Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dear Kate: Which roll?

Dear Kate,

I'm a chief janitor at an office building. In my attempt to cut costs, I recently decided to change toilet paper from the average, two-ply rolls to the thinner, one-ply rolls. Of course the latter is cheaper -- it's only half the price of the previous type! But why now, as I'm balancing my book, I find the costs end up pretty much the same?

Jo the Janitor @ Manggarai
p/s Say hi to Dumbfounded @ Oz

Dear Jo the Janitor @ Manggarai,

Because people are used to the "average, two-ply roll". When you replace it with the thinner one, they simply take more (longer, for that matter), fold it, and wipe their a**. On average, your boys will have to supply rolls twice as frequently to the toilets. So, if you think you can save money by changing the rolls that way, think again. Here's my suggestion. Find another type, still two-ply roll, but rougher (and hence cheaper). Your toilet patrons will think twice to overuse it or they will hurt their a**.

p/s Dumbfounded @ Oz might not like this toilet talk.


  1. dear jo @ manggarai,

    people use toilet papers extensively because no one is watching. so my suggestion would be to place the toilet papers outside the toilet rooms, perhaps next to the washtafels -- and have one of your boys standing there most of the time, help watching patrons while mopping the floor.

    if having a boy there is too costly, you can try sticking posters with watching eyes, or appropriate verses from the holy books. some research have shown how watching-eye posters and religious priming reduce bad behaviours, from cheating on a computer-based task to stealing teaspoons in a company's common room.

    lastly, if my ideas above don't work, buy a toilet paper vending machine from japan. yes, there is such a thing:

    and yes, i know our dearest kate would madly love my last suggestion.

    good luck,
    dumbfounded psychologist @ australia

  2. Kate and Psychologist@Oz, is there an appropriate way to prevent ones to squat on public flush toilets? (I don't give a s**t, if they do it at their own toilets, but please not in the public one, it's bloody annoying to have dirty footsteps on the lid)

  3. dear rizal,

    as kate said, i don't like talking (let alone thinking) about toilet matters. however, since your question is an intriguing one, i'll give it a shot.

    i see three ways of dealing with the problem, one practical, the other two not so.

    the first one is to simply ask patrons to take off their shoes when using toilets. again, one of jo's boys can monitor. this won't prevent people from squatting, i know, but will deal with dirty lids.

    the second one is to have two kinds of public toilets, the sitting variant and the squatting variant, and let people opt for their preferred method in answering nature's call.

    the last one is to have public toilet doors that are low enough, so that people's heads will pop out when squatting, but not when sitting. this way, other patrons and jo's boys can stare at the squatters. this, by the way, is my favourite solution.

    have a good time in public toilets,
    dumbfounded psychologist @ australia

  4. see? this dumbfounded psychologist is sooo not dumb! yes, i love the vending machine! as for the squatterbuster, i'd opt for your second solution :D