Here’s a question for the ladies. When you enter a stall in a public restroom, what is the first thing you do? Many of us check the tp situation. The other day, I entered the bathroom of a local department store. When I entered the first stall, I completed my check. No tp. Second stall, same thing. Third stall, nothing. Yikes. What to do? What to do?
As I checked the stalls, another pair of women entered the bathroom. One of the women, we’ll call her Betty, had entered one of the stalls that I had already checked.
“Tara, Tara, there’s no toilet paper in this one,” she shrieked. She came out of her stall as I emerged from mine. She looked at me and then back at Tara.
“I already checked the other two,” I said, as Betty made a move towards Stall #2. She checked the stall anyway and disregarded my assurances that there would be no toilet paper available. Maybe she thought, that in the time between my exit and her entrance, something magical may have happened and the formerly absent tp was present.
“There’s nothing in this one either,” she said. I rolled my eyes.
Betty, Tara, and I stood there in the bathroom.
“Well, I don’t know,” Betty said trailing off. Obviously, I was going to have to step up and act as the leader in our newly formed troop. As Betty stood there, obviously unsure of what her next move should be, next to Tara who didn’t seem as concerned about our crisis, I took action. I started to search the bathroom. Success! I found three precious rolls, stacked in a corner. I took two, handed one over the Betty, and all was right again.
When Betty looked at me as I handed her the tp, you would have thought I was handing her a bar of gold. Her shoulder shrugs and overall air of helplessness was quickly replaced with bright eyes, brimming with gratitude. Why didn’t she look around herself? What does this say about her? I’m not her, so I’m not going to focus on that too much. What does my reaction say about me? I’m a leader, even in a public bathroom? Great. Lesson learned, you can only depend on yourself, even in a situation where you’re expecting the other person to get involved (if only to help themselves). There’s a second lesson here too. If you’re not one of those ladies that check the stalls first, start. It may lead you to a moment of leadership greatness.