domingo, 2 de outubro de 2011

LMAO - "Laughing My Ass Off"

Well, first I thought on asking authorization to the author to translate into portuguese his last post before I share it here, but at the end... hell, a good translation is more than knowing a bit of english.
So, here it is as is in his blog, without loosing the power of his sharp irony and sarcasm, at least till I have skills enough to translate things keeping the author's style (it's not a bad idea, btw. Guess I'll start making some attempts).

Evacuation Desparation  

28 September, 2011

At work, we are in the middle of a critical (to me…) stage in the project – training development. It’s now the training team’s time to shine, and because all of the prior activities (build, data loading, testing) have over-run their time, we’re being really squeezed on how much time we have left to deliver everything they made us promise we would have done by now. So it’s long hours, unrealistic deadlines, and frayed tempers. Luckily this is all old hat to a seasoned project resource such as myself, so this is the perfect time to put into play the skills I have honed through 20 years of consulting. Not my grace under pressure, my can-do attitude, or my unflappable, results-driven mindset, but my superior bowel control.
Times like these, you just need to knuckle down and get the work done, with the minimum amount of distraction. And things like bathroom breaks (along with eating and sleeping) are just distractions. Some days, when I’ve had back-to-back conference calls, or an ‘urgent’ request for stats from my boss, I’ve sat down at 8am and not lifted a cheek until mid-afternoon. Which is no mean feat considering my standard breakfast of a large coffee and a 12oz Red Bull chaser. Sure, my body tells me I need to go, but then my boss calls up to chase the day’s worth of work that he only asked for an hour ago, or one of my developers someone does something stupid that I need to fix for them, and I never manage to get away from my desk.
Which means that when I finally bow to my biological break-in, I really need to go. And when I find that the nearest commode to my desk is occupied, a ‘comfort break’ rapidly turns into a discomfort break. And for some reason, that happens more frequently than I care for. Probably because my building is severely lacking in suitable conveniences. My floor has a couple of hundred people on it, and a total of three sit-down toilets for the entire floor (and those strategically placed on three of the four corners of the square building, for maximum inconvenience). Admittedly not everyone on the floor uses the little boy’s room at the same time – although given that we all eat lunch at around the same time, some degree of ‘bottlenecking’ is to be expected – but only three? It’s hardly adequate, is it? Hell, we have more microwaves on our floor than men’s ‘comfort stations’ (by a ratio of 4:3). Think about it – if you have more facilities for getting food into people (and I’m ignoring the 2 fridges and a candy machine) than you have facilities for getting it out of them again, something’s gotta give. And I don’t want it to be my pants.
So last week I attempted to sneak in a quick two minute break inbetween conference calls, and headed down to the basement, where the men’s powder room has a full eight cubicles, to avoid possible congestion on my own floor. Unfortunately, when I got there, it was roped off, with a “Closed for Servicing” sign pinned to the door. This could mean just routine cleaning (which it needs twice a day as the people down there are just pigs), or could mean that some slack-arsed idiot has tried flushing his manpon and backed up the drains again. Either way, I had to head back to my own floor, but then discovered that all three of the cans there were already occupied. I guess I could have just hopped from foot to foot outside the door of one of them, waiting for the occupant to finish their business, but if you do that you run the risk of looking as though you make a habit of hanging around mens’ restrooms, and then you have to dance around the person coming out, whilst trying not to make eye contact (’cause men don’t need to acknowledge that other men poop). Also, you run the risk of it being your boss coming out of the cubicle, and you can’t go in after that, because if they’ve left a mess you won’t be able to treat them the same ever again. Viz: “Dirk, this report is atrocious”, “Yeah, but you splattered all up the back of the bowl, so let’s just call it even, eh?”. See? it just doesn’t work. Even if you don’t say it, you’ll still think it…
So to avoid falling foul of any kind of restroom social etiquette, I had to resort to speed-walking my way from corner to corner of the building with my butt-cheeks clenched (which did at least garner me an appreciative glance from one of the gay dudes in the office), and with an increasingly-panicked look on my face, looking for an unoccupied WC. I was on the verge of just going in the women’s (hey, you want equality…) when the cleaners finally came out of my regular spot on my third fly-by, and I managed to get in and sat down before I embarrassed myself further. It was a close call, for sure. Especially as I’m currently subsisting on a diet of nothing but Ashoka-brand microwavable curries. (Mmmm, convenience curry…)
And its not just me who apparently has trouble finding an open throne when they need one. A while back someone in our office block was so desperate to drop the kids off at the pool that, upon finding all of the commodes occupied, he simply dropped his pants and took a dump in the urinal! I shit you not! I didn’t actually see it myself, but I had it on very good authority – from a Belgian, and you know they aren’t easily phased, what with their unisex toilets and their ‘the ladies is through the gents’ approach to toiletry – who saw the offending poop himself. By the time I got there, the entire restroom had been cordoned off, and Building Services were milling around with bemused looks on their faces, barking into their walkie-talkies about an “incident” on the first floor. I don’t think they ever did find out who dropped the offending log, but they probably weren’t really looking too hard. Admittedly, dusting for fingerprints probably wouldn’t have revealed too much, but I’m sure you can tell which butt a poop was squeezed out of by applying some basic ballistic theory – I’m guessing that a person’s unique collection of haemmorhoids, warts and fissures leave the same kind of ‘rifling’ grooves as the barrel of a gun does on a bullet. Just takes a little research is all. They’ve already had a urine sample off me, so a plaster-cast of my chocolate starfish isn’t really any more of an imposition…
Anyway, it was an uncomfortable moment, and I don’t really want to repeat it in a hurry. So I’m going to recommend that, in future, project management issues Depends (adult diapers) to everyone, so that you don’t even have to get up out of your seat for the entire day. Sure, it means that you’re sat in your own excrement for half the day, but as the average project here feels like you’re wading neck deep in the stuff anyway, it’s not that unpalatable…

From Dirk on

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