14 July, 2004

The crapper

I work in a ten-story glass box and spend a good part of my day confined in a cubicle with no natural sources of light. Not an atypical work environment, in this day and age. There are about sixty people on my floor, most of whom I see pretty regularly and some of whom I work with quite closely.

There's only one public restroom on the floor (one for each gender, rather), and everyone has to use it. It's not uncommon to run into someone you know while you're in there. For some reason, people are strangely squeamish about acknowledging each other while they're in the bathroom. I'm not sure exactly why this is - I mean, I suppose it's sort of unreasonable to expect people to have a conversation while they're both grunting over a toilet (pardon my French), but still, it's also really bizarre to see someone totally suppress their recognition.

I can't quite figure it out... is it shame over doing something so essentially primitive? There's nothing that demonstrates your pure animal nature like the fact that you need to take a shit. Everyone needs to eat, of course, but there there's room for enjoyment, even for a bit of art-appreciation. Evacuating waste, on the other hand...

Alternatively, it might be some kind of homophobia. After all, you are removing your pants... talking to your male colleagues in a room where you remove your pants might be a bit much for some people. Although no one seems to mind chatting while they're butt-naked in the gym locker room.

I just don't get it. Not that I'm looking for change, here...

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