So there’s this situation at work which I, as (my) luck and position would have it, have the good fortune of handling.
It seems for some time now that someone has been splashing around in the downstairs ladies bathroom. There have been several complaints from the ladies about getting butt-soaked and general watery mayhem. Several disturbing times a day, water will be found all over the counter, the floor, the toilet seat, the mirror, the doorknob.
Um, WTF! Was our potty being used by a certain someone to enact a secret water-ritual every flipping day??
Now, I’ve had to make signs for every conceivable issue –
– “Do not use Purell before hand-scanning. (This will damage the sensor plate)”
– “Please only use this water cooler if you are currently contributing to its purchase“
– “DO NOT LEAVE DIRTY DISHES IN THE SINK” (that one was courtesy of Housekeeping.)
– “Cover your food when using the microwave and DO NOT leave it unattended when in use“
– “SAVE OUR WINDOW! Use door instead“.
What is super friggin’ ridiculous to me is having to officially address this issue at all. It always seriously disturbs my calm when grownups need to instruct other trained and “educated” grownups on how NOT to behave like a bunch of Neanderthals.
Sometimes a well-placed colorful sign can ease static in an office from having to say something to people a thousand times. Face it, it is way less awkward & unpleasant for people to recognize their embarrassing transgressions on a happy, anonymously placed sign than having to be addressed face-to-face by ME to solve the problem of inconsiderate overuse of bottled water, hand-scanner gunkifying or lack of dish washing (Because it’s not like these things affect EVERYBODY, is it??).
It’s not that I can’t make it funny to keep the person comfortable, but eventually I imagine that my jokes will cease being funny to everyone except me. And this could land me in a sensitivity training OR the subject of an official reprimand.That being said, this current waterlogged mystery will not be as easy as creative use of signage. (As seen here:)
Sometimes, my brilliantly creative and hilarious signs are disturbingly ignored. Case in point being this one for the Ladies’ bathroom. The dousing has gone on for weeks which seem like months, since Edita keeps coming to my office every day in an outrage. She’s gotten butt-soaked from sitting on a wet toilet seat on more than one occasion and is more than annoyed about the tidal-wave aftermath all over the rest of the bathroom.
We all know in this office how it goes when Edita gets upset about something. Fortunately for the rest of the group, I’M alway the one she comes to see to report on such issues. I can speak for the fact that for once she wasn’t exaggerating and since she had an idea who the offender actually was, she made it her job to secretly spy on the bathroom bath-taker.
It turned out that our accounting consultant, Mr. Omar, was literally dousing the Ladies room with water in what can be construed as an effort to save the trees by NEVER using paper towels to dry his hands. It seemed like he was washing his hands and shaking them off; or perhaps performing some kind of self-baptism before exiting the bathroom. Luckily our office restrooms are singles and not those multi-stall facilities otherwise someone could have slipped and fallen.
You would think my creative use of clip-art figures slipping on a puddle of water (or an oil slick) and the BIG splashing water graphic in the middle would have made for a longer-lasting dry-spell. We thought the sign had worked but the dry spell only lasted for as long as Mr Omar was on vacation…
Mr. Omar is not very well-liked around here. He was hired courtesy of his close, personal friendship with each of the top three executives and is said to be way overcompensated. As if the peanut-gallery didn’t have enough to bitch about with Mr. Omar, now this twofold issue of him: (1) using the Ladies room in the first place and (2) splashing around in there like a duck needs to be addressed before harsh words are exchanged and someone (other than him) gets dismissed.
I could always let the boss handle it – perhaps it would be less awkward if Mr. Omar is addressed man-to-man about using the Ladies bathroom and making a mess of it?
Or I could take advantage of the fact that Mr. Omar is kind of fond of me, much to my chagrin. I could talk to him privately using Edita as the instigator in this situation since she tends to aggravate the shit out of pretty much everyone on campus.
For example: (Prefaced with appropriate eye-roll:) “I’m so sorry, Mr. Omar, but you know how she is…” – That one has potential, which is unfortunately a double-edged sword in this case since I’ve already heard the buzz about how he and I are “best friends”. I can’t imagine what might be said if he’s in my office with me behind closed doors for a private chat…
What about the famously pointless Office-Users email? – In this instance Edita will be happy because he will definitely see it (unlike the sign which he ignores). Then she can make it her mission to continue spying on him to see if he really read this super-important email.
Of course, I could ignore the issue and see what happens – Sometimes this can be fun which is a necessary evil for me and tends to make my days fly by.
Since the warm weather is approaching I’m sure there will be LOTS of fun emails to send, like the reminder about the annual stinky-fridge purging, or about maintaining the forever-debated HVAC settings set by Facilities and the constant reminders about kitchen cleanup i.e. the crusty microwave. Something tells me I should start walking around with a wooden ruler in my hand… 😛