An Open Letter to Sloan

To Sloan, Manufacturer of Automatic Bathroom Fixtures, Regarding an Overzealous Toilet

Dear Sirs,
I am writing to make public my dissatisfaction with the automatic flushing system present on the toilet in the handicap stall, in the third floor men’s washroom in the McPherson Library at the University of Victoria.

It is clear to me that the designer and/or installer of this particular system is a “stander,” by which I refer to his stance as he proceeds to employ the toilet paper. While I respect and tolerate this practice, I must cry foul at his design’s apparent disregard for the substantial “sitter” population present in the public at large.

The expected behavior of a toilet is to flush when the user has completed his task and is on his way to exit the stall. Additionaly, if such timing can not be obtained, the toilet must at least refrain from flushing while occupied. However, this rogue toilet flaunts both rules, for it is misconfigured in such a way as to trigger the flushing sequence upon the occupant leaning forward, a motion necessary to a sitter such as myself, as well as any person wishing to rest his elbows on his knees. This occurred at least 5 times during my last visit.

This is simply uncalled for. The fact that this toilet is designed for individuals whose movement is impaired, and consequently who may not be so agile as I, only makes the situation direr.

While I understand the impulse to err on the side of flushing, certainly a company with such a reputation for water-saving devices can see the benefit in a “lazy,” rather than “greedy,” flushing system. A toilet that only flushes once after a period of conclusive non-occupancy lasting at least 10 seconds would, in my opinion as a consumer, be a more reasonable choice. For situations in which the toilet has not flushed, it is a small thing for a human operator to push the button signifying a manual flush.

Additionally, in a final insult, the automatic sinks in said washroom steadfastly refuse to activate without a substantial debounce, and activate for a duration insufficient for proper washing.

I hope this letter will prompt you to revise your design.

Adam Bard

P.S. Sloan the band is all right by me.

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