Taguchi’s Guide to the Shared Office Bathroom (Part 1)

I’ve been busy and a little off the radar lately, but I have to squeeze this one in. My office shares a private bathroom with a couple other floors in our building. I would estimate that there are approximately 30-50 men on 2-3 floors who share this bathroom (with 3 stools and urinal). It requires a push-button code to get in so it’s not open to the public (as if the fact that it’s on the 7th floor of an office building isn’t good enough).

I’ve only had this job for 4 months, but I have literally dozens of bathroom stories…but the greatest of all took place today. Most folks understand the value of having a private toilet experience. I knew a guy in college who bucked this trend and would go throughout our fraternity house looking for someone to go double-barrel in our 2-stall main bathroom. He referred to this as a “power shit,” but I digress.

I had worked out a system to avoid too many embarrassing moments in the can. For example, you don’t want people knowing that it was you who bombed the place out or made those disgusting movements, noises or releases while they were sharing your jon space (I know, it’s absurd…that’s where you go to do those things). I usually run up there when I know I’m good and ready to go. I keep it short, flush twice and clean up the aftermath quickly. Then I go to the urinal (don’t like to go sitting down), wash up and roll out. I can do all of this in about 2 minutes. If someone else happens to join me while I’m getting it done, so be it. I can’t control everything. There will be times that you are either on the giving or receiving end of a total missile launch in passing, and that’s unavoidable. But, still, I like to get in and out and try to keep it respectable. If it’s going to be nuclear, I wait til I get home (for lunch or end of day).

I realized today that I’ve got it all wrong. This afternoon I rolled into said work station to handle a simple numero uno and immediately noticed feet beneath the door at the end of the row of 4 stalls. I took note and went to do my thing with the attitude of “too bad…I interrupted that guy’s private moment…sucks for him.” Within 4-6 seconds of my entry, I heard the loudest, most reverberating series of 3 whole note toilet farts I had ever experienced. It sounded like Adam Jones’ guitar (which to me sounds like a plane taking off). The impact rattled my cage and probably blurred my vision for a moment. I mean these things modulated, starting at a distinct bass clef pitch, then down a half-step, then back up. And that’s when it hit me…suddenly I realized that I was the one who had been put on the defensive. I found myself racing to get outta there. No way did I want to encounter the monster with the black loafers behind that stall door…and I sure as hell wasn’t going to wait for the smell to waft it’s way over. I finished up, washed hands and bolted. This guy earned his moment of solitude.  I can’t even try to steal his material, it was so good…and trust me, he HAD TO KNOW I was there.

Here’s to you, Mr. Blackloafers…I will NEVER forget you.