Googlers upset by the company’s decision to remove bidets from its California offices may soon have a new option.
Tushy, a company that specializes in bidets, entered the steamy heap of controversy on Tuesday and offered open letter to send Google its travel bidets to help employees “wash away those pesky poop particles.” Designed to look like a squeezable water bottle, the portable bidet is hand held.
The apparent PR stunt comes amid swirling discord at the search giant, which angered its employees by removing bidets, toilet attachments that provide a strategically aimed stream of water to clean butts, from its facilities. Posts on Twitter indicate that the removal of the bidets, made by Toto of Japan, started earlier this month. That sparked an emotional response from Googlers returning to the office after two years of the pandemic.
In a now-deleted tweet, Yasmine Evjen, a head of developer relations at Google, expressed her frustration in a message punctuated with emojis.
Technology publication Protocol reported Thursday that Googlers, angered by the removals, had posted their dissatisfaction on an internal company meme page.
“The removal of bidets in the office is my #2 problem at RTO,” an employee reportedly posted.
Disappearing bidets are another item on a growing list of grievances that employees have brought against Google executives. An internal survey revealed that employees are dissatisfied with the remuneration and the potential for advancement. A recent lawsuit alleges that Google exhibits prejudice against black employees, and the company recently settled a separate lawsuit involving six employees alleging workplace activism. Earlier this month, 500 employees signed a petition for “unjustified retaliation” against a product marketing executive who criticized a contract with the Israeli military.
Google did not respond to a request for comment.
A maintenance ticket seen by Protocol regarding the removal of the bidet included a response from a facilities manager at Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate services firm hired by Google. The facilities manager reportedly said removing the bidets would help Google meet an environmental goal that includes switching to recycled water systems that aren’t compatible with bidets.
Cushman & Wakefield did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
While Googlers may miss their bidets, research has yielded both positive and mixed results about their use. Some research suggests that bidets can lead to components becoming contaminated with bacteria, increasing the risk of cross-infection. Anecdotal evidence suggests it helps patients with mobility issues like Parkinson’s or arthritis.
“There is no evidence that bidets increase or decrease the risk of UTIs,” said Dr. Shyam Sukumar, assistant professor of urology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Click-on bidets are available on Amazon for just $29. However, Google settled on devices from Toto, a company known for luxury toilets that can cost upwards of $1,000. Images posted online suggest Google used Toto Washlet C2 seats attached to an existing dresser. The heated seats include a dryer and a deodorizer. They cost $405 on Amazon.
The Tushy portable bidet is a less elegant toilet accessory. But the company says it “won’t throw a wrench” in Google’s recycling water system because it can use potable water. And Zac Bensing, assistant director of product development at Tushy, told CNET in an email that filters can be used to make recycled water safer.
“Based on our experience, filters can be easily installed with most bidet attachments to prevent damage typically caused by minerals and other debris in various water systems.”