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Mod Note (Andy): Throw Back Thursday, Originally posted on August, 2012

When you work 80-hour weeks regularly and the staples of your diet are $25 Seamlessweb pasta dishes and burger combos, inevitably, nature is going to call - on your office line. For the majority of analysts on Wall Street, working at an investment bank is your first time in a professional office environment.

To the uninitiated, the bathrooms at investment banks might be imagined as marble palaces, freshly stocked with the finest supplies for bankers' quiet time atop gold-plated commodes. To those in the know - well, you know it's not so. Five observations regarding your favorite place to catch up on Words with Friends while at the office:


1. Middle Urinal Guy

In most parts of the civilized world, we are taught at a young age to 1) not have sex with your relatives, and 2) not use the middle urinal if the side urinals are available. However, there are some who choose to brashly ignore this hallowed rule and will post up in urinal #2 of a three-rack, effectively rendering the entire row unusable to those of us with any sort of moral compass. Chances are, you've run into Middle Urinal Guy before, and have had no choice but to head for the stalls. At which point, you have to face...


2. The Presence of Unexpected Presents

Human beings' capacity for destruction never ceases to amaze me. This is true for the toilets as well. With a floor full of overworked, overfed folks running on 9 cups of Starbucks a day, a little acute IBS is understandable. But all too often, you open a stall door, ready for some quiet iPhone time, and you're greeted with a grisly scene. Like a puked-in sink at a frat party... except it isn't puke.


3. Mister Chatty

Middle Urinal Guy is doing his thing and the stalls are full of either depressed 1st year analysts taking catnaps or MDs banging out emails on Blackberry. You sidle up next to a fellow banker at the urinal rack, you give the customary grunt-slash-nod, unzip, and do what any normal human being does - stare at the wall. At least 90% of people understand and follow the code - even clueless Middle Urinal Guy. However, there is a subset of the population that was taught neither to avoid the middle urinal nor to stare at the wall as if it were the latest Swimsuit Issue. Mister Chatty turns his head, and decides now is the time to strike up a conversation.

So! How is everything going with you lately? What are you working on?

Awkward. Why would you do this?? We're here with our dongs out, peeing an unhealthy shade of coffee-stained yellow, and you want to talk shop? Good god.

You force a wry grin and mumble some incoherent response, trying to hurry up and get out of there to end this godforsaken conversation. Which leads to...


4. The Splashback

You're in a damn hurry and you're not focused on aim (because someone, for some insane reason, is unnecessarily trying to make smalltalk) - and you hit the wrong part of the concave porcelain. Ruh roh. Your fresh-pressed grey slacks are now polka dotted on the thighs. You've just been victimized by the splashback. Aside from the fact that for the next 10 hours or so, you'll have to walk around knowing you basically pissed yourself and didn't change clothes, you now have to deal with the possibility of everyone else knowing it too. The only possible solution is to dab down a bit with paper towels, and either 1) cover up with a well-placed folder in hand, or 2) go for broke and make it look like a sink splash issue. Zip up and hit the sinks.


5. Look Ma, No Hands

The sinks. Nobody ever bothers to Zamboni, so there is water all over the counter. Paper towels litter the floor. Despite the fact that it (like the rest of the bathroom) looks like it belongs behind a gas station, the sinks are probably the most civilized part of the whole bathroom. This is the one place where it's acceptable to have a quick chat, where you can tie up your tie after showing up at 11 am, where you come to clean your hands. Or so one would think.

In the age of free running water and abundant antibacterial handsoap, you would think everyone takes five seconds to wash their hands of the billions of germs collected from filthy keyboards, door handles, and, oh yeah - peeing and/or pooping. But no - there's always someone to shatter the peace, someone who zips up and zooms out of the bathroom, brusquely waving hello before quickly exiting, with nary a drop of water or soap to cleanse the hands. Yuck. Think about that the next time you enter a crowded post-lunch meeting and begin gladhanding everyone.



