It’s a Friday morning back in the cubes and I am sufficiently stuck in “Brain- Dead” mode. The prior night a few beers were drank, and this morning I crushed some Oatmeal for a quick breakfast. Throw on top of all that the iced coffee I reluctantly purchased and you can imagine the rumbles going on in my stomach. Nature was beginning to call, and it meant business. Good, I thought, a nice 10 minute break from not doing my work. I grabbed my phone and headed to the bathroom ready to do some damage when I saw my worst nightmare… the janitor.
My bathroom has 4 total stalls, and the janitor had just closed Stall 1 and walked into Stall 2. He is a friendly middle aged man, I believe his name is Richard, and he takes his job very seriously. So serious in fact that he will routinely clean a sink immediately after you use it if you happen to cross paths with his cleaning schedule. This puts me in a horrible predicament with the current “situation” rumbling around in my stomach. Whatever stall I choose would be so far from “clean” by the time I was finished that Richard may feel obligated to get in there and clean it right after I finish. I take a look at myself in the mirror to gauge my options:
Stall 1 – Richard has JUST cleaned this one, so initially I disregard this one. I hate to be too vulgar, but I would literally be taking a shit on this man’s hard work. That seems rude. This isn’t even mentioning the possibility that he waits for me to finish so he can get back in there, which would make me feel like the biggest asshole in the world. Stall 1 seems like a long shot.
Stall 2 – Not doable, he was currently cleaning it.
Stall 3 and 4 – These are currently dirty and not being used, which are positives. But these are also next on his schedule as he works his way down the room. Being the hard-working man he is, I know he won’t leave the restroom without cleaning these even if I had just destroyed them. Given this, I can’t justify using either.
Looking at all my options, and knowing “hold it” isn’t an option, Stall 1 seemed like the only feasible option that could end peacefully. I hop in and do my business as I hear Richard move from Stall 2 to 3. By the time I am done snapping my business to my friends, he moved on to the final stall. I opened the door and tried to wash up and leave before ever making eye contact. I grabbed two paper towels and tossed them into the trash, and as I turned and looked down the room, there he was just standing. Our eyes locked.
Richard initially looked at me with his normal smile and I felt like I had just overthought the entire situation. Then, as if God was enjoying watching me squirm, I saw Richard’s eyebrow ruffle. I knew the look… he smelt something foul. I knew what he was smelling. He turned and tilted his head into Stall 1 but immediately pulled it out in disgust. He looked me up and down and I knew what he was thinking, “You fucking asshole.” I looked into his eyes again and hoped he saw how sorry I felt, but he just rolled his eyes. I turned to leave when I heard the stall door slam shut. My heart sunk. I turned to verify what I knew – Richard was in there cleaning my filth. Just then I heard footsteps coming towards me. I looked up and saw Richard right next me. He smirked and patted me on the back, “Shit happens.” I smiled back and we both left the bathroom perfectly pleased with the work we had just completed.
Rich is right. Shit does happen. Sometimes you just have to say “Screw it” and walk away..
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