Is the Water Closet the New Water Cooler and Top Ten Family Finance Posts

10/10/2012
By
Water cooler scene

Water cooler scene (Photo credit: dpwolf)

For decades the water cooler has been the official hub for office putzing. Every Monday, it becomes the background for thorough analysis on the previous day’s football game, complete recaps on everyone’s favorite reality TV show and of course, the latest news off of the office grape vine. However, the porcelain gods are now shifting the practice of putzing to bathroom stalls.

According to surveys, America’s favorite smartphone location is the potty. Roughly 3 in 4 smart phone owners admit to texting and browsing while straddling the commode. Nearly 1 in 6 report calling into meetings on their mobile devices. It’s got me wondering, how many stalls at my office are occupied by those uploading more than they download?

If I had to guess, I’d say that the percentage is very high. If I’m right, good ol’ fashioned office putzing is probably migrating away from the water cooler and into the water closet.

What do you think? More people headed for the potty or are workers just putzing around more than ever?

Where Have I Been?

Before I bring you this week’s top posts, I know that the big question on everyone’s mind is “where has JP been for the last three weeks?” It’s a long story, but here’s the jist:

It all began when both my children became sick resulting in three days and two sleepless nights of hiatus. Coughing, sniffling and wailing is not a pretty sight for a young child.

Next up, we scheduled new carpet to be installed. That meant a great deal of home improvement skill, of which I’m proud to be able to say I delivered. However, it also meant 7 days of non-stop trim work, finish work and painting. It capped a long four year project and brought our second floor two centuries into the present. However, the end of carpeting only resulted in a new home project, my wife’s studio.

My wife, Mrs. No Telly No Trouble, started a music studio on October 3rd. It’s our hope that it might be a much needed source of income while she is on leave from work to stay home with the kids. The studio required a new door, new paint and a great deal of marketing. On the marketing side, I created a new road sign from scratch (first time ever), went around distributing business cards and created a webpage.

I’m still not done, but at least my “must do, honey do” list is complete. In the meantime, I’m now watching the kids on weeknights while she teaches lessons and as an added bonus, I’m working longer hours at work for my day job. Needless to say, I’ve been scrambling to reclaim any blog time I once had.

Thank you everyone who continues to support the site. Having blogged for nearly four years now, I can assure you that while I might be missing every now and then, I will not be gone for long.

Top Ten Family Finance Posts

Now that you’ve caught up on declining worker productivity and my life, here is what you don’t want to be missing from the best money blogs on the web!

  1. I’m not the only person willing to admit that they read Fed studies. Your Wealth Effect shares how credit card reward programs triple credit card spending.
  2. Banks don’t hold a candle to the fees telecom has dreamed up. Married With Debt experiences the consumer loyalty fee over at AT&T.
  3. The Free Financial Advisor has 7 things guys should not say at work; as if 7 were enough.
  4. There are far bigger issues in marriage to fight over aside from the position of the toilet seat and who controls the remote control. Couple Money discusses fairness in couple finances.
  5. Remember all that conversion cost of net worth stuff I was blathering on about? Frugal Habits explains how to convert your retirement funds to an after-tax Roth IRA.
  6. Narrow Bridge doesn’t just drink a ton of coffee. He also exposes the hidden costs of loyalty programs.
  7. I’m a big proponent of I-Bonds! Your Personal Finance Pro is on board with his own investor’s introduction.
  8. Is everything better in the burbs? Finance Fox explains how he’s living the high life away from the high rises.
  9. It’s after Labor Day so no wearing white and talking taxes is ok. Money Counselor goes through the details behind charitable contribution deductions.
  10. Need more potty for your financial sweet tooth today? Frugal Rules explains how potty training is like budgeting without all the clean up.

Until next week!

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22 Responses to Is the Water Closet the New Water Cooler and Top Ten Family Finance Posts

  1. John S @ Frugal Rules on 10/10/2012 at 9:50 pm

    Wow, it sounds you’ve had a busy last few weeks. Thanks so much for the mention!

