Backstory to: “This Cubicle Can Predict Whether Your Business Will Sink or Soar”

Backstory #26 — Reading time: about 2.6 minutes (excluding the original post below)

Freshen up those cubicles. And please give them decent coffee. (free public domain:


Welcome back to your cubicle

Welcome back to the office. Or maybe not.

Let’s talk about cubicle toilets. The ones you’ve missed while working from home. Or maybe not.

I admit it. I have a thing about toilets. (Not with bathrooms or restrooms. I have a different issue with bathrooms and restrooms, namely how bashful Americans are with the word toilet. Other nations talk about loos, latrines, lavatories, bogs, cans, privies, water closets, and more. Unlike Americans, these foreigners don’t bathe in there. That might do a bit of resting. But that’s another pissoir altogether.)

It is possible that my thing with toilets goes all the way back to my mother and potty training. But I doubt it, even though in doubting it I squat up against Famous Freud himself.

The bog on the border

Whatever the origin of my thing with toilets, I know when it became a big deal for me. Way back in time, the South African Army demanded my presence in the bush on the Angolan-Namibian border. There was no border wall, hence the need for our watchful presence. There were no toilets, despite our presence. (We had enough to carry, what with food and weapons. We left the toilet with the kitchen sink at the base camp.)

Because we were in a danger zone, where armies often find themselves, we could never be without our weapon in hand. By weapon, I mean rifle, not gun. The army had drilled into us that a rifle was for fighting. A gun was for fu … oh, never mind.

Relax your rifle

Out on the border, there were only two times when we could relax our hold on our rifle. No, not when bathing, because we never bathed out in the bush. (We left the bath at base camp, along with the toilet and kitchen sink.) We could relax our hold on our rifle when we were sleeping, as long as there were guards on duty who had not relaxed at all.

And we could relax our hold on our rifle when Mother Nature called. But only because we had to take an armed escort with us, someone to stand guard over us while holding onto his rifle while we fiddle with our gu … oh, never mind.

The bog in the bush

Years later, I had a similar experience whilst on a walking safari in a South African game reserve. This time the communal toilet was a hole dug near a dry river bed, with lots of open space around it. This way we could see what sort of animal was bearing down on us while we were bearing down with our bared behinds over the bare hole in the sand. No fellow hiker escorted us. Not because of privacy or safety concerns, but because there was no point. We had no weapons. In civilian life, when Mother Nature calls, she expects us to show up alone and unarmed. (Note: this apparently does not apply in the USA.)

I can tell you many more draught-house stories out of Africa. But enough. I think you understand why my thing with toilets followed me into my consulting and coaching career. And why I consider these cubicles as predictors of success or of failure.

Here is the original post:

This Cubicle Can Predict Whether Your Business Will Sink or Soar

Reading time: about 0.8 minutes

Do you know that the state of a certain cubicle in your company can predict whether your business will soar or sink? This cubicle shows how much you respect your employees and visitors, and how much they respect your company.

Yes, I’m talking about that cubicle, the one confusingly labeled the bathroom or the restroom.

Let me explain. Many people judge a restaurant by its food and service. I judge it by its toilets and coffee. Toilets and coffee are afterthoughts. You ask for these at the end of your meal, when you have already committed your wallet, which is why some restauranteurs skimp on toilets and coffee.

If they do, I don’t go back.

Some companies skimp on toilets. If employees had more power, I’m sure they won’t go back either.

Come on! Give your employees an unexpected bonus. Freshen up those cubicles.

Oh yes, and please give them decent coffee.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

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