Thursday, May 03, 2007

Schmuck toilet thief -Generosity never helped anyone.

My back was in a bad way at the weekend after a trip up to Scarborough to see my mum and grandparents, mum’s dog, cousins aunt & uncle, and my bloody knee wasn’t helping either. On the Sunday night my back hurt so much so I couldn't breathe properly when I was in bed and didn’t manage to get to sleep until after 5am. As soon as I mentioned I was having breathing difficulties to Lisa the following morning she insisted I visit to the doctors (the second time in a week- my knee was my last ailment). The Quacks reassured that I would live so I called work, laid on thick took the day off and tried to get some rest (ISS Pro Evolution & Seinfeld). Despite the pain it was a bloody good day.

Upon my return to work on my birthday I ventured out to purchased the customary cream cakes for my department, ensuring there was enough for all. £12!!!! Infact there are two spare ones in the kitchen still and should no one lay claim to them, I shall consume them both myself. I was a tad disheartened when in the midst of my pain and suffering I was sent out to buy the cakes myself. No doubt my colleagues watched me from the window hobbling down Stanley Road, hunched over walking like an 80 year old and having a good laugh at my expense. Luckily my boss drove past on my way back to the office and gave me a lift. Funnily, he was giving the Strategic Director a lift too, and I'm pretty sure he didn't recognise me as the guy who failed to warn him about the lack of toilet paper in the disabled toilet. I was dying to ask him if he ever found that copy of The Metro I stashed.

My back is now easing up slightly though my knee is still causing trouble. I now have a hospital appointment in two weeks in which I hope is the first step towards an operation and finally getting it sorted. I received a pack in the post from the hospital asking me to bring a urine sample with me. This had me confused somewhat as I'm convinced that the knee and the bladder are not connected- anyway Kelly, a nurse friend of mine brought me some ultra strong painkillers that she 'borrowed' from the hospital on Tuesday night. I haven't had any yet though should my back pain return or dull ache that plagues my left knee worsen I have suitable provisions. They're now safely out of children's reach in our ever growing medicine cabinet- which until two moths ago only consisted of a packet of paracetamol and now resembles a small chemist.

Along with a new sense of maturity, a new spirit of generosity has washed over me too- but alas once more my pleasantness and generosity has been plagued with disaster.

Yesterday I was in the kitchen assisting my colleague Tony in the making of a round of drinks. Usually of course it doesn't require two people to make the brews, however I was in the kitchen and felt guilty about leaving there to make them on his own. Tony brought up in conversation his discontent with the new building's toilet facilities. Although there is now a massive pile of paper towels and a limitless supply of soap, the general unpleasantness of their condition was making him wait until he gets home before he did his business.
"You wait all day!?"
"Ohhh Matt, I'd rather do permanent damage to by kidneys and bowels than have to go to here but I'm nearly fifty four- there's no way I can wait all day- why do you think I set up so many Goddamned external meetings?"
"Because you're our Finance Manager?"
"God no! It's so I can 'drop the kids off at the pool' during the day without wanting to have a bath in Detol afterwards"

I've always liked Tony and his extreme reactions to everything. In many ways he's been something of a wake up call to me, as there are many of his personality traits I seem to share with him, and as much as I like the guy, I'd hate to end up so highly strung. I decided that a man of his age shouldn't be having to set up meeting with some of the organisations so he can take a dump- so I gave him the nugget of information that is the disabled toilets.
At first he looked worried as if he would be trespassing on private property or committing some heinous act of deviance. After reassuring him that thus far I think only myself and the Strategic Director use them and that it'll be okay his reservations and fear melted.
"Thanks Matt! Would you do me favour and finish making the tea, I'm dying to go!" He said hurriedly.
I just smiled and nodded my head, patting him on the back as he rushed past me and out of the door.

I felt smug.

Tony reemerged into the office looking at least two stone lighter and had a light bead of sweat on his top lip like the Thunderbird puppets. He gave me a wink.
I felt even smugger.

That night I felt content. I slept well dreaming of my beautiful banjo (note:- this isn't a double-entendre _ i was bought by my chums for my birthday- a beautiful banjo)

The next day I arrived at work with the same positive attitude and vigour as I had the day before. The usual trivialities didn't burden me. I even smiled and said hello to Geronimo- who although she didn't smile back at me or acknowledge my existence didn't hit me- so things were really on the up.

At 11 o'clock after several cups of tea, I tottered over to the toilets. I did my usual checking around to make sure the coast was clear. I pushed the door only to find it was locked. I looked at it bemused and noticed the little red plastic square that indicates that it was engaged.

I shrugged my shoulders and went back to my desk.
"Another 10 minutes won't do me any harm" I thought.

After ten or so minutes elapsed I once more waddled over to the toilets and once more I noticed it was locked.
This time round I wasn't so patient so I walked to the third floor to use their disabled toilets.
of course, the risk is much higher using these as I was in unfamiliar territory. Alas these toilets were locked too.

I debated whether or not I should venture to the second floor or retreat back upstairs. The communal toilets were not an option. I decided to wait upstairs, and investigate who was using my own personal throne.

I waited by the lift pretending to use my phone for what seemed an eon until the schmuck toilet thief showed his face. I’d never seen this guy before and he had the type of face you’d remember and a moustash; and I never forget a moustash. Once the coast was clear- I entered with caution and did what I do.

I was reasonably annoyed that some other able bodied person would have the outrage to use a disabled toilet.

This thought stayed with me throughout the day and was heightened when I tried to go again (obviously the stress of this ordeal had prevented me from going properly the first time around) and I was greeted with the alarming sight of the red plastic again.

I was raging.

Once more I pretended to be on the phone until the culprit showed his face. This time around it was a face I recognized from the kitchen. It was the cheeky cunt who asked if I was a student the other week. I smiled politely and once more ventured in unsure as to what state it would be in. It wasn’t in the pristine condition I had come to expect. I was unhappy and this reflected in my lack of ‘passing’.

I spent the next day constenstly checking the disabled loo. It was engaged nearly all day. When I did get enterance it was disgusting. A weaker man would have shed a tear, I just let out the longest dissatisfied sigh I could muster.

At luch time Tony thanked me again for my little tit bit of toilet information. I smiled and wished that I hadn’t. I boached the subject with him delicately.

“Thanks again Matt for the toilet tip” He beamed.
I just smiled pathetically.
“You wouldn’t believe how many people have thanked me for passing it on…”
“What, you told people..” I replied
“Oh was I not supposed to- I’m sorry I told Peter in Technical Services…”
He looked genuinely apologetic and suitably guilty and I did my best not to convey the rage that was building up from within.
“…and Dave in Admin…”
“You’d have been good in the war!” I quipped stopping him from regaling the list of people he’d shed this informational nugget with.
“Perhaps if everyone is using the disabled toilets then the normal facilities might improve” he suggested optimistically.
“Hmmm.” I grunted.
It wasn’t his fault it was my own.

My utopia was banished.
Generosity never helped anyone.

I better start arranging some meetings myself!

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