Michelle Mazur: Punching the clock to go poop at work

Pooping is a natural phenomenon, but what happens when you have to go at work?  I was quite surprised that many people on the Internet seem to have strong options about this issue.  For example, a humorous email forward has been circulating around the Internet for a few years concerning how to poop at work.  There are also quite a few YouTube opinions about the issue.

No matter what method or etiquette is used, it simply must be done during the workday.  That leaves many wondering, how much time and money is spent doing your business in the bathroom?  Workpoop.com is a website that offers a handy calculator to help calculate a person’s annual earnings from pooping at work.

But not everyone is on board with being paid to poop.  Recently, Brown Brothers, a meat company based in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, has received quite a bit of bad press about their new bathroom policy.  The meat company supplying Tesco has been accused of "Dickensian employment practices" by making workers clock off when they go the toilet.

The Unite union is now calling on Tesco to intervene to stamp out the practice at Brown Brothers.  The company insists anyone wanting to be excused from the system has to provide medical evidence, the union added.

BBC reports the policy was part of a special pay deal agreed with workers and unions to ensure production ran smoothly. Staff received extra money as part of the pay deal which was aimed at focusing toilet breaks at set times of the day.

But employees are less than thrilled.  “We have to clock out, take off our wellies, overalls and hairnets, we have to run up stairs, have to come back in get dressed again,” one employee told the BBC.

One organization seems to be doing the exact opposite; they’ll pay people to poop.  The Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College held an event last fall entitled the “Low on Cash, High in Fiber Bash.”  Participants earned 25 cents for every time they “donated” to the cause.

Paid to poop or otherwise, wash your hands.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time