Bathroom Ministry

May 5, 2016

In 2009 I wrote  a version of this post for the Purpose Driven Connection. A week or so ago I saw a photo similar to the one below with the caption:
This is What Women Actually Fear in A Public Bathroom
So I thought it was time for a reposting and updating of the original version.

Toilet Paper

Some years ago in the course of one month, I walked into public restroom after public restroom and found the toilet paper rolls empty. There were lots of new rolls sitting around waiting to be loaded on the dispenser; but no one had done it.  It really irked me. Isn’t there a rule of etiquette about the person who uses the last square of paper?

One day I decided I could I either be chronically irritable about the situation or just remedy it myself. So I took it on as a sort of secret ministry. Every time I found an empty paper dispenser I refilled it with its fluffy (or sometimes scratchy) replacement. For the most part it wasn’t a big sacrifice or a big deal. But I am rather mechanically challenged and sometimes a bit of study and investigation was required.

Lately, there seems to be almost no need for my ministry. With the new giant paper dispensers, supplies last longer. But even wheel-sized rolls eventually run out and spare rolls are not usually kept in the stalls. So now when I am in a restaurant or coffee shop and notice just a serving or two of paper left in the dispenser, I go up to the wait staff, manager or barista and tell them. Twenty years ago I would never have done this. But I’m too old now to be embarrassed when I say “Excuse me, but there’s no toilet paper in the women’s restroom.” Maybe my new ministry is to spare a 20 or 30-something woman the embarrassment of saying those words to an attractive young waiter.