In my experience, when it comes to using the bathroom, investment bankers truly are monkeys. Have you seen any of the above bizarre bathroom habits during your time on Wall Street? Are you reading this from the john right now?


Aaron Burr is a retired investment banking analyst and currently works as an associate at a private equity fund. He practices good bathroom etiquette - let him know if you do as well in comments section or at [email protected]

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Comments (126)

  • AndyLouis's picture

    Aaron Burr:
    4. The Splashback

    hate that.. love it when bars/restaurants put ice in the urinal for a soft landing. more places should do this

  • BlackHat's picture

    Love this post... perfect explanation of bathroom life. I, however, fall under the camp that rarely, if ever, washes their hands after a routine #1. I take pride in my belief that my manhood is the cleanest part of my body, and after doing my thing at the urinal, if I was going to wash anything it would probably be my junk, given how dirty my hands usually are! Of course, a scrub-down is mandatory after a tough battle in the stalls, and I always wash my hands if other people are in the bathroom for fear of being seen as disgusting, but if it's just me in the bathroom and I'm taking a piss, I'll walk right past the sink without a care in the world.

    P.S. I'd love a follow up detailing the awkward encounters with your PM in the bathroom.

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to HarvardOrBust
    AndyLouis's picture

    HarvardOrBust:
    One time heard my MD talking on a conference call while he was taking a shit. That was awkward.

    ha i bet that happens more than we'd like to know
  • Asatar's picture

    Best post I've read in a long time, 100% accurate. The "sink splash issue" had me laughing my head off.

  • bfin's picture

    Splash back dominates me at least once a day when I wear grey, ridiculous. You forgot about the piss next to you guy. You correctly go to your proper corner stall and someone else comes in and parks it right in the middle with the other stall wide open. I'll never understand why this happens.

    The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

    WSO is not your personal search function.

  • Nobama88's picture

    Taking a shit while on my iphone in a spotless and person-less bathroom is probably my most favorite thing to do at work.

  • In reply to AndyLouis
    WallStreetOasis.com's picture

    AndyLouis:
    HarvardOrBust:
    One time heard my MD talking on a conference call while he was taking a shit. That was awkward.

    ha i bet that happens more than we'd like to know

    Andy, remember that call from last week? I have a confession to make...

  • GED or Bust's picture

    #3 is by far the worst. There was an MD this summer that would only talk to me when we were at the urinal together.

  • AQM's picture

    I drink like 5 cups of tea ( I didn't say coffee) a day, and whenever I go even a little overboard on lunch, I head straight to the bathroom to crap it all out.

  • In reply to WallStreetOasis.com
    AndyLouis's picture

    WallStreetOasis.com:
    AndyLouis:
    HarvardOrBust:
    One time heard my MD talking on a conference call while he was taking a shit. That was awkward.

    ha i bet that happens more than we'd like to know

    Andy, remember that call from last week? I have a confession to make...

    Touche, i'm posting this comment from the throne at starbucks

  • Going Concern's picture

    really solid post, and not just sayin that to be polite

    Aaron Burr:
    Nobody ever bothers to Zamboni

    i'll be honest, i didnt know what that meant, so naturally i urban dictionary'ed it...naaaassssty...tho given the fraternity-like culture that is customary of the IBD, im a lil surprised that is not enforced

    “The new day brings new hope. The lives we’ve led, the lives we’ve yet to lead. A new day. New ideas. A new you.”

  • Brouhaha's picture

    I saw a new one today, guy just chilling, taking a dump in the stall with the door half open. Totally oblivious.

  • wannabeaballer's picture

    In before Bankerella.

  • ladubs111's picture

    I find the two dudes taking shits in their designated stalls having a nice friendly convo the funniest. "Yo, wide stance right?" , "hell ya", "atta boy"

  • trailmix8's picture

    I am so careful with gray pants. I make sure to even bend forward and stand back with extra exagerration when washing hands so that the sink splashback doesent get on them. Because even with sink drops, people will think that you have urinated on yourself, especially chicks who do not understand the functional dynamics of the urinal.

