Let’s talk about office bathrooms. No, I’m not going to go there. Though the fact that our office is located on the first floor of the building, we do get a fair amount of SecretPoopers(tm) who come down to use our bathroom, so they can sustain the impression in their own office workspace that they NeverPoop(tm). Eye roll, please.
First of all, the facilities were remodeled to make them ADA compliant, and in losing one bathroom stall, we have one stall that is a Toilet Suite. Of course, the toilet is still smack up against the wall next to the other stall, and there’s just a giant expanse that even goes around a tiny corner, where a very slim, mean-spirited person could hide and give someone the surprise of their life, if they were to leap out screaming at the right moment. Let’s hope that never happens. I’ll even admit I give it an extra eyeball just to be sure nobody’s back there. However, I’ve often looked at that space and thought about how you could put a chair, ottoman, reading lamp and accent table, and still leave the stall feeling roomy and quite at home. The cleaning lady does kinda use it for her office, sitting in there, talking on her cell phone. (I say that jokingly, though she will just sit in there and yap, and I always wonder what the person on the other end thinks as the other toilet auto-flushes.)
But the reign of terror I’m referring to is the paper towel dispenser. When I started there, I found myself instantly at odds with the machine. It was an automatic one. You’d wave your hand under it, and sometimes, if the sensor was feeling generous, you’d get a towel. A small shred of a towel that was barely sufficient to dry one hand. Not two. I don’t know about you, but I wash both my hands as a general practice. So that necessitates a second hand-wave, which would often be more resistant than the first, because OMG no WAY you are OVER USING the TOWELS and you’d have to keep flailing your hand about until you got your second half-sheet. Or not. And for whatever reason, the effort to get the second towel would usually result in the machine jamming. Often times, the first attempt jammed, too. The small print on the machine told you to use the manual feed button if the machine malfunctioned. Oh rilly? What manual feed button? Because all there is on the side is a dummy button that has been put over the feed, to prevent the Johnson County Paper Towel Insurgency from stealing your precious paper towels by the yard.
Frustrated, one day, I discovered that I could just pull the whole front metal piece up! and pull down and tear off the towel amount that I needed. I felt scandalous and vindicated all at once. (Lookit me! Tear that mother UP!) Eventually, the machine malfunctioned so much, often a roll of towels would sit on the counter, for you to tear off. (Let it be noted that I never took anything APART, I just used my noggin to get at the towels.) While I was annoyed at this situation, it wasn’t until some maintenance was being done and the bathroom was closed, that I discovered on the second floor, the paper towel dispenser was NOT flawed, it distributed a generous amount of towel, and it had a working manual feed, and I felt that it was truly the curse of the first floor location and the higher traffic.
Finally, I asked my female co-workers if they carried the same annoyance level that I had towards the paper-towel machine, and that’s when I learned that we were actually getting a NEW machine in a few weeks. This one works so well, it often spits out a second towel for the next person. I haven’t even had to investigate the manual feed.
So, that reign of terror in my life is over. It really is the small things, sometimes.