Toilet timer to eliminate waste?

March 30, 2010

Now and then an idea comes along that is so bad, it deserves a place in the Bad Idea Hall of Fame. Maybe you remember such brainstorms as the hotel bed-warming service, the “marriage hunting bra,” the plan to get civil servants to mingle with the public


But I digress. From the UK comes news thatย  workers in an office have been given a 10-minute limit in the toilet. A hidden sensor switches off the toilet light when their time is finished, even if they aren’t.

CANADA/You guessed it, theseย so-called “workers” are calling the plan “undignified and unsafe.”

What a bunch of whiners. Why do they need lights at all in the bathrooms? I say just give ’em a burning book of matches to find the stall, and a couple of sheets of glow-in-the-dark toilet paper.

A mere toilet timer may not be extreme enough. You know those mechanical bucking bronco rides they used to have at supermarkets? Can’t we incorporate that technology into the base of the toilet and set it to begin 10 minutes after somebody sits down?

Or what about a catapult in each bathroom, designed to fling live scorpions, rodents and jellyfish into the stalls?

I’ll tell you what, after a few days of that, you’d be surprised what you can accomplish in 10 minutes.

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A Marine from the 3rd Battalion 6th Marines, uses a temporary built-up toilet in camp Sharwali, in Marjah district, Helmand Province, March 22, 2010. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

A swimmer dressed as a toilet waits to enter the waters of English Bay during the 90th annual Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver, British Columbia, January 1, 2010.ย  REUTERS/Andy Clark

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I’ll tell you what. I don’t smoke so I’m not running to the yard every hour like some people in here. And the only time I unshackle myself from my desk is to a) refill my cup of coffee or b) go to the loo where I either i) do the usual business or ii) take some time to read a chapter of a book or iii) both i and ii.

So yeah, sometimes I go over the ten minute mark. But without my breaks there’s some serious labour laws being broken so I don’t think my boss cares. The same way he probably doesn’t care that I read OE sometimes.

So. Excuse me while I nip to the loo…I’m at a really good part in my book!



Posted by egeria | Report as abusive

Its Terminator Solution, not salvation ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Sounds curiously familiar…

A former boss of mine had this as one of his semi-joke staff management principles… I see it has caught on!

Posted by 1M1 | Report as abusive

@fwd079, did you check out the link I put in VS model blog for you?

I would not really mind if the lights suddenly went out on me while I was deucing one out. I think that would make things much more relaxing. Being alone in the dark, only me and my thoughts.


Now if the toilet didn’t flush after the timer went off then that would be a problem.

Well at least for the person who used the restroom after me anyway.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Reading this post, I imagined the indignity of being in a cubicle and letting nature take its course, when suddenly the lights go out.

Fumbling in the dark to make get my pants up from around my ankles, I struggle to make my way out towards the main door to the toilets where the switch is…

Wait, what’s the big deal? This is how I start EVERY day!

Posted by BartKing | Report as abusive

I kind of favor the emergency egress feature, though.

Posted by Haymaker2 | Report as abusive

Heed Eugene’s warnings, everyone – he’s showing us what can happen if you stumble around the bathroom in the dark!

Posted by BethyB | Report as abusive

Exactly, Bethy. Eugene is a wise man. I bet I’ve used that picture more than any other in the history of my blog.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

This actually happens in our bathroom except it’s not 10 minutes, it’s two minutes. It’s VERY important that we make budget in this place!

Posted by LMR | Report as abusive

You bet do ya Mr. B.? Well if you are counted on to solve everyone elses bets because of you extraordinary journalistic resources… who solves your bets?

And what are you willing to wager?

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

@Ifly: Wow I just saw that.. thank you buddy, made the start of my day really “warm” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

LMR…two minute bathroom break? What if you’re….you know, having problems with…you know?

Bethy, Baz has that pic of Eugene taped to his office wall he loves it that much!



Posted by egeria | Report as abusive

Hmmm…. toilet humour… I know this guy who has a book named ” What to read when you are on the loo”… I thought it was pretty cool..

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

UncaTim, nice contribution, thanks.

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

@fwd…you are most welcome! yeah I couldn’t wait for Mr. B. to get his act together. ๐Ÿ˜‰

@Unca, I got this scar from eating pineapple!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

I was in Japan last year at ‘budget’ accomodation, and while at the toilet, the light went off and then the toilet started to shake. I thought it was some kind of mechanism to tell me that I had been in there too long, but it turned out that it was *only* an earthquake.

Posted by zeitgeist | Report as abusive

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by rbasler: Toilet timer to eliminate waste? 10/03/30/toilet-timer-to-eliminate-waste  / #toilet #bathroom…

Posted by uberVU – social comments | Report as abusive

Some things can just be so nasty!

Posted by Story_Burn | Report as abusive

Imagine yourself, in the outhouse really, of a cottage in a coastal village.. surrounded by trees and wild bushes and wild life (the crawling kind)… and early morning, whilst on the loo, barely awake… something slithers down from the only window at the top of the outhouse…. what would you do then?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I don’t see how this would help, wouldn’t it just encourage people to have a nap while they were there.

Posted by knit_nurse | Report as abusive

[…] find out the cost of that toilet-timer that switches off the lights in toilets after ten minutes. This will make sure that no employee […]

Posted by HR team meets to discuss ways to cut down on employee happiness | Faking News | Report as abusive

[…] Guy, last year you wrote about a business that was putting timers in their toilets, so that the lights would turn off after 10 minutes, even if the employees weren’t […]

Posted by This restroom ain’t for resting, pal… | Oddly Enough Blog | Report as abusive