have it a pleasant place to be.
Lol..great post!

Subservient No More said...

I love the new bathroom! It looks like it smells good. The before picture looks like it smelled like pee and wet paper towels.