Google gets rid of heated bidet toilets for employees
Google employees in the Bay Area are unhappy over the company’s plans to remove heated bidet toilets from the office premises.
The tech giant started removing the Toto-branded toilet seats because they were in violation of California’s code for commercial buildings, according to Protocol, which reportedly saw a maintenance ticket ordering the removals.
Company staffers took to the internal meme generator to complain about the new policy, with one worker noting: “The removal of bidets in the office is my #2 issue with RTO,” referring to returning to the office.
Edgar Tovar, who handles maintenance at company facilities, told staffers that the bidet removal “has the added benefit of supporting Google’s water sustainability commitments.”
“Many of our buildings are migrating to recycled water systems which cannot support bidets,” he wrote.
Bidet toilets are specially outfitted so that those who need to go to the bathroom can have a stream of water strategically aimed at the relevant areas.
In the old days, especially in Europe, bidets were placed alongside traditional toilets as an option to maintain hygiene.
But modern technology has advanced to the point where toilets and bidets were combined into one.
The word “bidet” is French for “pony” or “small horse” — which is appropriate since the use of a bidet requires one to straddle it as if riding a four-legged animal.
Bidets remain widely used in western Europe, South America, the Middle East, and Asia, but they have not caught on as much in the United States, where toilet paper is the preferred method of cleaning one’s backside.
Proponents of bidets argue that it would be beneficial for the environment since it would save trees that are needed to be cut down in order to produce toilet paper.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, sales of bidets skyrocketed as shoppers started panic-buying toilet paper.
Google employees will be required to return to the company’s offices for at least three days of in-person work per week starting on April 4, the company said earlier this month.