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Posts Tagged ‘humor’

     There’s been a problem recently at work. A few months ago the company revamped the bathroom. Nothing huge, just a change.
Before, the urinals were automated. They had switched to the hands free model in an effort to save water as most people apparently needed to double flush their frothy brew and the company wanted to save money. So, the automated flushers were installed to deliver the exact amount of fresh water needed to eliminate the urine as well as refill the receptacle with water you would consider drinking during the apocalypse. The problem with the automated urinals was the sensors. They would go off when people hadn’t stepped away or even if they stood in front of it at a ten foot distance. I don’t know about my coworkers but I couldn’t deliver a ten foot stream on my best day. Maybe if I had a step stool and a steep drop in front of me…
   So with all that extra unsanctioned flushing, the urinals would overflow and make a mess in an already dirty as hell bathroom. The company was once again losing that sweet water profit while gaining a certain musty smell as urine soaked into the cracks of the tile floor. Needless to say, they switched back to the manual flushers.
    Now here’s where it gets gross. Imagine stepping up to one of these receptacles and instead of seeing a pleasant dollop of neutral water, there is a bubbling witch’s brew of steaming urine to gaze at. If you’re into that kind of thing, good on you, but for me and at least a few others I know, we find it disgusting. And try peeing in that without getting pee-body splash-back. 
    Why are we seeing this split pee soup? There’s some speculation that these non-flushers haven’t realized that the urinals are no longer automated but I doubt that. No one is blind. Some people just don’t want to flush because they don’t want to touch the germ invested handle.
    Look, I get it. Touching something in the bathroom that everyone has laid wiener covered hands on can be mildly disturbing if you think about it. Just thinking about the six degrees of penile contact brings to mind some people I would rather not have anything to do with. But leaving your waste water for the next person who needs to relieve themselves is selfish. It’s annoying. And gross. And after a few hours of stagnation, the smell is vomit inducing.
    I appreciate the fact that bathrooms are gross and touching anything in them can be creepier than anything in a David Lynch film but let’s work together on this. No one wants to see, smell, or feel another person’s piss water. So for the sake of all of us, take the half second to flush. All those germs will be gone from your person anyway because you’ll be washing your hands afterwards anyway right? Right? Blaaaaaaaaaaagggghh!!

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Is there a more awkward moment then when you’re going up the stairs to your place and the only way to get to it is through two of your new neighbors arguing with each other? Of course there is, but for the socially awkward and shy, it can be a series of difficult dilemmas.

1.  Do I wait in the car? – When I realized something was going down, I was already out of the car and picking up my Trader Joe’s bags. I could have put the bags back inside, sat back down in the driver’s seat and finished listening to my Weird Al cd until things cooled off. I chose not to do this, mostly because I was tired, sweaty, and still dressed in my workout clothes. I also thought that my two neighbors would be finished with their conversation or taken it inside one of their respective apartments by the time I reached their floor. Nope.

2.  Do I make enough noise that when I get close, they will turn and kindly step out of the way? – I’m a really light stepper. When I was younger, I made a conscious effort (in most aspects of my life it seems) to stay as inconspicuous as possible. Walking around on the balls of my feet went far in accomplishing this and now I do it without thinking. I would have made a great ninja. In this instance, I was so focused on my grocery bags and instinctively trying to avoid being noticed, my ninja skills were in full effect. I didn’t make a sound. As a result, the stairwell was completely blocked by the angry and heavyset woman.

3.  What do I say to get by and how do I say it? – Because I’ve failed to make enough noise to be noticed, I don’t have the societal standard of stepping aside when a person needs to get around you working for me. Had the woman seen me, I’m sure she would have complied with this norm and let me pass. As it happens, she was unaware of my existence. At this point, I can tell the situation is tense. Both the woman blocking my path and the man inside the slightly ajar door are exchanging heated words. I’m sure the man sees me but he is so preoccupied with her (as he should be) he doesn’t mention that she should take a step to the left in order to let me pass. So I have to come up with something to say. But what should it be? A simple ‘excuse me’, a light tapping on the shoulder, a humorous comment on how ridiculous it is to argue in the stairwell, or a offer to moderate a spat that I know nothing of? I choose to go with the simple two-word phrase but a thought goes through my mind: what if I don’t say it loud enough to where the woman doesn’t hear me and the two of them go through another round of opposing views with me standing awkwardly over her shoulder? Or what if I say it too loud where it sounds like I’m pissed off at them or worse – that I want to join their argument? Neither was appealing to me and luckily, voiced my comment at the right pitch and volume that the woman heard me and moved kindly aside.

4.  Do I remain in the stairwell to see how the argument turns out? – This was actually solved for me as the argument ended as I placed my key in my lock as the man closed the door with the woman in mid-sentence. I don’t know how long I could have remained at my door without becoming conspicuous. I can only fumble with my groceries and keys for so long before it begins to sound like I’m auditioning to be a foley artist. And my door is not great for listening through. Just muffles and noise.

The entire event took about thirty seconds but felt like a lifetime. 

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