Today officially marks another new beginning at another new job. Seeing as I've now truly moved on from my past position as a receptionist at a fancy-pants interior design hub, it feels necessary to reflect back upon the experience.
And the main lesson I've learned, the truth which I know to be self-evident, and other Declaration of Independence-y things, is that everybody poops.
I know this isn't profound. Heck, there's even a book about it, (that's currently sold out on Amazon). I say this not as a source of personal comfort, but rather as a big ol' HEY YOU! YES, YOU. I KNOW YOU JUST SHIT EVERYWHERE IN THAT BATHROOM.
As a receptionist, the exhaustive list of my duties consisted of reading magazines, answering the occasional phone call, smiling in a way that made me want to punch a bitch, and paying way too much attention to anyone and everyone who dared pass by the marble-topped desk polished to a perfect sheen.
Ultimately, it never ceased to amaze me how different people handled the curious situation of walking by me to get to the restroom.
The C.O.O.? She'd prance down the stairs in her heels, comment on whatever wardrobe choice I'd made half-asleep the hour before, and declare that she needed to brush her teeth after her morning cup of coffee and nutritiously responsible breakfast.
She disappeared daily into that bathroom for fifteen minutes minimum. How many teeth does she have?! Also, I'm the one who ordered her food each morning, and that nutritiously responsible breakfast she was always so anxious for? It was a bran muffin. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THOSE DO TO YOUR INSIDES?! Because I sure do. So, unless she was shoving a toothbrush in her...actually, nevermind. You get it. It's also worth noting that I just actively resisted saying something about "little bleached assholes," because it looks SO creepy in print, and also makes it seem like I'm into butt sex. Not that there's anything wrong...JUST NEVERMIND.
The guy from upstairs whose named I never learned? He'd come by once and make eye contact, smile, ask me how I was, and head into that little wooden door separating the wide world of anal leakage from the $40,000 coffee tables of the show rooms. The second time, he'd make eye contact and smile, sometimes ask me how I was again, for good measure. The third time, he'd just make eye contact and smile. By the EIGHTEENTH TIME IN FIVE HOURS (that's not hyperbole, you guys), he'd do this sort of scuttle thing through the lobby, staring intently at the bathroom door.
The intensity of his focus on that door made me think that he either felt really awkward about how often he had to go, or he had some sort of illness that gave him exponentially-worsening diarrhea as the day progressed, transitioning from a little morning deuce to a violent shit volcano providing some sort of propulsive lift off the toilet seat. The bathroom just wasn't a nice porcelain place to sit down, but the end of The Quest Not to Shit His Pants Among Colleagues. Also, if someone makes a movie of that quest, I want in the credits.
The last, and probably greatest teacher during my experience, was a woman who graced me with her presence not two weeks ago. The conversation went as follows.
Woman: You guys need to do something about that bathroom. There is...mess...everywhere. This is supposed to be a quality experience for clients, and I do not feel valued or emotionally elevated.
Me: I apologize, ma'am. Let me call maintenance and we'll get this resolved.
[Enter maintenance stage left.]
Maintenance: What's the problem?
Woman: Someone made a disgusting mess in the restroom.
Maintenance: I just cleaned that bathroom five minutes ago. How many people have used it?
Me: Just one.
Maintenance: Huh. Well, I'll go check it out. You're sure it was like that before you went in?
Woman: What are you suggesting?
Maintenance: That if I cleaned it, and you're the only person to have used it, then the mess is from you.
Woman: [Does flustery things.]
Maintenance: I'll take a look. Maybe a pipe burst or something.
Woman's husband: Honey, you did have Mexican last night.
Maintenance: [Yelling from bathroom.] OH! OH, GOD! IT'S ALL OVER THE FLOOR. AND THE WALL?!
Woman: [Exists swiftly.]
It just baffles me that she could have easily walked away, maybe called in an anonymous tip or made a casual, "It's getting kind of messy in there" statement on her way out. But instead, she chose to throw a fit about a shit storm she brewed. She went out of her way to remove any possible blame from herself, ultimately making one very seasoned and very large maintenance man dry-heave into the drinking fountain. She had Mexican food, indeed.
I'm not saying that everyone should openly announce their bowel movements. You don't need to shout from the rooftop that you're about to go lay down a big one (which sort of sounds like you're recording an album and could totally be awesome new slang for pooping, FYI), but FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, don't waste your energy trying to disguise the fact that the stuff you put in your body FOR SURVIVAL comes back out again. Everybody poops, ya'll. Well, except for me. Obviously. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go brush my asshole.