Qwest To Workers: Pee In A Urinal Bag

Union representatives are pissed that Qwest ordered field workers to pee in urinal bags so they wouldn’t waste time trying to find public bathrooms. The disposable urinal bags were distributed by a manager to 25 male field techs in Colorado.

A company spokeswoman told the Rocky Mountain News there’s no policy that requires field technicians to use urinal bags while they’re out on a job.

The Communications Workers of America local hasn’t filed a grievance.

One local administrative director said that while the union deals with a “a lot of silliness in corporate America,” this one takes the [urinal] cake.

Before complaining to a supervisor about your grumpy Qwest field tech, see if you can’t get results by pointing out a nearby McDonald’s.

Urinal Bags Don’t Sit Well With Union [WDSU]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. azntg says:

    Awww, how cute. The urinal bag has Qwest branding all over it!

    Seriously, it’s not exactly a secret that field techs like to waste time any way they can, but could we not mess with the basical necessities like taking care of nature’s call?

  2. zentec says:

    In a (ridiculous) day and age when dashing behind the bushes can land you on a sex offender list, the bags might be a little foresighted.

    Of course, as the article indicates, it was about corporate profits, not about employee comfort or safety.

  3. burgundyyears says:

    Qwest probably shouldn’t want to go down this road.

  4. theysaidwhat says:

    You have to wonder how they are going to enforce this inane policy. Are male field techs required to return to the office with a minimum number of filled bags, for example? On second thought, if they were, I bet the policy would change very quickly!

  5. strangeffect says:

    What a spectacular way to justify unionization.

  6. noquarter says:

    So what are female field techs supposed to do? If they’re still allowed to seek out public restrooms, then this seems like an obviously sexist company policy. And I’m pretty sure there are laws against that kind of thing.

  7. Sexist! If the female techs get to go to a real potty, how come the men can’t?
    Sexist! If the male techs get to go in a bag, how come the women can’t?
    I’m just playin’.

  8. And just mentioning, according to the article, this isn’t an official new “policy” it was just one supervisor being a nitwit…

  9. snoop-blog says:

    the person who started this is really asking for a urine-oriented practical joke to happen to him. pee on his car door handle? leave a pee bag on his desk? use one as a water balloon? pee in his convertable when he leaves the top down? pee in his coffee? the possibilities are endless, but he deserves all of them.

  10. firefoxx66 says:

    I think every company needs to quickly implement this time-saving policy, in the field or not. Think about how much time workers waste walking to the bathroom and back! Pee-bags for all!

  11. Trai_Dep says:

    Psst. Qwest execs. Rubber bands are even cheaper!

  12. no.no.notorious says:

    union workers waste so much time anyway, would peeing in a bag really make a difference?

  13. MissPeacock says:

    @firefoxx66: Agreed, but why stop there? Why not have catheters inserted for all desk-bound employees!

  14. DrJimmy says:

    April Fools Day comes early this year!

  15. forgottenpassword says:

    and what if they have to pinch a loaf? Doing that often takes more time than taking a whiz!

  16. razz4901 says:

    What’s new about phone companies aka AT&T trying to restrict workers going to the restrooms…ask someone who worked as a operator in the old Bell days and they will tell you how restrictive the unwritten bathroom policies were and still are….peeing on company time (so to speak) cost money that the phone companies do not want to spend….the CWA rep that went to the press must have been really pissed of or on…

  17. Rusted says:

    One supervisor who will be having quality time with his supervisor…..

  18. ChuckECheese says:

    Maybe this is only in my neck of the woods, but around here you see the occasional pee-bottle, that is, a water bottle that has been used as a makeshift urinal. I was on a worksite last week that had a couple of them. They glow bright yellow in the sun. One of the bottles was a Gatorade bottle, which I betcha is easier to aim into.

    Here’s an amusing article on the topic: [www.roadsideamerica.com]

  19. joemono says:

    @ChuckECheese: I hope it wasn’t the same kind of Gatorade that is normally bright yellow.

  20. ChuckECheese says:

    @joemono: No it wasn’t–I tasted it to make sure (j/k).

  21. Fly Girl says:

    Please, God, PLEASE tell me that this was taken out of context. I’m praying that the actual conversation was something more like this:

    QWEST WORKER: So, Mr. Supervisor, when I’m out in that field that’s twenty minutes from civilization working on that phone pole on that job that’s going to take four hours, what am I supposed to do when nature calls? Just cop a squat in the field?

    MR. SUPERVISOR: Um, no. Uh, I’m not sure. Um… I mean, we don’t really want you, in your Qwest uniform, peeing out in public… But we also don’t want you to waste time and gas driving forty minutes round-trip just to pee… How can we solve this problem?… Lemmee think… I know! I’ll order you some of those road trip urination bags that I saw in my wife’s Lilian Vernon catalog last week! That way, when the task of going pee is going to take you a significant amount of time, you can just sneak away into the privacy and comfort of your Qwest truck and handle your business.


