I walked in on an old guy pooping yesterday. And my day went downhill from there.

I had just walked into work, and figured since I was now on the clock, it would be a good time to go to the bathroom. There is nothing quite like the feeling of having someone pay you to perform a bodily function that you would normally do for free. So I walk into the employee bathroom, tucked safely away behind two huge swinging doors clearly marked “EMPLOYEES ONLY PLEASE” and proceed toward the lone stall.

I notice a jacket slung over the toilet paper dispenser, but it doesn’t register in my brain until I have taken one step too many. And then, there in front of me, is an old guy – a customer – standing, pulling his underwear up in front of the toilet. With the door wide open. How unsavory.

I should back up just a little. Despite what I wrote a couple paragraphs ago, I don’t really like using the bathroom at work. For that matter, I don’t really like using the bathroom anywhere in public. I was with my fiancé for about a year before I could use the bathroom at her apartment. There’s just something about what goes on in the bathroom that I think should only be performed at home.

Over the last few years, I’ve slowly gotten over my fear of public toilets, inasmuch as I can now urinate – sometimes – in public, but several conditions must be met. First, the bathroom must be empty. I will walk straight out if there is someone else in the bathroom. I don’t want there to be any chance that someone might want to start a conversation with you in the bathroom. Secondly, it must contain a locking stall. I will not use a urinal. It’s too much like peeing on a wall. I consider it uncivilized. And I firmly believe the reason there is so much public urination can be directly traced back to urinals.

So after I see this old guy with his pants down, and dart out of the bathroom. And at that point, I really didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t use the bathroom now. So for the rest of the day, I had to work with a full bladder and a shattered sense of security about the Employee Bathroom.

Let me tell you, it was a long day.

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