Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nature Calling

One often overlooked aspect of consulting is that we are guests in our client's offices. Working with a New York Investment Bank? Sweet office overlooking the harbor! High tech company in California? Latest office environment on a campus! Average low-margin business headquarters in Columbus, OH? Not so much...

This post is about the unspoken... the invisible... the unavoidable... the client's bathroom.

The best I've ever seen? Client in Rochester, NY - one of only 3 people of my gender on the floor. Might as well have been a private bathroom built for 20. Spotless. Odorless. Always well stocked. Almost nicer than my private office.

The worst? Oh no...
- why do the contractors from another planet need to wash their face, neck, arms, etc. and splash all over the counters? So nasty.
- I'm all for dental hygiene, but brushing your teeth in a place that smells like a zoo cage is just nasty
- there's no reason why you can't get it into the porcelain unit. The floor is for your feet. Practice at home.
- lighting is nice, although seeing might be worse than imagining
- noises. Need I say more?
- smells. Don't architects understand the need for ventilation? When you can smell it from the hallway, and start considering the trees out in back of the building, it's time for a fan people!!!

Some advice for my colleagues:
1) go before you leave the hotel
2) scout around. Look for the bathrooms closest to the executive offices. Carry a notebook and look like you're going to a meeting.
3) use those paper seat covers (if you can get them out of the dispenser). Those nasty germs will eat right through anything but titanium, but it will make you feel better
4) don't touch that newspaper on the floor. Get reading glasses if you must.
5) wash your hands. seriously.
6) hold it until you get back to the hotel

- your Consulting SME ... :-)

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