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Everyday (Toxic) Products: Headed 2 Work Version

9 May

You rise. You shine. You head to the bathroom and give yourself daily doses of cancer.



Well, read on…

How many products do you use to head out to work each morning? Or any morning, for that matter?

Nearly all personal care products contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers, pesticides and surfactants. The scary thing is that some of these ingredients are known to cause disease in our bodies and the other ingredients—well, the FDA isn’t quite sure …yet…of the effects they have on us. Simply put, there have been few longterm studies on most of the ingredients used in the products we use each and every day. 

Right here and now I’m just referring to toiletrees; I’d have to write a book on the onslaught of chemicals we’re confronted with and indulge in once we step outside of our bathrooms. Or front doors.

Toothpaste. Shampoo. Mouthwash. Deodorant. Random gels, creams, lotions, perfumes/colognes, make-up, nail polish, shaving creams and other grooming products.

Here’s a doozy for you:

Product regulators claim that in small doses these ingredients are completely safe. However, paraben is directly absorbed through the skin and binds to the body’s estrogen-receptors…Ahem…They can actually encourage breast cancer cell growth. (Parabens are often found in breast tumors.)

Not trying to scare you but rather awaken you.

Years ago I remember looking over my bathroom countertop and inside of the medicine cabinet, shocked to discover that I had well over 50 products that I used regularly. Chemicals. As I’ve grown older and more aware of my surroundings, of various truths, the toxic overload in my bathroom became alarming.

There are ingredients in our common every day products that mimic estrogen.

The last thing a (hormonal) woman in peri/menopause needs is estrogen mimicking, particularly a PMS-afflicted woman such as myself.

In fact, the last thing any woman needs is estrogen mimicking.

Nanotechnology is a major concern as well, the fear that nanoparticles–which are widely used in everything from toiletries to sports equipment–can penetrate human cells and transfer to even more cells, eventually leading to various diseases/illnesses.

So what can you do?

Try natural products whenever you can. Increasingly they are available at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and local food co-ops, etc. Sure, they cost more  but your estrogen levels should be safe(r).

Happy grooming out there.

Another public service announcement from the Cubicle Rebel.


Crying at Work

16 Apr

Have you ever cried at work?

Not necessarily because your evil boss yelled at you or belittled you or because you discovered that you were only getting a 1% raise as opposed to a 1.5% salary increase. Not even because you received bad news via telephone.

I mean, um, perhaps because you’re hormonal. Or because of personal issues that you absolutely just couldn’t leave at home.

I have.


I have wept at a few  jobs because of various issues (low pay, frustration in my personal life, an unfair boss who had total power over my paycheck, boyfriends, family issues and those hormonal flair-ups.) I’ve even cried at work because I was just, well, angry.

While not a complete slobber girl in the workplace there have been times I have found my tear ducts turning on me. Why, I had to get to the nearest bathroom ASAP, hide in a stall–preferably the larger stall at the very end–and unroll A LOT of toilet paper while wimpering quietly. The amazing thing is when someone enters the bathroom how quickly I can shut off the weeping. Like the flip of a switch.

It’s a real beyotch trying to pretend you haven’t been crying when you return to your desk 45 minutes later with bloodshot eyes and a red nose.  The worst is when a coworker or, OH GOD, your boss notices.

“Allergies” is a good one. Except for when it’s the dead of winter.

Did you know that human tears send chemical signals to the people around them? Yep, it’s true.

If only there were a way to control crying, perhaps an alarm you could set within your emotions to cry only during your lunch hour, or better yet, when you get off from work. Nothing like navigating rush hour and facial tissues accompanied with snot.

Ah, a woman’s life.


Weird Workplace Bathroom Encounters

1 Mar

Using public bathrooms can already be awkward. I mean, using the bathroom is a private matter involving your utmost personal body parts and excretions. At least when using an extremely public bathroom–say, at a grocery store or at Starbucks or a restaurant–you’re in and out and there are total strangers you may or may not encounter during yours or their, um, deposits.

But at the workplace, they’re not total strangers. Why, there’s Madge from the Acquisitions Department. There’s Mitch from Accounting. There’s The Evil H.R. Lady with her piercing eyes and inquisitive eyebrows.  Oh gosh, there’s coworker # 18 who whistles the “Candy Man” song while he makes his deposit. There’s those shoes under the stall next to you that you aren’t quite sure who they belong to but they’ve been there for over six grueling minutes…still and quiet and eerie…while you’re lingering there waiting to make a huge deposit in peace. Hopefully alone.

There are the coworkers who have no clue that they should wash their hands after making any type of deposit.

There are the coworkers who, even though they wash their hands, they open the door behind sixteen others who did not wash their hands.  The worst–absolute worst–is when you spot one of the filthy handed coworkers fondling left-over (free!) food in the conference room with their door handle hands.

Hmm, do I want this muffin? No. How about THIS muffin…It has more blueberries…Naw, I think I’ll just try this cinammon muffin. Or perhaps this bigger one with the walnuts…Fondle, fondle, fondle.

Oy. There goes your own free muffin. Now it’s tainted with fecal matter from various coworkers.

Public bathrooms have come a long way since I’ve been using them. They’ve invented the automatic flush (more on this in a later post), motion sensor water (more on this, too, in a later post) and they even have foamy soap which seems so much better than the squirty stuff. What they need to invent ASAP is an automatic door where the use of hands is completely unnecessary.

Perhaps this way I can get a free muffin that isn’t tainted.