Thursday, March 26, 2009; 11:18 PM
Using the toilet at work
Because there comes a point in time during everyone's life, where you just have to use the bathroom at work. There are no 'laters', no 'buts', no 'not me!' about it. I once knew a co-worker who would refuse to drink and hold in her pee for the entire day, simply because she didn't want to use the office toilet. I have been known to call in late to work in order to sort out my affairs at home beforehand, if you get what I mean. Office toilets are a nightmare. All the judgmental eyes following you as you get out of your seat and stride down the aisle leading to the WC... all of them thinking if you are going to do a No. 1 or No. 2, if you are going to flush properly, if you are going to scrunch or fold... let alone what horrors may await you in the dreaded bowl itself.

There was a period of time where the office toilets broke down, and our bosses resorted to calling in a couple of Porta-Loos to be placed in the car park for us to use. What happened was that they discovered the sewer lines had never been attached in the first place, so there was about half a year's worth of fecal matter brewing underground.. and one day, after one (or more) particularly large dumps of crap, the load gave way.

What ensued was nothing short of a M. Night Shyamalan horror movie, only this time it wasn't killer trees, it was killer poop. Or rather, killer stench.

I do not even want to relive the memories of the days where I had to endure torturous minutes in those Porta-loos - let me just say that I HAVE SEEN THINGS IN THERE THAT NOBODY SHOULD EVER HAVE TO SEE. EVER.

So it was nothing short of a celebration when, after several ardous months, the sewer line was fixed and the normal, indoor office toilets were reopened once again. Now, I no longer cared if the whole building knew I was going to the toilets, by god, I WILL use these toilets and I will embrace them, especially after the horrors of months past.

Anyway, just the other day I strolled happily into the ladies' room - it's usually empty and I was surprised to bump into a colleague who had just gone it seconds before I had. I don't know about you, but I always find this awkward. What kind of small talk to you have to make in the toilet?! Especially if the both of you are standing at the sink at the same time. What do you say? "Had a good pee? Mine was a bit yellow, but it didn't smell... how bout yours?"

Unfortunately, I could not devise a strategy to avoid this meeting fast enough - and I had to enter the cubicle the same time she did. The walls are thin - and I am paranoid about people hearing me whizz away, for lack of better word. So there I was, by myself in the little cubicle, panicking as I heard her unzipping her pants in the cubicle next door.
"Oh god," I thought. "If I stay too quiet, she will wonder why I'm not peeing!"
So I remained an idiot and started desperately ripping at toilet paper, messing with the seat, fiddling with my belt - as loudly as I can - and it didn't help that I was absolutely BURSTING to go. But of course, I didn't want her to hear me pee - I just wanted to make some sort of noise so she wouldn't think I'm a toilet freak! In fact, I have a weird hang-up where I don't want anyone to hear any sort of bodily noise from me at all - ever.

Anyways, she started unloading in blissful waterfalls and I became more desperate as my kidneys started threathening to form stones. Finally, I decided that I would pee quietly. How I ever came to that idea, I never knew. There is one thing though - I am a bit of a ninja in the toilet when I need to be... the art is to control your muscles and release ever so gently into a small trickle down the SIDE of the bowl - this is very important people, if it hits the water straight on, it is bound to splash and make a noise. Therefore you have to hit the walls and let it trickle down quietly.

Quite zen, really. My mother would be so proud.

After obtaining some relief, I could not delay any longer - she was still going (good lord, she must've drank like a liter of Gatorade or something) and I had to exit the cubicle. I washed my hands as quickly as hygienely possible and immediately rushed to the hand dryer. See, to avoid making small talk at the sinks, you stand at the hand dryer so that the noise eliminates all possibility of conversation.

Of course, I thought I was doing brilliantly and was feeling quite pleased with myself, until she came out of the cubicle, looked at me, and I accidentally farted.


(oh, and because the gorgeous Elly over at ClickClockCulture introduced this to me...)

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