Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This week I have been mostly astounded: by peoples behaviour in the office toilets

The Lavatory. The humble toilet cubicle. What does it mean to you?
Of course its a place, some say the place, to carry out the inevitable daily evacuations of the bladder and bowel, but to me its much more than this. Its akin to Supermans fortress of solitude.
Like the fortress of solitude, its a place you can go to escape the noise and tedium of the rat race and reflect on the finer things in life, the smell of a rose for instance, a smile on a babies face, the beer fermentation process, to name but a few.

For some people in my place of work this is not the case though. To them, the toilet cubicle is a purely functional thing which does not possess any mystical healing qualities whatsoever.

I discovered this the hard way.

If memory serves it was a Monday morning.

I exited the hallowed fortress of solitude lighter in body and spirit as usual, and while I was washing my hands a work colleague entered (we will call the gentlemen Mr X to ensure his identity remains anonymous):

Mr X:  Morning, hows it going?

Me: Not too bad, how was your weekend?

Mr X: Good thanks, how was yours?

Me: Yeah not bad thanks

He then entered the cubicle and for all intents and purposes I assumed the Inane But Obligatory Weekend Chat With A Workplace Acquaintance or IBOWCWAWA as I like to call it, was over........but it wasn' was far from over:

Mr X: grunt...parp....yeah it was pretty wasn't it?

I paused for a few seconds.

Wait a minute, is this guy going to continue the conversation while taking his First Dump Of The Day (or FDOTD as I like to call it). Apparently so....I suppose I'd better answer.

Me: Um...yeah.............

Mr X:

(My god this is a vigorous bowel movement)
Me: Yeah it was wasn't it?

Mr X: I suppose you're not used to it coming from.........brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.......plop....from England?

Christ, what am I going to do? I can't just stand here while he goes through the clean up after that anal combustion. How can I look him in the eyes when the toilet door opens.

Mr X: Parp....parp......pffffffffftttt

A defecation of this vigour should be an anonymous act veiled in secrecy, you can't just put it out there in the public domain, in a public toilet no less.
I would at least have waited until all other patrons had left before even commencing such an act. It would be imperative that I was not identified as the perpetrator. How could you work alongside someone who had experienced first hand the sounds you make while seated on the throne.
Well, what could I do? I exited the toilet as fast as I could with the sound of outrageous flatulence ringing in my ears and did what any sane person would do; I avoided conversation or contact with Mr X from that day forward and began looking for a new job.

Of course I was aware that my fortress of solitude must have been the victim of similar acts by my work colleagues, but they had the common decency not to do this right in front of my ears in such a flagrant disregard for social convention.
Call me uptight if you will, but isn't there any shame in this world anymore? If organised religion has taught us anything, its that we should be ashamed of everything we do, which includes taking a shit while conducting the weekly IBOWCWAWA.

Have you suffered from similar toilet based embarrassment? I'd love to know.

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