I Pick up Toilet Paper in Restrooms

Well…now that I have everyone’s attention, can we all stand one more article on Accountability?  One of CBE’s imperatives for 2016 was Accountability – we spent last year talking about Accountability, giving examples of being Accountable, holding people Accountable, challenging people to “do the right thing” and trying to get the word Accountable in every one’s vernacular.  Did we do a good job at it?  I think we did…do we have more work to do on this?  We certainly do. 

I remember going in the CBE restroom at one of our branch offices last year, and as I walked in I saw toilet paper on the floor in the stalls and by the sinks – so I started picking it all up.  An employee came in and asked me what in the world I was doing – to which I replied “picking up toilet paper so that our restroom is presentable when we all want to use it – we all should be doing this.” I believe this is the point where I got the “eye roll.”  Since that encounter, I have made it a point to never leave the restroom without picking up the toilet paper on the floor (and yes….I will go in each stall and pick it up if I see it – I now feel for some reason that it is my mission in life to do this).  What I find interesting is how others react as I am doing this.  Sometimes people just ignore me and make a big circle around me to get into their stall.  Many times though, someone else will then start cleaning up the water on the counter or helping me pick up the floor.   Keeping the restroom of where I work tidy and clean for the next person that enters is just another way of being accountable.   

How many times in our walk of life has that happened, where we pitch in and help and do good because we see someone else doing good?   Every day we have so many choices – do we walk by or do we stop and help?  Are you the one starting the good action or are you the one joining in?  

Last week my husband and I were in a hurry to get to a graduation party, and stopped at Target so I could run in fast to get a card.  As I was quickly picking up a card, a child in a cart in the same aisle I was in, dropped their (large) container of cheerios and skittles (yep – mixed together) and they flew everywhere.  When the mother bent down to start to pick them up, the child then grabbed his cup of milk and dropped that also on the floor  – it spilled all over – upon which the 2nd child in the cart then started to scream (and I mean a blood curdling scream – must have been her milk).  I can’t deny that my first reaction was to RUN – but instead I found myself on my hands and knees, getting kleenex’s out of my purse to try and wipe up the milk and pick up the cheerios and skittles, so the mother could tend to her children.  It was interesting to me to see others staring and walking by, “rolling their eyes,” being judgmental of what was happening.  There was even someone that continued to stand in the card aisle and pick out their card like nothing was happening while I picked up cheerios right by their feet without them even moving.  Oh and to end this story – by the time I got back to the car – yep – you know what’s coming – my husband gave me “the look” and said “what in the world took you so long…”

So what is the point of all this?  Never lose sight of the word “Accountability” – it follows you every day and everywhere; restrooms, Target, work and home.  Be the one that others want to follow and help out – be the one that takes the initiative first.  Be the one to pick up the toilet paper.


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