    I mean, even if that’s what happened, that’s still bad and still NOT okay, but at least it’s not the big boss man saying– “NO STOPS TO PEE! DRIVE AND PEE! NO BREAKS FOR YOU!!!” Instead, it was just poorly thought out problem solving.

  22. thelushie says:

    So apparently, Qwest has no female field workers. It is even harder to find a bathroom as a woman as most women require a min. level of clean.

  23. Orngbliss says:

    Whatever happened to the good ‘ol Biffies?? I don’t know if any of you have ever been in one, but they are pretty foul. So, I am sure this would deter the union field workers from taking a leisurely pee and it would also prevent the need of a worker driving to the nearest MC D’s. I think a biffy, no matter how foul, is still better than peeing into a bag….

    What if your aim is off? What if you pull the bag away too soon? You had better hope that you have some hand sanitizer and towels to clean up your mess…. I am not a male, so for me, peeing into a bag could become quite messy. That is, until I perfect the art of peeing into a bag……..

  24. fhic says:

    @theysaidwhat: “Are male field techs required to return to the office with a minimum number of filled bags, for example?”

    Or if they don’t return with filled bags, are they going to be charged with illegal disposal of biohazard waste? I would *love* to find one of these used bags in my trash can. Cha-ching! Profit!

  25. rfjason says:

    I’m going to have to side with Qwest on this one. Given that I’ve never had a pleasant, timely, or professional experience with a Qwest field tech, I have no problem degrading them to this level.

    Maybe giving them a bag will help them stop pissing all over Qwest’s customers.

  26. darkclawsofchaos says:

    @burgundyyears and ChuckECheese: thats one part of the story, the other is to prevent what happens in this vid

    + Watch video

  27. KogeLiz says:

    @zentec: Exactly. I was about to say, why don’t they just piss in the bushed? But then after meeting someone who is on a sex offender list for life because of doing that, I take back my thoughts.

  28. KogeLiz says:

    @forgottenpassword: maybe they hand out loaf bags, too.
    Oh man, imagine seeing that.

  29. marmot says:

    I want to know if you have to turn them in at the end of the day to prove you’ve been using them?

    That’s what I’d do, drop them off on the boss’ desk on my way home.

    And why isn’t the union filing a grievance?

  30. danger says:

    Field techs may pee on the road, but the wise consumer craps in the office:


  31. edrebber says:

    Where would the worker use the urinal bag? It’s still illegal to urinate in public, even if you are using a urinal bag.

    Female workers would need the following funnel.


  32. Parting says:

    As a customer, I wouldn’t let a technician TOUCH anything in my house, after knowing he has to pee in a bag. HYGIENE someone! That a EWWW good enough to switch companies.

  33. justdan says:

    @forgottenpassword: According to one of the links from these comments, that is called “crap bagging”.

  34. justdan says:

    They need to build in porta potties into these trucks. Of course, that is way too logical for Corporate suits. Put them on the project and they will wind up taking away seats and make the truckers stand for 100 miles.

  35. StevieD says:

    There is going to be a lot more to this story than first reported.

    Why not wait until the story has been fully explored than wasting (wasting…. get it) our time.

  36. Blue says:

    @burgundyyears: And whats more, what are they to do with the filled bags. Are they not medical waste?

  37. Blue says:


    And whats more……what are they supposed to do with the filled bags? Are they not considered medical waste?

  38. ? Final ? says:

    G*d D*amn Unions. This is why America can’t compete in the global market. If your boss tells you to p*ss in a bag you better p*ss in a g*d d*amn bag. if this was India not only would they be p*ssing in a bag they’d be saving that urine to make Qwest Communication’s Chai Tea… Urine is sterile and salted.

  39. Cary says:

    AT&T has been pissing on their customers for years.

    As one, the bag sounds like a good idea.

  40. clevershark says:

    You could do as he says, and show your appreciation for the suggestion by dropping off the used bags at his desk in the evening. He’ll be thrilled for sure!

  41. slowinthefastlane says:

    Note to self: NEVER shake hands with a Quest technician. Why didn’t they just get them the a “stadium buddy”? That way they could just let loose wherever they may be:


  42. ZekeSulastin says:

    @StevieD: Why wait for the whole story when you can blast the corporation now? ;)

  43. Umbershoot says:

    @I Ain’t Tryin’ a Hear Dat!:

    I’ll have to agree. Anyone who has ever traveled with a 5 year old can tell you that there’s not always a bathroom when you’re away from civilization and have to go.

    That being said, I’m glad my boss didn’t hand me a bag.

  44. chartrule says:


    they make female urinal bags as well

    as for both the male/female versions they contain a dry powder that turns to a solid jelly mass and you simply seal and toss in the trash

    I don’t see how any company could order that its employees in the field had to use them rather than being able to go and find a bathroom

  45. chartrule says:

    ask yes – order no

  46. FLConsumer says:

    Nothing like pissing away time…reading Consumerist…instead of working.

  47. jimda says:

    as i get older i could use these bags

  48. aquanetta says:

    David Sedaris did a thing on David Letterman about the urinal bag: