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When I first started, it made me feel uncomfortable to ask a customer to use their restroom. But I soon realized that they should know we are not home all day, or at a shop, so we are bound to have to go sometime. So I usually only asked if it was absolutely necessary. Now, it still bothers me some but I just ask anyway.

A couple of stories............
I've only had one customer that even slightly acted like they didn't want me to use their bathroom. Actually, this lady paused for a long moment and then said "well, ok but it might be a little messy in there as I have not cleaned this week." I apologized and said I didn't have a choice. I had worked there for a day and hadn't needed to go while there as I used parts trips and lunch to take care of my needs. I was there to set up the electrical for a new mfg/mobile home that was right in front of the old house that the lady lived in, so I had never been in the house.

I made my way into the house and it was terrible from the front door forward. There was cat poop, dog poop, hair, dog & cat food poured out everywhere, some filth that I couldn't even identify! I was in a hurry so I dismissed the filth and went on to the bathroom. When I got there, it was worse, I can't even describe how bad it was. The lady was right, she had not cleaned that week, OR ANY WEEK! I have never been able to "squinch" a #2 movement when it's real bad, but I did this time. I got out of there and made it to the supply house!

One of my first jobs years ago I had to disconnect power to work in the main panel and add a subpanel. I just got the power off and "the pain" hit me. I went to the bathroom (after asking) and when I was doing my thing, I realized the power was off and couldn't run the fan. I thought I could do multiple flushes and leave the door open and no one would know. Turns out, the customers were just moving in and the lady had her mother there helping to clean. Her mother started cleaning just outside the bathroom while I was in there. I'm sure the fog knocked her down when I came out!🤢

At my age, I have learned I can pee most anywhere! My favorite, when I can't find a restroom, is a country cemetery. No traffic and usually some woods or trees to get behind. You city folks probably don't know what I'm talking about.
 

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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Two issues here. The first one is always follow the golden rule, in this case act like how you would wAnt a contractor to treat your spouse and kids. If you don’t want that person acting a certain way, you should not do it either,

Second this is a job where often we have to supply everything ourselves and often we are “roughing it”. As a contractor pretty quickly you get used to urinating just about anywhere More than once I’ve also made use of shop towels and a trash bag, buckets being optional. The back of a van or truck or opening two side doors may be your only options. Similarly always carry a bug out bag and overnight bag. Don’t plan on meals having access to a microwave or fast food and don’t plan on always sleeping in your own bed, or any bed. And plan on getting nasty when you don’t expect it, or the weather report being wrong.

So you start to think of indoor plumbing as a modern convenience as a contractor, not a necessity. And others have it much worse than electrical contractors. Think of divers for instance in dry suits.

Once you get the “roughing it” idea in your head though it’s hard think they other way. Once you are used to going anywhere it is far more convenient to use a bush than to go through a long complicated effort to handle a simple nature call.

My personal downfall is thinking the job will
Be quick and I can hold a nature call until after the job is done.
By roughing it, I remember many years ago when it was more rural here we use to carry a shovel and a roll of TP in the truck and having to take a walk in the woods. The good old days.
 

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I was working in Ottawa about twenty years ago and one of my coworkers told me this story.

The company we were working for was hired to install potlights in the master bedroom or 24 Sussex Drive - the Prime Minister's official residence (Canada's equivalent to the white house). The workers were told not to use the ensuite bathroom, but to go down the hall to another one if they needed to go. After a couple of hours one of the guys had to take a dump and said F*ck it, I'm using the PM's bathroom. When he was finished he tried flushing, but nothing happened, so he closed the lid and walked away. Nothing was ever said about it.

I can just picture Chretien's face when he got home and opened the lid.
 

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The 2 guys I the background look like they just saw him drop a log right there.

Generally I find people are pretty good about it. They will often offer where the washroom is when we show up.
Unless I ate something bad, I can usually go all day without needing anything but the nearest tree.

Several months back we were roughing in a duplex. The builder was beyond incompetent. His helpers were not the brightest lot either.. high all the time and no skill to speak of.
No porta potty on site. Their crew had been using a bucket behind the house.. full of turds and some wooden door stop wedges they were clearly using to wipe. Can't make that up. Its still the running joke with us and the plumbers.
Anyways my guts were grumbling so I took off for the gas station 5 minutes up the road. I get back and the builder is there, asking "how does your boss make any money with you leaving?" Lmao haven't had to sink that low to keep the job on task yet.

My apprentice saw him taking a piss on a rubble heap out front a little later and yelled "hey, that's illegal!"
"What is? The guy asks..
"A grow man holding a little boy's ****!"
He didn't seem to like that as much as I did.
 

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Retired Low Voltage installer (Fire, Access, Security)
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When I just had to take a leak at a customer's home, I always squatted to urinate (no splatter). I also took a small bar of soap and something to dry my hands on (no damp and possibly soiled soap or towels).

Trash bags and toilet paper in the truck for emergencies.

EDIT: I too learned the hard way to make sure the water was on before I did anything else.
 

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Is that the poop deck?
No, it’s a ships “Head”.
The poop deck was on the back of sailing ships. The crews head was located on the bow. keep
In mind that a sailing ship never moves faster then the wind. So the bathroom was in front and the smell was carried away from the ship. The wave action also cleaned what went overboard.

The red seat was what was called “The hot seat” for those who had some social disease.
 

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Screw it, I am using the restroom.

This is another one of those reasons contractors complain about not being able to find good help.
 

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No, it’s a ships “Head”.
The poop deck was on the back of sailing ships. The crews head was located on the bow. keep
In mind that a sailing ship never moves faster then the wind. So the bathroom was in front and the smell was carried away from the ship. The wave action also cleaned what went overboard.

The red seat was what was called “The hot seat” for those who had some social disease.
Sitting cheek to cheek, heads at the yard had a little more room but still open walls.
 

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Sitting cheek to cheek, heads at the yard had a little more room but still open walls.
In drydock in the dead of winter, cold iron and only 1 roll to share.

Still better then an FF in the North Atlantic in the winter. Rolling so hard and trying to hold on and lift your feet as the brown trout swam back and forth.

And todays sailors bitch about “lowering their standards”. :ROFLMAO:
 

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LoL at many of these stories 🤣

Never had an issue with #2. Always went first thing in the morning at home, 1/2 way thru my morning coffee.

Spent most of my time on the road, windsheild washer fluid bottle works great !

Fun Fact, if you pee in the blue stuff, it turns green like the good -40˚ stuff 🤣
 

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I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
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LoL at many of these stories 🤣

blue stuff, it turns green like the good -40˚ stuff 🤣
Oh man, I thought it was supposed to turn a dark red.
Dam I better go see the Dr.
 

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#2 I'll run to a public bathroom. Only had to use a customers once in my career. The job was taking too long and my lunch did not agree with me.

#1 It depends on how many bathrooms they have. If they have 1 bathroom, I will find a bush or behind the truck door. 2+ and I'm ok using the guest bath. Some of my customers have 11+ bathrooms, so I have my pick there.
 

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This isn't residential but.
Working at one of the bigger hospitals here, you hear the fire trucks come by a couple of times a week but this time they came to the construction site, 5th floor. Someone had taken a dump in the unfinished washroom and poured a 5 gallon bucket of water into the toilet to flush. The pipes on the 4th floor weren't hooked up and set off the fire alarm.
Not an electrician, one of the drywallers.

Tim.
 
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