The city’s potty-parity rule for offices is getting flushed down the toilet at Nomura’s new headquarters at Worldwide Plaza. The building owner, a group led by George Comfort & Sons, is seeking permission to install far fewer toilets for women on the Japanese financial giant’s lower levels — presumably the male-dominated trading floors. The owners of the 59-story West Side tower want the “water closets and lavatories” on these floors to be divvied up 75/25 because for “certain financial-services operations” the population is historically comprised of 75 percent men and 25 percent women, according to a document filed with the city. All bathroom humor aside, the city’s plumbing code requires that the number of toilets for women be equal to the number of toilets and urinals in men’s restrooms. The owners are getting around the rule by using historical data to show that potty parity doesn’t make sense…Robert Brubaker, program manager for the American Restroom Association, said normally the arguments for restroom inequity involve obvious places such as dorms and prisons. “This is the first time we’ve heard it from a business,” he said. “They could get into a thing where they say they can’t hire more women because they don’t have enough toilets. [NYP]
They say that’s the only way Dykstra* will learn that in our society, you can’t rip toilets and other bathroom fixtures out of the floors of foreclosed houses and sell them to a pawn shops, or bounce checks to hookers, or drop trou for the cleaning staff just because you feel like it. Read more »
From: Morgan Stanley
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 11:11 AM
Subject: Crisis Management Update – Low Water Pressure in Westchester Office
Last week, RBS’s Stamford trading floor lost power for about ten minutes. Many wondered what was going on, and with no official word from the bank, imaginations ran wild. Had someone kicked over some crucial cords? Was RBS going out of business? As is our wont, we printed a rumor from the inside about what had happened, a rumor which, in fact, turned out to be true. Someone had clogged a toilet on 7th floor and it leaked into a communications closet on 6th floor (trading). Before I get into what senior management’s reaction was to that story, let’s take a few moments to backtrack and offer a little color on how we got to this place. Read more »
“Trading floor over here lost power temporarily (I think computers and phones only) for about ten minutes. Rumor is someone clogged a toilet on 7th floor and it leaked into some communications closet on 6th floor (trading). They haven’t confirmed but that seems to be the persistent belief.”
If only CNBC were broadcasting from there live today, Steve Liesman could confirm! (And maybe lend a hand. I don’t know why, but SL seems like a guy who travels with his own plunger.)
I’m trying to figure out if that’s the logic here? As Goldman prepares to move into its new headquarters, the Observer‘s Max Abelson looks back on the history of 85 Broad. This is what former managing director George Doty had to say of the place:
Even the toilets were placed just so. “When we set up an enormous trading room, we deliberately built it on one floor and had only one men’s room,” Mr. Doty told the writer Charles D. Ellis. Besides the excellent egalitarianism, he explained, having just one bathroom made it easier to hear rumors, “to be persistently diligent on small troubles.”
Someone tried to explain it to me that “the idea is that the important fellas like Doty would normally have their own bathroom, but instead they would hang with the plebeians and listen in.” Is that it? They pissed in the same trough so they could find out who was banging whose secretary? Otherwise I got nothing.
Trouble in hedge fund land. Greenwich residents are terrified that would-be new neighbor, Russian millionaire Valery Kogan, will make them look bad (read: poor) by building a proposed 54,000 square foot mansion with two wings, “extensive” subterranean space, and room for up to 300 guests, which will clearly dwarf their own homes, relative shacks compared to the behemoth.
Though they claim their protests are merely matters of (a) taste (“`It looks like they want to duplicate the Winter Palace here in Greenwich,” said Leslie McElwreath. “It’ll be an eyesore.”), (b) safety (“This is a road where our kids learn to ride bikes, rollerblade, and people take walks,” said Morris Sachs, a trader at Brevan Howard.) and (c) not being summarily drowned while taking part in a pissing contest (“This is going to be a palace on a postage stamp,” Charles Lee said. “It’s too much.”), those intimately familiar with the gastrointestinal habits of SAC Capital Founder Steve Cohen know better.
Though never stated outright, the real problem with Kogan’s house is that it is slated to contain 26 toilets. And though it has many, many WC’s, Steve Cohen’s home does not have 26. Were Kogan to start building without making some edits first, he would not only be embarrassing Cohen in his own domain, he would be breaking a law, which the residents quoted by Bloomberg are trying to uphold. Section 182, clause 17 of the Greenwich town code clearly states that “no home shall exceed the number of waste-removal stations as are found at Casa Cohen.”
Interestingly enough, Cohen, who is not cited in the article, is said to have zero problem with any other aspect of Kogan’s dream home. “He could build a domicile three times the size of Stevie’s, with 40 master bedrooms to Steve’s 2, 16 refrigerators to Steve’s 12, and 2 ice rink’s to Steve’s 1,” a friend of a friend of a friend told DealBreaker. “It’s the toilets he cares about. Just the toilets.”
Empathizing with the big guy, CNBC on-air editor Charlie Gasparino commented that he “fully understands where Cohen’s coming from.” Pausing momentarily to enjoy a paper-thin slice of salami he’d cut moments earlier on the deli meat slicer he’d won in a bet with his local butcher, Gasparino added, “Bathrooms are extremely important to me. I live in a studio, but it’s got 4 cans. And I think that because so much of my identity is tied to my obsession with being ‘regular,’ I’d probably feel threatened if the guy next door had 5. I know it sounds crazy, but it’d be like I was less of a man or something.”