Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What the fuck?!

There is no doubt; strange things happen in bathrooms, and this morning was no exception. As I was leaving the 4-cubicle, 4-basin, badly designed workplace toilet block today, I hastily jumped out of the path of a coworker who was flinging doors in every which direction (one must open two doors to get into these toilets... each of which swing in opposite directions, often directly into someone's face). I was doing the usual head-down-avoid-eye-contact thing, because unless you're drunk, there really is no excuse to have long and involved conversations on the can in a public toilet - but even doing my best to avoid even seeing the face of the person who'd narrowly avoided clipping my nose with a large slab of wood just moments earlier, I noticed she was carrying a mug. She held it in a way that would indicate she was just wandering back to her desk with a fresh coffee or somesuch. But she wasn't. She was going to the toilet.

I mean, issues of basic hygiene aside, what the fuck?! Does she have some sort of coffee dependency that requires her to take a sip every ten seconds or the universe explodes? Will the sky start raining lepers unless she performs this thankless task? Does her child turn into a mongoose, perhaps? I really can't fathom reason why she'd need to do this. At the very least, she should've put her coffee on the basin counter, but no - she took it right into the cubicle with her! It doesn't make sense - why would you do that? I could kinda see it happening if you were at home; utterly hungover, unable to entirely comprehend how to use your feet, let alone brain, and I suspect you'd also have to be 20 years old and male. But this woman was at the very least 40 years old, utterly sensible and boring looking, dressed to impress and all that shit. It was very strange.

There's a lot of incredibly boring people on my floor who have very strange habits. I mean, other than spending their spare time hunting a wife, contemplating which colour of brick best matches their dog, or reading self-help managerial style books (and not for the comedic value). Week after week, I find these oddities in ties doing strange things. Giggling women came running out of the change rooms (yep, we have changing rooms) the other day, one sporting a towel, one a wheelie chair, and one armed with a pair of scissors. Upon closer investigation, it turns out they weren't kidnapping and sexually torturing the mail boy, but rather, were giving each other mid-afternoon haircuts. This is not civilisation. This is a fucking shambles.

They come in all forms, too. Lurking where you'd least expect. Like the shop assistants that decide they can address you by your name, just because you've opted to pay for your purchases with your bankcard. Moving on from the subject of my name after finding a conversational dead end attached to a rather fierce glare, they'll often ignore these obvious warning signs and instead opt to ask me where I work. Upon weighing up my options of abuse, violence, or indifference, I choose indifference, and reply blah blah university in a monotone, disinterested voice. Again, not taking the hint, these people will immediately ask me if I study there too. The more I get asked this, the more I think it's an insanely stupid question, one that couldn't possibly be applied to, well, virtually anyone;

Ah! A real estate agent! So, do you own a lot of property?

Ohhh! An olympic swimmer! Heh, you must really like drinking water!

Oh, you're a surgeon? Wow, so I guess you be hospitalised and operated on all the time then, yeah?

For fucks sake. It's a ludicrous enough statement even if you only apply it to education industry workers. I don't think anyone's ever asked a high school teacher if they're also doing Year 10. It only gets more insulting, too, finishing at the point you're displaying flashcards to a kindergarten teacher and offering to call their parents to come and pick them up.

Maybe there's something about tertiary education workers that just screams I have a thirst for knowledge! Teach me! Teach me!, but knowing my coworkers, particularly the ones that cart coffee mugs into inappropriate areas and have mid afternoon hair-cutting parties, I sincerely doubt it. I think they're quite happy to remain blissfully ignorant of the world around them. No, unfortunately, it's all too clear: Idiots are everywhere, and the only way to fend them off is with a shield of pure sarcasm, a decent set of headphones, and with a commitment to cash-only transactions. It doesn't hurt to drop the word cunt every now and then, too.

And let this be a lesson to you to never accept coffee from strangers.


rws said...

I don't recall ever having taken a coffee mug to the toilet while too hungover to move. That's not to say it didn't happen though, and I'm still 20 for a good 4 months or so...

When I started my job at a university I was originally a student as well. Ended up dropping out though. The uni now sells branded merchandise like shirts and jackets and stuff; even more surprising is that there are students dumb enough to buy it - sooner or later I plan to buy one with the uni's name and write "DROPOUT" underneath.

CJ said...

So, let's see...Dentist - "I bet you love a good drilling and filling."
Priest -"And when were you last exorcised?"
And the late, great Steve Irwin - "Had anyone drag you by the tail out of a swamp recently?"

sperm said...

my immediate guess on the coffee mug to the bathroom, would be the woman is looking to settle in on hiding there for the afternoon. I know Ive seriously considered taking a nap at work in there (yet to be done) - but then again - in your line of work, do ppl really need to hide to slack off ??

As for the assumption that if you attend uni, you are studying - considering the ratio of students to uni employees, statistically they had a shot at making a connection. You just really are against being sociable arent you ?

Heh, I dont mean to turn my comments to a bag out session, but its hard to resist upsetting the angry ranter further :p

Bozza said...

If I ever go for a job interview I won't just tell the employer the truth (i.e. I completed Cert. IV in Business Administration), I will tell them I have a Masters in Business Administration or that I have a business related PhD, all I have to prove is that I work in the print room of a Business School.