If you’re on your way to a lesson and you pop to the loo, you don’t really want to take all your stuff into the cubicle or try holding all those papers under your arm while you stand at the urinal, you want somewhere to put those marked exam papers, lesson plans, or whatever it is you’re taking to the lesson – and when you go into the toilets where I work, you’re likely to have a thought like this:

‘Oh that’s handy, there’s a plastic table thingy right there’.

You will never have that thought again.

Where I work the bins are like Venus flytraps. They’re a new design and look harmless enough – waist height plastic rectangular buckets with the contents hidden by an attractive table-like lid. And that is the master stroke of these deviously designed receptacles, which are positioned all over the building in the classrooms, corridors, and toilets.

All looks well with the pile of kids’ exercise books and the lesson plan and your car keys sitting there on the table. Your trousers are undone and you’re at the point of no return and SWOOSH! Crunch! The hungry bin has struck again!

That table is just a trapdoor on a hinge, and it swings inwards, but not right away – if you place something on that trapdoor it holds steady for long enough that you feel safe to turn your back. That’s when it opens with the noise of you losing all your work, and I can tell you that’s a shocking noise when you’re standing there at a urinal.

So heed my warning and think about it the next time you’re relieving yourself before an important meeting (or before anything, for that matter) and when someone has a wet patch on their trousers.

Further toileting here.

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