Monday, November 07, 2005

Just how big is this toilet anyway

I was reading with some pique interest about the row that involves, of all things, a toilet. It is big as compared to other toilets as it is a toilet designated for the disabled and the whole thing that started the entire debate is none other than the irrepressible XX.

Now, the toilet is big, but is it that big? Obviously, it is, but not big enough as our beloved XX was being scolded for using it and that as all bloggers do, she blogged about it. The ensuring censure to her offending entry got 2 of her 3 sponsors pulled the plug on their sponsorship.

But really, is public toilet that big a deal and that does it requires one to go through so much just so that they can have some private time and space to their business so to speak? Apparently, public toilet is a serious topic in Singapore. We were told that our social grace and the lack of it reflected on how clean our public toilet is. Unfortunately, the cleanest toilet award and the upgrade of public toilets everywhere did nothing much to bring up our level of graciousness or make us a nation full of grace. It just proves that public toilet can be made clean with a minion of ever-vigilant cleaners and that if you give an objective and a measurement, people will go into the mad rush of meeting the barometric indicators while neglecting the one thing that needs to be improved on seems to be all the rage back then. It probably still is, but I digress.

There are 2 questions here raised:

Is it right to deny someone a source of income or to bitch about it just so that they lose the endorsement from a corporation because of something that is not agreeable to the complainant?

Is it right for someone that is physically without any disability to use the toilet or for that matter, other facilities being reserved for the physically disabled?

These 2 questions have been covered and chased by the media after they made their rounds in all the popular forums in Singapore. What I can only say is that and I am just as guilty of, feeding the troll by bringing up these 2 topics that are at best, OB markers.

Bitching to kill an endorsement

At this day and age, we are in short supply of celebrities, which could at the drop of a dime spin stories and sells papers. What the media and the media public masses finds in shortage, the Internet delivers. And this time from the realm of blogsphere, which yields more often than not, people, which are extremely outspoken with interesting character and in some cases, some personal failing that can be newsworthy from time to time. We have the perennial Mr. Brown and Mr. Miyagi, which have their own column in Today, and we have Xia Xue, who is a frequent guest on local Chinese talk shows as well as endorsing not 1, but 3 company. Unfortunately, like what uncle Ben once told Peter, “With great power comes great responsibility” As she is the endorsement for those, her words and deeds are watched and monitored by some, with a zeal that is far from what is proportional to her responsibility. It is not like everyone who read her blog would want to go out and offend somebody, and that the sponsors sure weren’t looking for a spanking clean image of purity and beauty. But yet, to have people that got outraged and write in to the sponsor to call them to withdraw and to have the sponsors so easily giving in paints a rather disturbing picture that people that are not happy about what you say in your blog will now not telling you in the face, but rather do something rather drastic about your source of income. It is worst than a slap in the face, more like a kick in the groin, and in this case, the feeling of indignation of having bad press that actually worked in such a way is probably more hurting than having someone flaming on the person’s blog. Low blow maybe, but it is effective. I am just waiting to see if there are blogger that will actually start litigation proceeding against those or even the sponsors that reneged. End of the day, someone might just say that it is the blogger that was being socially irresponsible, and are being negative role-model by abusing social resources and in this case, toilets meant for the physically disabled which begets my second question; What governs the use or abuse of toilets designated for the disabled?

Can the able-bodied use the disabled toilet?

If we compared toilets with parking lots, we would see that those perfectly able-body drivers parking their car in the lots designated for the disabled and that they will be slap with a fine. The same situation when it comes to the toilet, the person using the toilet might even answer with an indignant retort that it is within their bloody rights to use the toilet. The whole idea that having a toilet there which sits pretty, have better facilities and reserved only for a minority while the majority of us have to share the toilet and for the ladies, bearing the sometimes unbearable long queues while at it. I guess is a bit beyond comprehension. But think about it, most people will brand the driver that is able bodied as mentally disabled when parking at the disabled lot. The rule of thumb here I guess, while it is not too bad to use it when the situation is required, the disabled toilet is first and foremost, something build for the use of the disabled and should be treated as such. It might be going a bit overboard should we decide to fine people for using that, I guess it is only good social grace that we refrain from using it and let the physically disabled have the right of use for those toilet and that we will only it in the case of extreme emergency. I mean, you will never know when someone that is wheel chair bound really have a bad case of shit cramp while you are squeezing your zit inside.

I will just leave this last words, we should all live and let live and if we think that the particular person is not a role-model, do not emulate and do not engage, if there is not so much press surrounding them, Their ability to influence diminishes.

And that to exercise common sense befitting of the society that should be now matured by only using public resources that is designated for those that have special needs.


DK said...

I seriously don't see anything wrong with using the disabled toilet. If there is a disabled person, of cos, let him use 1st. if there is no disabled person insight, and the normal toilet is crowded, then i see nothing wrong with using the disabled toilet.

Let say sway sway a disabled person come along shortly after u closed the door. Surely he/she can wait a few mins rite? afterall, use toilet onli few mins only mah.

yes, the toilet is reserved for disabled person, but surely we can be flexible rite? just a few minutes won't kill anyone.

(this does not apply to disabled parking lot hor)

putitthisway said...

Agreed, it is just that there are people which are perfectly abled making it their God given right to use the disabled toilet, that is what pisses me off lor.... Like my wife says, when you "urgent" that time, cannot run, cannot even walk properly, soemtime even cannot think, got toilet, use first lor.....