I was sick of working for the man and was taking a shit while planning world domination. I had a five-year process. I was planting minions and preparing the path of light. No, not really I was actually reading the arts section but it was a very delicate process. I wasn’t at my desk so there were no phone calls, emails, texts.It was so nice and dreamy in the stall. It was quiet. The lighting was mellow and the air well-ventilated. I felt safe. If only I could have enjoyed this lull for a few minutes longer it would have given me the repose to complete my day with renewed vigour. And that’s when the High-Flying Salesman came in and ruined everything.
I couldn’t think when he was around. This particular salesman was as fast and flashy as an over-zealous strobe light. All numbers and game, he was regularly over-animated like a caricature of himself. I suppose he was good at being a salesman and therefore I had nothing in common with him. I was always a creature of quiet contemplation so whenever the bastard entered my circle of peace I wanted to shove his cell up his ass and far enough that he could make a call with his fucking teeth.
That’s exactly how I felt when he barged into the men’s room jabbering away excitedly about things I would never care enough about to understand. I felt violated. It was more than just losing precious bathroom time -I had to work for this section of the newspaper. The Arts & Entertainment page was the holy grail of the daily paper and it was usually the first to be taken and well before noon which might as well have been a criminal offence in my world. When I was able to quietly sneak into the office kitchen, fold that section into my pocket and escape to the bathroom I felt a personal satisfaction almost equivalent to when I stole other peoples lunches.
When I said ‘work for it’ I meant it. Today I arrived at the kitchen to find Darth Gertha dressed in yards of black, yellow and pink with her big hairy mitts molesting the shit out of my section. I could almost hear the paper screaming. She was my arch-enemy when it came to the Globe & Mail; her and Shady, Sneaky, Shifty, Side-Step, Sideways Steve who was the Chriss Angel of paper-snatching and the Moriarty of lunch-theft. When she saw me Gertha gave me a smile that made me want to brush my teeth so I ran up beside her and decided to muscle the paper out of the clutches of the leviathan right then and there. It was rushed and sloppy. Here is how it went:
”Hey! How’s it going?” I approached exuding warmth and friendship.
“Eat shit. Die.” She returned. That was our usual banter.
“What’cha reading?” My hand slowly reached for the edge like someone trying to pet a poisonous snake. She got wise on me fast and jerked the paper away.
“Go fuck dead!” Gertha was our communications specialist.
“Come on, no need to be like that I was only…” I thrust my hands out across her and seized the paper. The struggle began. Neither of us wanted to tear it but neither would give in. It was mortal battle that was going nowhere fast so I started elbowing her in the ribs hoping it would give me some leverage. Gertha began smashing my hands against the counter. My grip was slipping so I jabbed her in the gut. It was enough for Gertha to loosen her grip in surprise which was a good thing as I did not have to resort to anything dirty. The look on Gertha’s face warned me that next time she was going straight for my balls. In the meantime I dashed away with the paper laughing at having foiled her yet again.
That was ten minutes ago. I had just finished the comics. In walks Salesman:
“They’re there? Good. Yeah…for the pool. We’re putting ‘er in just like I promised and after this deal I’m going to fill it with champagne and rose petals. Yes, the backyard. No, not the front yard. Babe…yeah the pool goes in the backyard. The backyard’s behind the house so bring the men around back. No, I didn’t mean it that way. What? No! They aren’t going to gang-rape you, what have you been watching and have you taken your pills yet? Right…Right…NO! Bye.”
I could hear the salesman put his cell down. “Stupid Bitch.” He muttered then proceeded to make another call because that’s what salesmen do.
I returned to my paper. Hey, Katy’s leaving Tom like a Seal team extraction! All these woman divorcing their celebrity husbands these days amongst whispers of coldness and cruelty. Wow, I would have never have expected that type of behaviour from an overpaid megalomaniac. How strange!
chop chop chop. “Hahaha…yes!” chop chop chop.
When I heard that coming from next door I’ve been around long enough to know that shady fucker was slicing out white lines on the toilet paper dispenser. You got to be kidding me. Really?
sniff. sniff. ssnnniifffffff! “SHAZAM!”
Guess not. It’s nine in the morning. Fuck the Kellogg’s I’m going straight for the sugar. I returned to the paper and just tried to ignore the action beside me. There was lots of stuff going on in here. I was having my own party. Unfortunately it wasn’t as loud as the one next door.
“HEY! YEAH! I made it into work no problem. Four days out, five back in. Remember that blonde I was telling you about that looked like Scarlett Johansson? Told you I’d get the job done that’s why I’m going VP. Yeah I made her scream…in Japanese! What? Where was I? Japan. Don’t worry about it. Yeah I’ll stop by the course on Thursday we’ll pick up a game. Fuck that, tell your wife to go fuck herself.”
chop. chop. chop. chop.
I didn’t even know why I bothered reading anymore. Today it was full of shit I wasn’t interested in: Snookie’s pregnancy, Tomkat’s divorce, Toddlers in Tiara’s (a sad statement of society in itself). Whatever happened to a critic’s acclaim of a good new rock album or a compelling book review? What did this say about our culture as a whole now that it was saturated with irrelevant shit that unfortunately kept people watching, reading, and mindlessly following? It’s like everybody knows there’s something fundamentally wrong with the shows that we’re viewing, the magazines that we’re buying, the clothes we wear. Christ, everything from the way that we talk to what we post on fucking Facebook is stuffed with utter nonsense. Where did we go wrong?
sniff. sniff. ssnnniifffffff! “I’m so God right now!”
Yeah, the salesman might have just nailed it right there.
“Hey, Big Boss. I got some sexy numbers for you. Tack that on the end of a high-powered presentation that’s gonna make them all climax and it’ll be Christmas in July.”
Sure. It’ll be ‘high-powered’ all right.
“I’ll be in the boardroom in ten. It’s gonna be a Hell of a show.”
Wish I could be there. Really, it would make my day to sit back and enjoy your coke-fuelled PowerPoint-driven spiel. So why don’t you pass a rail under the stall for a fellow shitter and we can get things started?
“Yo, yeah it’s me again. Everything tickety-boo? OK, final deal: six-point-two percent. Yeah, what? Are you grin-fucking me right now? No way we’re biting on those margins.”
What does that even mean?
snniiiffff! snnnnniiiiffffff “Whatever. Go fuck your mother.”
I heard the salesman flush the toilet, get up, buckle up, and leave the bathroom while making another call -not only breaking the cardinal rule of the office by not washing his hands but the salesman didn’t even bother to wipe his ass. Apparently his shit didn’t stink and he was so salesman smooth that there was no need to wipe. Moments later I wiped, I washed, and I left. I wasn’t a high-flying salesman.
Although I was grateful for sharing the bathroom with the Scarface of the folding carton industry I’m sure that I was scarred by the experience in some way I will never fully understand. Furthermore, instead of returning to my desk I should leave right now, take my line of credit, and go work at a bar on a South American beach where people are natural and sane as opposed to spending the rest of the day and my life surrounded by seven-layers of over-baked crazy.
I paused in the hallway. I could hear the photocopier and hallway chatter. I inched closer to the door. I was going to do it! I really was! Nah, whatever…I’m so God right now and everything is rickety-tickety-boo.
Now time to peruse the employee fridge and see what’s available for lunch. Shazam!
I love how this posting suggests that the problem wasn’t food being stolen, it was that employees had issues with their food being stolen because, you know, otherwise it would be OK.