Watch My Throne

“The pinnacle of success can be determined by one’s access to their own private, office restroom.”

How do you know that you’ve made it in the corporate world? Is it the CEO title after your name? Your moniker on all the office letterhead? The corner office with the view? The hot assistant with no brains, but who wears those pants you like? You may think that those extra zeros in your paycheck or use of the company’s expense account means that you “made it”, but it’s actually the use of your own water closet that let’s the world know that you’re a BOSS.

This concept may sound completely absurd, but let’s sit back and think about this for a minute. When I worked for the University of Miami, I worked in a two-story building with limited bathrooms. Although I was lucky enough to work on the first floor that only housed three departments and MAYBE 20 people, it was still unheard of to take care of one’s business in the sole bathroom on the 1st floor. Let’s just say if one decided to do the deed on site, you were found out pretty quick- plus no one would eat with you for a week.

Everyone in my office joked about having their own “secret spot” hidden away on campus that they could go to if things got out of control. None if us ever revealed our locations, in fear that someone else would steal our secret loo spot and our sanctuary would be no more. Our office was located on the far end of campus, away from civilization and most foot traffic, so many of us had to trek quite a hike to reach our destinations. There was also an unwritten rule amongst us to never question the length of time someone was missing from the office.

My bathroom oasis was the newly built facilities on the Intramural Fields at the time. The great thing about this place was that it was ALWAYS empty and completely pristine- most of the campus didn’t even know it was there! And since students never played Ultimate Frisbee at 1pm, I was good to go! Mind you, I had several other options to choose from before I reached the fields, but all proved to be disappointments. Initially, I had to cut across the football practice fields (THAT’S A NO), the Sports Information Office (they only had 1 bathroom, where no one’s secret was safe), and finally through the tennis courts. Now, if anyone is familiar with the Schiff Tennis Center, you know there is minimal lighting in the women’s bathroom, and the places had the eerie feeling of being a back drop for a murder scene in a horrendous teen fright flick. Needless to say, I vowed NEVER to get too comfortable in a place like that, so the tennis courts were out. I hope they fixed that…

Now, I’m sure this woman doesn’t have to worry about searching through her office park to find a place to shut it down in peace. She appears happy in her office. Looks like she enjoys going to work for herself, and breezes through her day. This means that she most likely she does not work for $10 an hour, has her own toilet behind that glass window, and go to the bathroom at will! For goodness sakes, she sits on an exercise ball and has her feet all out. She’s living the life!

I’m sure there are people out there who don’t give a “crap” (THE IRONY!) about going to the bathroom at work. But I believe that everyone can definitely relate to experiencing some hesitancy when it comes doing the their dirty work AT WORK. Call me Emily Post, paranoid, or just plain weird, but I refuse to conduct my bathroom business at the office if it is not absolutely necessary. I am fortunate enough to live literally 3 minutes away from work, and can be seen sprinting away from my cubicle during the lunch hour. Unfortunately, I can no longer fool the receptionist at the front desk who has seen me go off to a “business meeting” at home, like 10 times.

In the instance where I am unable to make it to my boardroom at the crib, I liken myself to a Marine carrying out a Black Ops mission when entering the ladies’ room. I check for other occupants, the time of the day, and the severity of the mission at hand. You know the drill. You go in, wait for the last person to leave, then run into the last stall like your life depended on it. You ponder if you are actually going to do this, and pray that no one walks into the restroom. Just as you are about to exhale, you hear the door open. You gasp, and then pray that all she does is wash her hands. But she doesn’t. She takes her sweet time, as her best friend saunters in to wash her Tupperware and reapply her lipstick. You think you can hold out until they leave, but they continue to chit-chat about homegirl’s recent gallbladder surgery and her cats, all named after the Jackson 5. You realize that you just.can’t. do.this, and sulk out the stall, realizing that your 15-minute trip to the bathroom will only result in a measly hand-washing. On the flip side, if you are ever successful in your mission, you hope that you will be able to escape the restroom without anyone having an inkling of what just happened. I have such a distaste of doing such a thing at work, that I’d rather fake morning sickness than having Anne from Payroll know what just occurred in the handicap stall.


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