Confessions of a bathroom retailer: Toilet humour

People are funny and as if to prove it our bathroom retailer recalls some of their craziest moments dealing with customers in the first of a regular series.

Open a bathroom showroom, they said. It’ll be fun they, said… Well I don’t know about fun. At times it can feel a lot more fractious than fun, but what it definitely is, is fun-ny.

If you stay too long in a bathroom showroom, at some point someone will try to return a used toilet seat, or even worse hand you one that you didn’t even sell them in the first place as they try to track down a replacement for a toilet that looks like it’s out of the ark. 

If you have ever been stood there, very British, client WC seat in hand, then spare a thought for one poor soul at our showroom who had to have a very, very awkward conversation with a client recently who called to say that their, um, ‘family jewels’ would no longer fit down the toilet seat hole in his new bathroom. Should we add this to our client consultation process? What size toilet seat hole do you need for your privates, sir? 

On the topic of toilets, another very ‘normal’-looking client recently demonstrated how, when she likes to sit on her toilet, she likes to flap her arms like a bird. So having the basin close to the toilet was a big no-no – obviously too restrictive for her wing span. Who would have thought… taking your phone to the loo maybe, trying to take off in flight mid-poop, well that was a new one to us! 

Among all of the potty talk, we do actually do some work, and manage to sell some bathrooms in the process. This pandemic has meant we have been on the blower more than usual. We’ve actually quite enjoyed nattering to suppliers and clients. and have even enjoyed venting, and vice versa, to trusted industry contacts only of course! 

But when your client and supplier have the same name, mistaken identity is inevitable, right? When your supplier was just this morning telling you how she would like to punch someone in throat (she was pretty stressed about a rude customer) and then later you get a call back from said supplier, it’s OK for you to answer the phone with, “have you punched anyone in the throat yet?” Right? Building relationships means having a bit of banter, right? Wrong! Our brand new client of the same name, whom we had never spoken to before, was a little shocked to be greeted in this way! Explain that one away, I dare you to try! 

Perhaps our favourite ‘question of the week’ asked by a client in stone-cold seriousness was: “What happens if you run into a shower screen?” Answers on a postcard, please.

Be a bathroom designer, they said. Well OK, but only if we can write an anonymous column in a trade magazine so others can feel our pain! 

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