Portable Toilets at Work

TECHNOLOGY - When was the last time you used a portable toilet? If you're lucky, the answer is never.

It should be noted there has been a lot of advancement in portable toilets... True, the basic plastic "porta potties" still exist, but there has been significant improvement in both the cleanliness and the technology used by companies that do portable toilets rentals.

#1. Running Water, Hot and Cold.

#2. Electricity, a Fan, Air Conditioning & Lights.

#3. A toilet that actually flushes (as opposed to the kind where is loud plop and possibly a splash upwards).

#4. More roomy.

#5. A folding table for changing baby diapers.

#6. Trash receptacles.

If you're familiar with the old plastic El Cheapo portable toilets you will know such things are luxuries.

After all, lets say you're having an outdoor wedding with a giant wedding tent. You don't really want your guests (or the bride!) having to use an El Cheapo plastic portable toilet. The same idea goes with any other kind of big event where the number of available toilets becomes an issue.

Men (and I know this for a fact) are not so worried about toilets as women are. If necessary a man will piss in the bushes when he needs to 'drain the snake'. For women however this is hardly acceptable.

And anyone with a sense of decency would likely refrain from doing so as well, unless absolutely DESPERATE to release their bowels.

If you're over 50 or part of the Baby Boomer generation you might remember having to use a traditional "Out House"... you know, a tiny room made of wood outside of the main house, built above a large hole in the ground. Drafty in the winter to say the least.

In the 21st century indoor plumbing is something we now take for granted, but there was a time approx. 50 years ago when Out Houses were still pretty popular. (Both of my parents can attest to this, having both been raised on farms which had Out Houses during the 1950s and 1960s.)

These days we have a lot more options with indoor toilets too. Heated seats for example. Auto-Flushing. Low Flow Toilets (bad idea in my opinion). "Smart Toilets" that can measure your body-fat ratio or measures the amount of sugar in your urine. A lid that automatically lifts when it senses a person is near. Musical toilets with 6 different soundtracks, including the sound of rushing water, birds chirping or Japanese harp music.

Blame the Japanese. They won't be happy until they've invented a Robotic Toilet which can get up and walk.

Luxury toilets (marble, leather, other exotic materials) is big business. Especially in Asia where many people still use "squat toilets" (which having tried them, are just plain disgusting). The squat toilets are relics now as the booming Asian economy leaps forward...

How about a scented toilet which releases a soothing smell whenever it is sat upon? I'd buy that. I know other people who would buy it too.

So obviously there is a lot of room to grow in terms of the technology available.

Toronto recently unveiled its new public 'pay' toilets... self cleaning and contain a whole list of amenities. They cost a mere 25 cents to use and the city plans to eventually have 20 such high-tech public toilets spread around the city in places which need them.

For your 25 cents you get:

1. 20 minutes, which is counted down with 3 audible warnings and a blinking light.
2. Wheelchair accessible and climate control.
3. A shower (this varies depending on the model).
4. Hot and cold water.
5. A nice clean toilet.

When the person exits, the unit seals itself and begins a cleaning cycle. A security system calls the authorities if people fail to exit after their 20 minutes is up.

The units are regularly maintained and service people check them 3 times / day.

Seattle, which has similar public toilets ran into problems because the free-of-charge units were being used by prostitutes and drug addicts, causing them to pull the plug on the program.

That isn't expected to happen here in Toronto... although couples using it for impromptu booty calls is certainly a possibility.

Now here's a funny thing... What kind of person decides "Hey, I'm going to design luxury toilets for a living!"...?

Most people would prefer a nice clean deskjob, one with a computer right? In terms of website design and web development Toronto has hundreds (if not thousands) of people designing websites, doing SEO work, online advertising, building databases, etc.

But I can bet there's less than a dozen Torontonians in the business of designing toilets. Or any other kind of bathroom utility item, like sinks, showers or bathtubs. We can guess why so few people are attracted to the field of designing toilets. Its just not as fun or as exciting as designing cars, motorcycles or even something simpler like a website.

Because for all your hard work its a thing people will sit their posterior on and do a #1 or a #2. Or both. Maybe they've had a case of diarrhea and it will be something even worse.

I could talk about the issue of potty training children, but I think that is all we have time for today. I shall leave that for another day. Toodles!

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