    • John on 10/10/2012 at 9:53 pm

      It is nice that all that work has meant a great deal of accomplishment as well. I’m just happy I’ve managed one post a week.

  2. Kurt @ Money Counselor on 10/10/2012 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks John for mentioning my article on charitable contribution tax deductions.

    The way I see it, the smartphone has enabled employers to impose even on employees’ most private moments. No longer can one use the excuse “but I was on the commode!” for not answering that text instantly.

    • John on 10/11/2012 at 9:08 pm

      Good point. For every moment spent putzing on the toilet, I’m sure there are ten moments at home answering some boss texting you in the middle of the night.

  3. Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity on 10/10/2012 at 10:53 pm

    I can totally understand the browsing and texting in the restroom. I mean, what else are you going to do int there? What I find really disturbing is when I hear people talking business, and then the next thing you know…FLUSH! If you ask me, that is crossing the line just a tad lol.

    • John on 10/11/2012 at 9:07 pm

      I suppose if you think better on the pot, maybe it’s not such a bad idea?

  4. Pauline on 10/11/2012 at 4:16 am

    Congrats on all of your achievements and your wife’s! Sorry about the sick kids, it is always an energy drain for the whole family.
    I think the shift from water cooler to WC is sad. People aren’t interacting even if both actions are lost productivity for the company. Reasonable use of smartphone should be allowed so people don’t have to lock themselves to check out emails, having to do so only proves that they can’t live without social networks, have a fear of missing out, and are kind of addicted!

    • John on 10/11/2012 at 9:06 pm

      I agree, but I doubt corporate America will go for it. However, I don’t know if the water cooler could ever, fully be replaced.

  5. Jason Clayton | frugal habits on 10/11/2012 at 8:42 am

    Thanks John for the mention!

    I totally laughed after reading the stat on using the smartphone in the potty. I don’t notice more people heading to the commode, but I certainly believe the statistics!

    • John on 10/11/2012 at 9:04 pm

      When there’s a line to the men’s room at work, you’ll know smartphones are really taking hold.

  6. AverageJoe on 10/11/2012 at 9:13 am

    I have to admit to sprinting away from the toilet so that the person on the other end can’t hear me flush…guilty.

    Two centuries into the present? Cool? How old is your house?

    • John on 10/11/2012 at 9:04 pm

      1895. It was in great condition when I bought it, but I vowed to go floor by floor, take out all the lath and plaster and update the electrical. I’d be surprised if anyone had done more than update the kitchen and bathrooms since the 1930s.

  7. Jason @ WSL on 10/11/2012 at 1:03 pm

    That is a pretty insane schedule…and I thought I had it bad recently!

    LOVED this by the way…just hilarious: “…how many stalls at my office are occupied by those uploading more than they download?”

    • John on 10/11/2012 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks! One of my better lines.

  8. harry @ pf pro on 10/11/2012 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the mention!

    I’m definitely guilty of spending quite some time everyday on my smartphone in the bathroom. It’s pretty awkward though when people are talking on the phone in the bathroom.

    • John on 10/11/2012 at 9:02 pm

      I don’t know why people think answering the phone in the bathroom is ok. What conversation is that important?

  9. Michelle on 10/11/2012 at 8:26 pm

    Sounds like my house! A constant state of circus-like activity. Glad your little ones are better now! And welcome back! My boys are on break from school this week, so I’ve also been a little MIA.

    • John on 10/11/2012 at 9:01 pm

      Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up with the site. I’ve come up with a new posting schedule that I hope will help keep content regular.

  10. [...] at My Family Finances decided our 7 Things Guys Should Not Say At Work was worthy of his roundup post. I’m sure John is sitting on his namesake texting to all his friends that he’s been included [...]

  11. [...] Is the Water Closet the New Water Cooler and Top Ten Family Finance Posts on [...]

  12. Anne @ Unique Gifter on 10/16/2012 at 11:38 am

    I definitely believe that phones-on-the-potty statistic (at least the one about reading… calling… really?!!!).

  13. Marie at Family Money Values on 10/18/2012 at 7:32 pm

    eeeeuuuuu (on the water closet).
    Welcome back from handyman world.

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