  • analyst1609's picture

    First of all, I LOVE THIS ARTICLE! So funny, yet true!!!
    I hate it when when you're going for a shit, but there's a little "surprise" waiting. YUCKKKKKKK!!!

    And yes, some of the guys just wash their hands for like 2 secs and walk out, others don't even bother. I of course, DO WASH MY HANDS.

    No contract means I have all the power. They want me, but they can't have me. - Don Draper

  • In reply to AndyLouis
    Beretta's picture

    AndyLouis:
    and in case this post (http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/so-you-want-to...) had you thinking about working in china..

    and I heard people defend this style saying "it's more sanitary" and my rebuttal was "well not if it gets on your shoes!!!"

    lol I've seen those in other countries as well. They are called squat toilets and are a lot easier to clean, apparently.

    But I've always wondered how much it would suck if you lose your balance and fall in...

  • hungryhobo's picture

    As a summer intern in trading...some guy sounded like he was vomiting was he was taking a shit. The moments that make me lol are when I'm washing my hands and some guy rushes into the stall and just lets it rip!!!

  • Commuter's picture

    The respectfulness of others when you're puking in the urinal or stall next to them is fantastic. Those waterless urinals at BAML are awful.

    @JustinDDuBois
    WSO Company Database | Job Board

  • In reply to Beretta
    AndyLouis's picture

    Beretta:

    But I've always wondered how much it would suck if you lose your balance and fall in...

    i lived in china for almost a year and had to use these more than i'd like to remember, though I did have a pretty solid method which worked pretty well. zero falls, increased quad strength and balance, and a major appreciation for the work of Thomas Crapper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Crapper)

  • In reply to Going Concern
    Koho's picture

    Going Concern:
    really solid post, and not just sayin that to be polite

    Aaron Burr:
    Nobody ever bothers to Zamboni

    i'll be honest, i didnt know what that meant, so naturally i urban dictionary'ed it...naaaassssty...tho given the fraternity-like culture that is customary of the IBD, im a lil surprised that is not enforced

    I think the OP meant just to clean it (the regular way), not lick it up.. I could be wrong though..

  • Cookies With Milken's picture

    Corporate bathrooms have me terrified of old age. Pissing next to an older guy about to retire and he starts the stream, stops, start stop start stop. Grunting and shit. I always make a point to push my piss stream as hard and fast as possible so as to remind the old fuck, who more likely than not gave me shit for something I did at one point or another, that he may run the office but at least I can run my own dick.

    Cheers!

  • Bondarb's picture

    you guys missed the worst bathroom situation possible...maybe its because you dont drink enuff. The worst thing is if you have been out all night boozing and you have to puke, but you dont want to go into the regular bathroom because you could run into your boss or other people you know. Let's face it nobody wants their boss to see them on all fours heaving at work. My move is usually to go down to another floor, particularly one where the people dont get in until 9am or later (since this is usually an early morning problem)..however I once puked in a recycling bin in the stairwell because I couldnt quite make it. Anyway the sheer panic of realizing you are about to boot and are a long way from anyplace it is safe is way worse then splashback or the middle stall guy.

  • In reply to BlackHat
    Cola Coca's picture

    BlackHat:
    Love this post... perfect explanation of bathroom life. I, however, fall under the camp that rarely, if ever, washes their hands after a routine #1. I take pride in my belief that my manhood is the cleanest part of my body, and after doing my thing at the urinal, if I was going to wash anything it would probably be my junk, given how dirty my hands usually are! Of course, a scrub-down is mandatory after a tough battle in the stalls, and I always wash my hands if other people are in the bathroom for fear of being seen as disgusting, but if it's just me in the bathroom and I'm taking a piss, I'll walk right past the sink without a care in the world.

