Toilet Paper Investigative Journalism

Words you thought you might never see in the same sentence? Yes folks, it is time for some investigative journalism that TPMHTDM is known for. Well, er, maybe.

I come to you on the mighty subject of toilet paper. We all use it, but nobody is ready to ask the hard-hitting questions that the subject deserves. In a way, it’s kind of surprising, since a lot of times some of our most quiet time for rumination occurs within 2 feet of a roll.

So anyway, let me explain my TP situation at work. In each stall (at least the men’s ones) there are 2 rolls of TP on rollers, side by side. Either of these rolls is accessible for usage. I bring that up to point out that this is NOT one of those operations where you have the 2 rolls and the little sliding door underneath, with the idea that you use all of one roll first, while still having a “backup” roll in case things turn for the worst. I would estimate that each of these 2 rolls is used about 50% of the time.

So, on top of these two rolls, the cleaning crew usually leaves smaller rolls. My guess is that when they come to clean each day, if either of the rolls on the rollers has reached a pre-determined level of “smallness” they take it off the roll, put a brand new one on the roll, and then put the smaller roll on top.

Anyway, in the course of human events yesterday at work, I found myself in that aforementioned spot of rumination, and I began to wonder (not for the first time), what do they do with those old rolls? I never see empties, and since the people at work can barely be counted on to get their old paper towels in the trash, I’m not seeing the option that people are using them up and then throwing them away.

Later in the day, while refilling my water cup, I spotted one of the cleaning ladies (not to be sexist – we also have a cleaning guy, though I did not see him yesterday). So I asked her “Hey, what do you do with all those smaller rolls of toilet paper”. And she said that they throw them away!!!!! She also said that I could take them if I wanted to.

Which of course brings up the question of whether or not I want to. I am a cheapskate (or, as I prefer it, frugal). I think I have no problem taking this if they’re just going to throw it away. As a side note, the quality of this TP is not quite the Charmin that we got when I worked for P&G, but it is not quite travel plaza worthy either.

But what I’m most concerned about is people giving me crap about it, pardon the pun. I’ve received occasional crap from people for scavenging food from work. It is just amazing to me the amount of food and other servicable stuff that people will just THROW AWAY!. So if someone puts out pizza or other food in the breakroom, and it’s not all gone by 5 p.m., I will take some of it home as I leave. Or once someone had thrown away a dozen donuts IN THE BOX that nobody had bothered to eat. So I rescued those too. Like I said, I have occasionally been given grief over this. So now, whenever I try to do things like this, I try to make sure nobody’s watching. Not because I feel like I’m doing anything “wrong”, but mostly just to minimize the crap I’m given.

So, loyal readers, what say you? What should I do in this situation?

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Comments (8) left to “Toilet Paper Investigative Journalism”

  1. Ryan wrote:

    I say go for it, I did the same thing last summer — as a housekeeper at Lang House we swapped the rolls for a new one after they were under about halfway (by diameter, not volume) and the old rolls went in a big bag in the basement. When it was full we’d throw it out but on my orientation to the job they told us we could take as much of it home as we wanted since it was getting tossed anyway. One of the “perks” we got :-p.

  2. dan wrote:

    Yeah I’m leaning towards that too – now just have to figure out how to disguise my covert operations…

  3. Carolyn wrote:

    People who throw away perfectly good stuff baffle me just like people who litter do. I just don’t understand it. How can people be so wasteful? What ever happened to reduce, reuse, recycle?! If I were you, I’d complain to Luxottica about their wasteful policies. Sure, maybe they don’t fully know what is going on. And yet…are they not responsible for what happens in their company? Down with wasteful polluters!

  4. braden and kerry wrote:

    Being a proud member of the cheapskate association of North America, I try to save where I can.

    However, you must ask yourself this question: How much of your co-workers’ poo do you want to bring home with you? I’m just asking.


  5. dan wrote:

    I know you were just kidding, but for the record, let me state that I am against re-use of used toilet paper. New toilet paper on the other hand, is up for grabs

  6. carey wrote:

    I’m as much of a cheapskate as the next guy, but is a few pennies worth of TP really going to be worth the effort sneaking it out of there and bringing it home?

  7. carey wrote:

    I asked Pam about this and she says it will really depend on whether or not it’s the cheap stuff.

  8. dan wrote:

    Like I said, it’s not Charmin, but it’s not quite travel plaza toilet paper either. I’d say it’s probably roughly equivalent to store brand TP?

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