Sloped toilet designed to shorten workplace bathroom breaks

While humans await the inevitable robot apocalypse, they have plenty of tasks to keep them occupied, thanks to employers who demand increasingly machine-like efficiency from their workers. Part of that mechanization movement entails limiting how often people respond to the call of nature. For instance, UPS trucks are loaded with sensors that monitor a driver's every move to make sure they aren't wasting a single second, and according to one of those drivers, even expelling waste in the bathroom was viewed as "stealing time" from UPS.

Per Newsweek, an investigation into Amazon uncovered that warehouse workers in the UK peed in bottles and trash cans for fear that taking actual bathroom breaks might prevent them from meeting the company's "strict deadlines and time targets." Furthermore, a former Amazon employee in the U.S. accused the company of firing him because his Crohn's disease forced him to take more than the normal number of bathroom breaks.

In a similar vein, ABC reported in 2014 that Chicago's Teamsters union sued the WaterSaver Faucet Company for allegedly limiting bathroom breaks to six minutes a day and installing surveillance devices to track restroom use. 2019 saw the unveiling of a new weapon in the corporate war — resting and restrooms. Instead of merely monitoring how long employees spend on the toilet, one company seeks to make toilets so uncomfortable that employees will limit bathroom breaks on their own.

Taking the 'rest' out of 'restroom'

Per Popular Mechanics, in 2019, the UK company StandardToilet designed a sloping toilet that becomes unbearably difficult to sit on after five minutes. The seat slopes downward at a 13-degree angle, straining a person's quadriceps. So unless you're adept at exercise squats, then popping a squat will get pretty difficult in a jiffy. Gastroenterologist George Saffouri panned the slanted potty, declaring, "Just from a completely non-medical standpoint, that just seems messed up."

However, as Newsweek notes, the company touts its toilet as a way for companies to save butt-loads of cash. StandToilet alleged that lengthy restroom breaks cost companies about $5.2 billion a year. That reasoning implicitly assumes a company's bottom line should dictate what you do with your bottom. So maybe it's worth asking if the bigger problem isn't excessive restroom breaks but a callous outlook that seems to treat paying a person to work as tantamount to buying their body.