Here's something you probably don't consider when you're waiting in line at a restaurant or bar bathroom: "Are any people behind me in line having an emergency? Can I 'hold it' longer than they can, and, if so, should they go ahead of me?"
You wouldn't normally think this because if you gotta go, you gotta go, and that's going to be the only thing on your mind at the time, but some people do have medical conditions that require them to use the restroom frequently -- often an emergency situation -- and these people should take priority over the rest of us.
According to the AP, "Texas would join two other states that mandate access to employee-only restrooms for anyone with a pressing medical condition, including pregnancy, under a legislative proposal." Maryland and Illinois already have laws in place. The Illinois law authorized a $100 fine for stores that refuse restroom access.
I've recently realized I know a handful of people with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract, which causes them to use the restroom frequently. Symptoms vary, but I think Jeff Neale, spokesman for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, drives the point home.
"As we all know, when you've got diarrhea, often you need a bathroom urgently. Now, imagine having diarrhea for weeks, months or even years at a time," he said. "If you can't get access to bathrooms out in your community, you can't leave your house."
So, I think Washington State should get a bill into legislation, like Texas, to give people affected by Crohn's and similar diseases more options. It's not that I think the general public isn't considerate -- it's more about recognition and awareness. And next time you're waiting for the bathroom, be cognizant of your surrounding and those who might need to cut in line.