A modest proposal: all office bathrooms should have a radio in them
Not long after I started working at BuzzFeed, a CD player/radio appeared in the women’s bathroom. It was the kind I had growing up (which retails for around $25), and it appeared without any fanfare or information about who put it there or why. At some point, there was a brief conversation about the new radio in the Women of Edit slack channel (“So there’s a radio in the bathroom now!” “Do we know who put it there?” “I like it!” “Me too!”) and then it just...was. Eventually, I am told, the men’s room got their own. We eventually moved buildings, into a space with a bathroom on each of the seven floors, and all of the bathrooms had radios in them. It was such a small thing, but I loved it.
Aside from the fact that the office bathroom radio makes a lot of people way more comfortable, it was also just fun. Like, what a treat to walk in there and discover that a bop is playing! Because I don’t spend much time in cars these days, I basically never listen to the radio. I cannot tell you how much pop music I learned about solely from hearing it playing in the BuzzFeed bathroom. (Weirdly, many of us noticed that we each tended to have certain — discrete — bathroom songs during a given season that would always be playing when we were in there.) Sometimes it would be tuned to a different station, and I’d be subjected to a truly monstrous shock jock prank for the duration of my bathroom visit, but on the whole, I heard a lot of Cardi B, Drake, Taylor Swift, and that Justin Timberlake song from Trolls.
The BuzzFeed bathrooms may have had the worst, most unflattering mirrors known to humanity, but the radio did its part to make using the restroom a little more pleasant. I’m now convinced every office bathroom should have one. Anyone can put a radio in the bathroom, but I think it’s an extra-nice move if you’re a manager. (BTW, it doesn’t need to have a CD player; we literally never used that feature, and it just makes the radio bulkier. Also: if your office bathroom has an outlet, definitely look for one that has an A/C adapter so you don’t ever have to replace the batteries.)