The Door Window

March 13, 2014

The worst part about starting a new work project is getting familiar with a new office culture. It’s all over the map – from the quiet, dress-shirt wearing professional building to the noisy, jeans and t-shirt wearing software shops. This month, I started a new thing at one of the quiet, professional type places.

The door-window. I didn't have the nerve to take the picture from an angle where the woman who sits through there can see me.

The building is a typical office building, with an elevator lobby that has doors to two or three different companies. The restrooms are also from a door in the lobby, and on my floor, the men’s room is a nightmare. There are two stalls and a urinal, crammed together along one wall. One is a handicap stall, but the other is tight enough to bump each elbow on each side. If I were 25 lbs heavier, I wouldn’t be able to fit back there to the urinal at all.

What makes it all the worse is that these three holes serve a whole office floor of men. At first, I was never, never, never alone in there. I’m hearing other people make the worst sounds in the world just inches away from me, while they hear me do the same.

Then, I discovered that the floor above mine is much more scarcely populated. It’s been recently renovated. There are still paint patches on the walls, and the air still smells like new carpet. Best of all, the men’s room was always empty.

It’s true that everything is a tradeoff. I found my empty men’s room, but at the cost of having the lady behind this door give me the stink-eye every day. I appear in her window from her right – where the only door is the one to the stairwell, and then she sees me walk away from her and into the men’s room. Then, we’re face-to-face through her door window as I walk back.

Her expression is always far from friendly.

Yesterday, as I was coming out, in came the guy who sits at the desk next to me one floor below. His face (and I’m sure mine too) was priceless – the shock of being discovered dashing in for an illicit poo.