    P.S. I'd love a follow up detailing the awkward encounters with your PM in the bathroom.

    Same. I'm so used to it at home though that I totally forget to wash even if people are around; my woman always ends up yelling at me.

    "If it's so dirty, then why do you suck on it?"

    EDIT: Worst thing about public restrooms - when you HAVE to touch the door handle to leave.

  • twinb's picture

    I'm often inclined to wash my hands BEFORE pissing. Especially in disgusting places like playing poker at a casino.

    Also:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  • In reply to Koho
    twinb's picture

    Koho:
    Going Concern:
    really solid post, and not just sayin that to be polite

    Aaron Burr:
    Nobody ever bothers to Zamboni

    i'll be honest, i didnt know what that meant, so naturally i urban dictionary'ed it...naaaassssty...tho given the fraternity-like culture that is customary of the IBD, im a lil surprised that is not enforced

    I think the OP meant just to clean it (the regular way), not lick it up.. I could be wrong though..

    Pretty sure he's referring to the Zamboni machines used in hockey that drive over the ice and clean/resurfaces the ice. If he's licking up the water around the sink then making sure his and other's hands are clean should be the least of his worries lol.

  • In reply to Bondarb
    Cookies With Milken's picture

    Bondarb:
    you guys missed the worst bathroom situation possible...maybe its because you dont drink enuff. The worst thing is if you have been out all night boozing and you have to puke, but you dont want to go into the regular bathroom because you could run into your boss or other people you know. Let's face it nobody wants their boss to see them on all fours heaving at work. My move is usually to go down to another floor, particularly one where the people dont get in until 9am or later (since this is usually an early morning problem)..however I once puked in a recycling bin in the stairwell because I couldnt quite make it. Anyway the sheer panic of realizing you are about to boot and are a long way from anyplace it is safe is way worse then splashback or the middle stall guy.

    +1 sb

    Also, the whole idea of washing your hands in a corporate bathroom is more of a respect thing than anything else. It has no practical value; it is more of an exercise in futility.

    If you do not have an automatic bathroom your exercise looks something like this:

    You take a leak, hold your guy with your dirty hands, manually flush by pulling a lever that other guys pulled after pulling on their junk, go to the sink and turn on the faucet touching everyone's junk germs, press on the soap dispenser lever to get dick soap to wash the dick off your hands and then hit the same fucking faucet that you just touched with your dick hands to turn the water off as you proceed to use your hands to open the bathroom door to leave. Not everyone washes their hands to begin with so you are at least coming into contact with (depending on the size of your floor that the bathroom is on) +8 bonus dicks when you touch the door to leave.

    Even if you have automatic flushing, automatic soap sensor, faucet sensor, dryer / paper towel sensor you're still screwed because of that goddamn bathroom door. You can't kick it open either because you might fuck someone up who's trying to enter.

    But the thing that really grinds my gears are guys who let their dick trickle hit the floor. As the day progresses it begins to pool and you have to stand farther and farther away from the urinal so as to not lace your ferragamos with piss. You have to be a fucking seal team six sniper if you want to reach the stall if you're taking a piss at night before you leave the office.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrgpZ0fUixs

  • In reply to Cookies With Milken
    Going Concern's picture

    Cookies With Milken:
    Even if you have automatic flushing, automatic soap sensor, faucet sensor, dryer / paper towel sensor you're still screwed because of that goddamn bathroom door. You can't kick it open either because you might fuck someone up who's trying to enter.

    see what you gotta do is after you've done your routine, wait a min or two for someone else to enter, and in that split second when the door swings open and you have a clear view of the exit, you sidestep the monkey strollin in and dash out...DOORKNOB AVERTED

    ...otherwise you can just sop up some hand sanitizer when you're on 'the outside'

    “The new day brings new hope. The lives we’ve led, the lives we’ve yet to lead. A new day. New ideas. A new you.”

