Occupied?

November 4, 2003

This might just be something that only happens to women, but now I’m curious.

If you’re in a public restroom stall (or just the restroom, if it’s a one-seater), or a dressing room or something like that, and someone knocks on the door, what do you say?

What I’ve heard:

“Yes?”
“Occupied!”
“Can I help you?”
“I’ll be out in a minute!”
“Someone’s in here!”
“Just a minute, please.”
“Who is it?”

What do I say? Well. I don’t actually know. Sometimes it’s “Um…just a minute.” But I don’t have a set response.

What do you say? What are you supposed to say?

That just gave me a weird funny memory. After high school graduation, I did the Myrtle Beach trip with my friends that’s a tradition for everyone around here. And seriously, that week was National Walk In On Lorie In The Dressing Room Week. I must have been walked in on in dressing rooms at least five or six times that week. And what’s worse is that a lot of those shitty little stores at the beach have a “dressing room” that is really just a partition with a curtain or a flimsy door right in the middle of the store. So if someone whips that curtain aside and you’re adjusting the top of the bikini you’re trying on before you put the bottom on, well, everyone in the store’s gonna see your ass.

Not like that happened to me or anything.

It got to the point where it was a running joke with my friends, and by midweek I would station a friend outside the door to preserve what little modesty I had remaining. And I was all traumatized and afraid to use public dressing rooms for a month or so after we got back.

But anyway. I always thought it was weird when people say “Occupied!” I don’t know. It just is.

Or is that what you’re supposed to say?

Filed under: old diaryland entries

14 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. braedon  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    Hold on mother f*ckers! Be out in a jiffffy!

  • 2. jen  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    I usually go with “Someone's in here!”

    And that's weird, too.

  • 3. Jon  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    I usually go with “Large hairy white man on the other side of the door.” That stops most people from looking an further. ;)

  • 4. Gumphood  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    I give them a “No Good”. I find that works the best. I am signaling that this stall is “no good” and they can come up with the reason why.

  • 5. Jamie  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    I either go with “Uh, I'm kinda in here”, “What”, or “Yeah?” I don't know why. I guess I think it's you guys, most of the time.

  • 6. Sandy  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    I like, “Someone's in here.” Who? I dunno. Someone.

  • 7. Cookie  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    “Someone's in here!” As if a simple “NO!” wouldn't do…

  • 8. Ginny  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    I go with the “someone's in here” but ya know … you should say “go away” or “i'm naked” that'd be good.

  • 9. wondermart  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    my usual solution: cough or make some kind of noise signaling that i'm in there BEFORE they knock, like, when the door to the entire room opens. I don't know if there's a standard protocol for what we're supposed to say, but there damn sure should be. Let's write a letter to congress.

  • 10. Missie  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    i'm with wondermart, it's all in prevention.

  • 11. Rob  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    Men don't talk to each other in the restroom. That would be a major faux pas…unless you are at the sink. Then everything is covered and taken care of :-)

    If it's a stall incident, a loud “yo!” will suffice.

  • 12. alex  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    i neglect to respond. if it' s an actual restroom, i turn on the water. if it' s a stall, my feet and the fact that they can' t open the door should be a pretty good fucking indication. i think people knock just to indicate that they' re there. like, ' hi, i have to pee. please hurry up' . you know, because a lot of people like to hang out in public restrooms.

  • 13. 566  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    nobody else goes with a bold “come on in”? it completely defers the embarrassment to the other person for even knocking in the first place.

  • 14. jen  |  January 11, 2005 at 11:32 pm

    I like the “come on in” approach, which had never occurred to me. And I don't get why people do like to hang out in public restrooms. Very odd.

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