How to guess which colleague is in the toilet stall next to you: A guide

THERE’s nothing worse than sitting peacefully on the bog when a colleague walks in. Here’s how to discover who the selfish, entitled bastard is.

Look at their shoes

Looking at shoes under the stall of the toilet may confirm which colleague is interrupting your flow. However, be mindful of the logistics of this. Seeing your squinting face pressed on the toilet floor as they’re straining on the bog can send out the wrong message.

Time them

The scientific approach. Monitoring the speed and efficiency of your colleague’s piss and/or shit can get you one step closer to solving the mystery. If they’ve been incredibly quick and efficient, they’re definitely not management. If they’re in the stall crying for half an hour, it’s probably the new graduate. 

Listen closely 

Office toilets are a double-edged sword. While usually uncomfortably quiet, they also provide the perfect environment for listening to colleagues’ grunts and other noises. A suppressed, mouse-like groan will be Jane who always looks nervous. A cacophony of arse noises followed by a satisfied sigh is likely to be Steve from IT, who has no social graces. (Your rigorous analysis may be unnecessary in his case, as he will inform everyone he had ‘a great shit’.)

Their ringtone

A dead giveaway. Even if you don’t know the phantom shitter’s ringtone already, an ancient default Nokia ringtone signifies an older colleague, probably Michael. Whereas Lee from sales undoubtedly has shite R’n’B as his. It’s not exactly Sherlock Holmes levels of deduction, but you still deserve a cool nickname for your sleuthing skills. Maybe Bogatha Christie.

The scent 

If you’re getting desperate, resort to analysing the smell they produce. If they’re trying to hide it with perfume, it’s probably not a man. Plus, if you can remember what they ate the day before, that will help. Memories of Sophie’s asparagus salad will suddenly come flooding back to you.

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Randy, and other American names that make British people ask 'What the actual f**k?'

BRITAIN and America have many things in common, but first names aren’t one of them. Here are some that Brits would never foist upon their children.


Ask a British person what they think of when they hear ‘Randy’ and it will be something like ‘sexy’, ‘horny’ or ‘frisky’, or they’ll do a terrible impression of Austin Powers. None of these are things you would want to associate with a newborn baby, which is a small part of the reason Brits think Americans are mental.


An old Scottish name meaning ‘Son of Adam’. Although now largely given to girls, Addison appeals to Americans wishing to remain in touch with the Celtic roots they all believe they have. If you’re British, though, you’ll immediately think of the well-known London-based cab company Addison Lee and trying not to vomit in the back of a taxi on the way home from a shit club.


Chad conjures up an image of an all-American dumbass, eating hotdogs, playing baseball and voting for Trump. This is made worse by the fact that it’s short for ‘Charles’, which is itself only one syllable long and therefore not too onerous to pronounce in the first place. However, it is funny to imagine the UK having a ‘King Chad’, so maybe this one should hop across the pond.


Reagan means ‘regal’ or ‘royal’, but all anyone in Britain will think of is a dead actor-turned-president who was pals with one of the most hated prime ministers we ever had. It’s like calling your son Thatcher. Which isn’t completely terrible and is certainly better than naming him after another deeply unpopular leader and landing him with the moniker ‘Truss’.


Hank is a diminutive of Harry and means ‘home ruler’ but in the UK you’ll never escape the fact that it rhymes with wank. Imagine going to a British secondary school and revealing Hank as your name. You’d be known as ‘Hank Spank Wank Bank’ or similar before break time, and it would stick for the rest of your life.


Serenity is quite a beautiful name, conjuring images of heavenly calmness and dignity. Perhaps you can get away with that in the US, but does it really fit for a British kid? Imagine it being yelled across a Tesco car park by a stressed mum trying to stop her daughter getting run over as she pisses about on a shopping trolley and you’ll have your answer.