The place where I work has a restroom on each floor with two urinals and two stalls. That's it. Sometimes one urinal or both have been out of order.

Then, in a stroke of pure evil, they renovated the restroom and put doors on the stalls that go all the way to the floor and swing shut by themselves. Universally the way we know if a stall is occupied is by whether the door is opened. It took days for people to even figure out that the stalls weren't really in use because no one would ever do something as stupid as making stall doors that swing shut.

So now you've got a few choices. You can knock on both doors. You can try to open them, which is risky because unless you jiggle the knobs a little bit the doors won't actually lock, so you could open the door and someone could be in there. Or you can go to another floor.

I didn't include looking under the door because the doors go almost to the floor.

What really ticks me off about this is that it's creating a problem that's already been solved since the beginning of time. The doors swing open. It's really simple. We figured this out a long time ago and moved on. Making the door swing shut is actually more work.

It's so obvious that someone who gets it wrong has to be either stupid or evil.

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    Universally the way we know if a stall is occupied is by whether the door is locked. You should get better locks that also clearly show if it's locked without trying it. A door can be shut without anyone inside, so it's stupid to use that as a signal. But those doors can't be locked with noöne inside.
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    A door can be shut with no one inside, but with the vast, overwhelming majority of stalls you would have to lock it from the inside and then crawl out under the door.

    At that point we're getting into vandalism territory. There's always something someone can do to create problems if that's their intent.

    If you design a door to swing shut you're basically simulating the behavior of a malicious person. That's where the 'evil or stupid' part comes in.

    And no, a locked door is not the universal symbol of a stall in use. If the door is closed it's in use. We don't jiggle the handle, knock, or ask if someone is in there.

    If for some incomprehensible reason one restroom is the exception and they can't make the door swing open then an occupied/vacant sign would be the next best choice.
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    @badwiring a lock that shows whether it's engaged on the outside doubles as an occupied/vacant sign
  • 1
    Yeah, those doors usually have a lock indicator on the outside, mostly red/white. Or red/green if the manufacturer is a stupid motherfucker with colour-blind people. You simply look at the lock whether it signals occupied or not.
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