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Office Bathroom Chronicles

The one general rule I have for this place is to not blog about work, or at least not the workplace, or at least not people in the workplace.

But despite that general rule of thumb, as a writer it’s waaaay too tempting to see if I can pull this one off in a way that’s entertaining enough to be a post yet satisfying enough to be a worthwhile vent.

(Besides, in the end this isn’t really about anyone specific, and certainly no parties I can identify. Which is different from my last job, where “Bathroom Stalker” was a specific person who always seemed to end up in the john shortly after I arrived … and never washed his hands. One of the small benefits of leaving was never having to be Bathroom Stalked by Bathroom Stalker again. In our naming conventions for different people in the office, there was a whole branch of “stalkers:” There was also Morning Stalker, who always showed up at your door first thing in the morning, assuming you must be in early to hear him speak instead of to get a head start on your own work. There was also Evening Stalker, who always showed up at your door to talk business long after office hours were over, assuming you were there so late and missing family/shows/life because you wanted to hear her speak instead of get this painful project over with and get the hell out of there.)

So: Our department has moved into this “temporary” building. (The building’s actually quite old and permanent, but our occupancy is “temporary” in a 6 to 18 month sort of way.) There were all kinds of inadequacies with the place when we moved in, so people were all kinds of unhappy, whether about carpet, outlets, HVAC, weak Web speed, and on and on — the list was endless for those who live to complain.

Then came the bathrooms.

There are just two single-occupancy units — just feet away from two offices that hold five people — and the units have cheap, thin fiberboard doors. (So: NOT soundproof. At all.) The women quickly claimed the one with pretty wallpaper. This was also the one without the urinal, so I guess they can have their pretty wallpaper. Continue reading Office Bathroom Chronicles