  • BanditPandit's picture

    would like to hear experiences from the room next door as well

  • WSOusername's picture

    1) That super dense turd that splashes the toilet water all up on ur ass. At first you don't mind because of the bidet effect.... but then you remember where the water came from.
    2) People who do the hover technique and miss and literally leave their deuce on the seat (rare, no doubt- but defintely happens more than it should).
    3) I think this one was mentioned already, but the dribble that lands on the floor in front of the seat. It's whatever if you're just taking a leak too, but the second you gotta take a dump, your pants have to sit in it.

    Honorable mention: people who leave the sink running when they take a shit so no one can hear them.
    Final note- unless you took a dump, the dirtiest thing you can do in the bathroom is wash your hands. If you honestly think your dick is dirtier than the sink handle, than you have bigger problems on your plate

    GBS

  • MoneyTalksMonkeysWalk's picture

    I was taking a piss...and the head of our division who I've never met comes up and middle urinals me (wtf!?) and then proceeds to rip two of the longest farts I've ever heard!!!!

    I wanted to die laughing. Was I supposed to turn and look at him and laugh? I just wall stared until he left.

    I've never looked at him the same.

  • Ron Paul's picture

    I hate (love) when I'm on the throne and my junk rubs against the inside of the toilet. I wonder how many other dongs have touched that same spot? It's surreal to know I just made hundreds, maybe even thousands of new Dong Brothers.

  • melvvvar's picture

    anyone who needs to wash up after #1 is an idiot who never figured out how not to piss on his hands

  • gamenumbers's picture

    my current bathroom only has two stalls and the funniest is when two guys are in there and you can tell they are trying to outlast each other, each of them on iphones. the bathroom feels like a dungeon, very dark. people will leave parts of the wsj in there.

    my last bathroom was pretty big and spacious with very nice smelling soap, but the stall doors were always swinging open and sometimes those electric flushers would start repeatedly flushing.

    always a thin layer of water on the counter by the sink. it leaves that big wet line across your pants if you happen to lean against it.

  • Going Concern's picture

    “The new day brings new hope. The lives we’ve led, the lives we’ve yet to lead. A new day. New ideas. A new you.”

  • In reply to Ron Paul
    GetOnTop's picture

    Ron Paul:
    I hate (love) when I'm on the throne and my junk rubs against the inside of the toilet. I wonder how many other dongs have touched that same spot? It's surreal to know I just made hundreds, maybe even thousands of new Dong Brothers.

    Yeah man, worst part of taking a shit is when the tip of my junk dips into the water. Hate it when that happens...

  • APAE's picture

    Has no one in here figured out the paper-towel-to-door-handle trick? When you're done washing your hands, you take the paper towels, dry your hands, take them with you to the door, open the door with the towels in your hand, and throw them away by the door. All the bathrooms in my bank have baskets by the door for this exact reason. I've seen it in other buildings as well. Is this rare?

    Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

    Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

  • In reply to APAE
    melvvvar's picture

    APAE:
    Has no one in here figured out the paper-towel-to-door-handle trick? When you're done washing your hands, you take the paper towels, dry your hands, take them with you to the door, open the door with the towels in your hand, and throw them away by the door. All the bathrooms in my bank have baskets by the door for this exact reason. I've seen it in other buildings as well. Is this rare?

    i like giving my immune system its daily workout.

  • HarvardOrBust's picture

    This thread has reached another level of ridiculous

  • damngringo's picture

    I go to disabled toilets for privacy, space and comfort.

  • BlackHat's picture

    If I'm in the bathroom by myself I'll Chuck Norris the door and just kick the handle down with my foot. If you've got a twist knob you're probably fucked though.

    This thread also reminded me of this for some reason: http://www.tumtiki.com/videos/296453/saturday-nigh...

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • blastoise's picture

    when i was interning it seemed like no one can fkin aim worth a **** was always urin on the floor by some *****ing idiot

  • blastoise's picture

    do you guys really poop at work?

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