The following story is based on actual events. The names and locations have been changed to protect the identities of those involved. These are their stories... *DUN DUN*
Carl was new to the office and new to cubicle life. He previously worked the night shift as a hotel security guard, where he was free to roam about as he willed. He went to the bathroom whenever he needed to go, and he had the luxury of the quiet, clean, and quite peaceful facilities. However, when he left this job for seemingly “greener pastures”, he had no idea the horror and dread that lie in wait.
It was his first day and Carl, now an accountant, was off to a rough start. He stayed up the previous night, tossing and turning, questioning if the cubicle life was for him. “Well, I can’t be tired the first day of my new job”, Carl thought. So he stopped by the local store to pick up an energy drink. “Good, gooood...” the tired voice in Carl’s head spoke assuredly, “It is time. I need what’s in the can, Carl."
So Carl sat there, reading through his new-hire training manual, and he decided to open up the energy drink. He felt the cool rush of adrenaline and caffeine rush through his body. It reminded him of stepping outside on a fresh fall day to feel the cool, crisp air. "Mmm, maybe this cubicle life ain't so bad!" he thought.
But suddenly he felt it - a gurgle, a blurgh, a rumble. That crisp, cool autumn morning feeling quickly turned into a sweltering 100-degree mid-summer day in Iowa, humidity and all. He quickly sat up straight in his chair, “Taco Bell last night, McMuffin this morning, and a Danish I got from the break room - what could be wrong with me?” His worry suddenly became panic, and he sprang up from his chair, “Excuse me, Raul?" he said to his cube-mate, "do you know where the bathrooms are?" Raul replied, “Yeah sure, they’re just down the hall, let me walk you over there--”
"--NO!” Carl replied hastily, “Please just point them out.” Raul kindly pointed him down the hall and to the left. Carl began to briskly walk to the bathrooms. He walked with such a rush and urgency that he wouldn't have noticed if he knocked over an old woman carrying groceries and left her to pick them up herself. Needless to say... it was “go-time.”
As Carl entered the men’s room, he immediately felt the presence of other people. This brought a dread and fear that he hadn’t known before. After all, as a previous night-shift worker, the restrooms were an oasis he had all to himself. Carl composed himself and thought, “I’m just going to push on these two stall doors, one of them has to be unoccupied.”
As he made his way to the first stall, he gently pressed against it with his fingers and was instantly met with resistance... LOCKED. Carl's stomach sank. He then preceded two steps over to the next and final door. Time seemed to suddenly slow down, and those next two steps seemed to last an eternity. “What happens next," he thought, "is going to change things drastically.”
Carl was a man with no time, and there were some nacho cheese gorditas that had worn out their welcome. He reached to push on the final door, this time with the force of full open-palm... LOCKED. His worry and panic melted away into shame, because he knew he was out of time. Things were over for him. Gorditas and Caffeine wait for no man. And they didn't.
Carl slowly began to walk out of the bathroom and back to his car. Whatever was on his desk would have to stay there, because he could not show his face there ever again. His days as an accountant were over before they even started. Carl learned something that day - the cubicle life can be a rough life that requires a level of physical fortitude and bowel-tastic planning that he was simply unprepared for.
We appreciate it if you took the time to read the slightly tragic - and, let's be honest, slightly hilarious - story above. Carl’s story is one of many. That’s why we here at Cubicle Life want to prepare you for the sometimes daunting task of, erm, expellingat work, because frankly, “when you gotta go, you gotta go!”
Now, as far as what is the best expelling method, if you will, that topic will be discussed in a future entry. But, for now, we want to discuss the group of individuals whom we call the bathroom regulars.
The bathroom regulars are the people who frequent the stalls and the people who leave a mark, literally! Oh, sorry... did I mention that you should read this on an empty stomach? The office bathroom can be a terrible and hostile place, my friend! The people below are some characters that you may encounter in the office bathroom on a day-to-day basis. Some of you already know these characters well, and some of these characters may actually be... you. Yeah... you! So read on, and if you find one of these descriptions hits a little too close to home for you, then you may want to exercise a little tender loving compassion for your co-workers when it's potty time - they'll be eternally grateful!
This Regular has no shame. They will burst in grunting and breathing heavily and will make every noise humanly possible while they expell. Where you might be gracing the porcelain throne like Beethoven composes a symphony, the Rager is Megadeath. The Rager has never heard of the "courtesy flush" and they never take a break. From the moment they explode into the stall (heh... explode) it’s a full throttle, full speed ahead, strangely angry experience shared with everyone within earshot. Have you ever seen the word “DIE” carved into the stalls? That was the Rager. What a goon.
This Regular has ninja-like traits. They possess a grace and beauty that is second to none. Did the Silencer just fart? No one knows. Did they just apply a seat cover and undo their buckle? Probably, but all you heard was your own nervous breathing.
The Silencer is so stealthy that you would think that you were all alone in there... if there weren’t shoes visible in the stall next to you. So, you sit there and think to yourself, “I’m not going to make a noise until they do...” Don’t even try it - you’re completely out of your element. Whereas you once held your breath for a full minute (/golfclap), the Silencer has trained with Ethiopian Monks in the Himalayas, taking a lifelong vow of silence. Respect the ART.
This Regular is a personal favorite of mine. The Professional will walk in and “drop the kids off at the super bowl” within five seconds of sitting down, then proceed to only need to wipe once (or did they even wipe at all?!). The Professional doesn’t care which stall they get. It’s strictly business from walk in and walk out. Some people just have the whole process down to a perfected craft. If a Professional walks in while you’re in a neighboring stall, make it a point to hurry up and finish so you can maybe strike up a conversation with this person. "TELL ME YOUR WAYS!" No autographs please.
THE WALKING DEAD
This Regular is the worst. Just because none of us have ever seen a real life “walker,” doesn’t mean we haven’t smelled one. The 'Walking Dead' earn their name from the inescapable foul smell that seems to cover your face like a blanket of death. Like the Rager, these 'Walkers' have never heard of a courtesy flush and will ruin any type of good day you may be having. Just like in real life, if you see the Walking Dead… RUN.
Like anyone who overstays their welcome, the Local pretty much ruins things. You walk in to the bathroom, and they’re in there. You think, “I’ll just come back in fifteen minutes and the seat should clear up” only to return to find them STILL IN THERE. The Local loves the stall. They will post up and set up shop, watch youtube videos, read articles, Facebook, and tweet all while on the porcelain throne. This is their spot and there is no taking it from them. And don’t you dare knock and kindly ask, “Are you almost done?” because the Local will only take offense, curl up, fortify his position, and respond, “no bro, I’m going to be awhile.”
The Local brings their own air freshener and is always hogging rush-hour bathroom time (8:30-9:30am, right after the coffee kicks in). Do yourself a favor, next time you spot a Local, take note of their shoes (probably some type of loafer or slip on), then walk the office until you find them and... NEVER TALK TO THEM AGAIN. THEY ARE BAD PEOPLE. AUGH. Ahem.
Do any of these descriptions sound familiar? Maybe a little too familiar? Do you have Regulars of your own at your office? Share them below!