Bathroom etiquette is a semi-frequent discussion topic around the office. It’s becoming a running joke that Tim and I care way too much about people remembering to replace an empty toilet paper roll.

On the surface it’s lighthearted, but you know what, I really care. Actually, I care a whole helluva lot.

It’s not about the toilet paper (we’re all smart enough to look before we sit), it’s about an attitude that cuts straight to the core of who we are and where I want to work.

Changing the roll is just one of those things that needs to get done. It’s not anybody’s responsibility. It’s not in anyone’s job description, but its just gotta happen. Somebody’s gotta do it.

The person who replaces the TP is the person who is going to answer a customer’s question about something well beyond the scope of what we do, just to help them out.

The person who takes out the overflowing trash can is the person who is going to make a quick bug fix, even if that code technically belongs to another team.

The person who puts a stray glass in the dishwasher is the person who will take 20 minutes to help a struggling peer, despite an overflowing to-do list of his own.

A company filled with people who change the toilet paper is a company that delights its customers. It’s a company that respects its employees. It’s a company that can avoid a lot of structure, process, management and unnecessary BS because amazing people are filling in the cracks. A company that changes the TP, doesn’t have to fill out TPS Reports.

Mike is the Founder and was President of Rustici Software until 2016. Most recently he was the CEO of Watershed Systems. He helped guide the first draft of the Tin Can API (xAPI) and believes ice cream is the "elixir of life."