I have no desire to become Autodesk's official scatological expert, but on the heels of my Will It Flush? blog article, I thought I would address the age old question of which way the toilet paper should be loaded on the roll.
Obviously the Autodesk Facilities department is pro-choice because the men's room has one of each:
Each stall in the men's room has two rolls. On the upper roll, the paper comes off the bottom (a.k.a. the under orientation). On the lower roll, the paper comes off the top (a.k.a. the over orientation). The problem with the upper roll is that when the paper comes off the bottom, it falls behind the metal plate of the dispenser. This is obviously a sign from a higher power that toilet paper should be loaded on a roll so that it comes off the top.
In surveys of American consumers and of bath and kitchen specialists, 60–70% of respondents prefer over. source: Barry Sinrod and Mel Poretz, The First Really Important Survey of American Habits, 1989.
Our CEO, Carl Bass, once told a story about systems and how the parts need to work together. It was based on an experience he had at the brand spanking new Denver airport. To be more sustainable by saving paper, the men's room in the airport had toilet paper dispensers that dispensed one square at a time. To ensure that each new visitor had a fresh bowl, the toilets would automatically flush when one lifted one's rear from the seat. The problem was that the paper dispenser was located just far enough away that as one reached for some paper, one's butt lifted ever so slightly from the seat. You guessed it — automatic flush. At one square per reach, the superfluous flushing process repeated itself many times. This is hardly what one would call a sustainable design. My guess is that this has since been remedied.
Of course, it could be worse. Someone posted this on Failblog.org:
The over/under debate is alive in the lab.