The other day Kish told me a little story about one of her prior jobs that, I think, says something profound about the human condition.

It happened one summer during college.  She was working in a small Ohio town in one of those older buildings where you would find several different business offices on a floor.  In this building, the offices shared a single, unisex bathroom.

IMG_4041When Kish went to use the facilities for the first time, she noticed there was no toilet paper.  No squeezable Charmin.  No quilted Northern.  Not even a roll of some cheap, so-thin-you-could-see-through-it institutional brand.

So she stopped by one of the other offices to ask where the communal toilet paper could be found.  The women working there explained that the toilet paper was not supplied by the building manager; instead, all of the offices were supposed to contribute to a common toilet paper fund.  However, a guy working in one of the offices always failed to pay his fair share.  After a while, the workers in the other offices got so angry at his refusal to chip in that they decided not to stock the bathroom.  Instead, everyone would simply bring, and use, their own toilet paper.  And that’s what they did.

Never mind that such an approach would inconvenience and embarrass a client or customer of one of their businesses!  Never mind that it looked silly to see people marching toward the bathroom with their own personal roll!  Never mind that a time would inevitably come when one of the workers on the floor would forget their bathroom companion until it was too late!  No matter the consequences, the stubborn workers on the floor just weren’t going to support the freeloader.

What better example of why communism, as an economic system, has failed?

2 thoughts on “B.Y.O.T.P.

  1. Oddly, the parable seems to support socialism. I vaguely recall hearing of similar penurious policies where there was a shared bathroom, most likely a roommate situation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s