Yesterday, I went to Buckhorn Grill for dinner. I ordered my food, set my stuff down at the table, and went to use the bathroom. I tried the handle to the men’s room, but it was locked. I thought I heard some movement at the sink and I waited just a short time (probably 30-40 seconds) and the door opened. The man using the bathroom exited and I stepped into the bathroom.
Then this is what happened:
I have one foot in the bathroom and a man, with his four-year-old son approaches. As he is walking up he says, “Oh, were you waiting to use the bathroom too?” He continues as he walks toward me, “We were waiting to use the bathroom.” I reply, “How am I supposed to know that?”
“Because I just told you.”
He says this as he walks past me and into the bathroom with the child. He assumes that I’m going to retreat from the bathroom and let him and his child go ahead. I do this.
When he comes out he says something to me on the way out like, “We don’t like to wait in the hall, because it gets crowded there.” I don’t respond.
This is how it later happened in my mind:
(I do not know how the other man would have responded so all quotes after “because I told you” are me speaking. His lines are simply assumed.)
I reply, “How am I supposed to know that?”
“Because I just told you.”
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t know you were waiting. Don’t just walk by me like this is some kind of normal protocol. That isn’t the social etiquette in this situation. Generally, when people are waiting for something we stand in line. When I go to the bank I don’t wait for the teller to say ‘next person please’ and then jump in front of the line and let them know I had been waiting on the nearby cushioned chairs.”
“No. I don’t have a problem with you being here first or you using the bathroom before me. I have a problem with the way you chose to do it. You could have informed me before the door opened that you were also waiting. Maybe I would have even sat at the table with you. Don’t just barge in front of me and be rude about it.”
“Then I suggest you do one of three things: Go get a manager from the establishment and we can discuss this place’s protocol, wait for me to use the bathroom, or ask me nicely. Maybe something like, ‘excuse me sir, my son and I were already waiting for the bathroom over there, would you mind if we go in front of you?’”
After this I can no longer assume how he would react. Depending on his response my imagination here takes me anywhere from, “No problem sir. Go ahead.” And if he didn’t ask me nicely I imagined shouting, some expletives, and quite a scene made before anyone made it to the bathroom.
What would I have gained from this outrageous response? I’m sure nothing positive would have come of it. I don’t think he would have left with some enlightenment on social situation; I think he would have just been upset. But I think I would feel better, because it makes me angry again just writing this story. I wish I go back and do it again. It would have been worth it.
Think I need to sign up for some anger-management classes?