Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Love the Workplace Poop Break

Look, I realize. I am way late to the party on this. I am 27 years old and I have my first corporate-like office job. Many of you have worked in that type of setting for years now. But, I am new to this. Which means I am new to the simple pleasures that make your day in a cubicle bearable. For me, and I imagine for many of you, one of my favorite new daily activities is the Workplace Poop Break.

I've been at my job for just over two weeks and I have pooped on the premises a handful of times. And it... is... glorious. I arrive at work usually right around 8am and immediately get to work... reading the news on CNN.com and MSNBC.com. It gets old, because so many websites are blocked. Even within those websites, many stories are blocked because they are seen as unfit to be viewed at my place of employment. Even though I'm not getting paid because this is an unpaid externship*.

Around 10:30, I start to get antsy. It's way too early for lunch, but I can't just sit here another 90 minutes, refreshing CNN.com every three minutes, hoping that something exciting happens. I think about using that last 50-cents in my pocket to buy a candy bar, but think better of it. So, to get away from the monotony of the cubicle, I stand up and walk to the bathroom, iPhone in hand.

Yup, I bring my iPhone**. What can I say... I'm a 21st Century Digital Boy, I don't got a lot of cash but I have a lot of toys. Etc. Instead of a newspaper or a magazine, I bring my iPhone and I check all the websites I can't check on the work computer - ESPN.com, the Cal Football site, Facebook, etc. etc. It's pretty fantastic. Depending on how fast the iPhone is loading webpages that day, I will sit on the pot a good 20 minutes after I have finished my business. Because why the hell not? I deserve that solo time, you know?

If the iPhone is being slow, I might do some brainstorming. Like, just the other day, I came up with an employment idea for the Fall. Hell, today I came up with the idea for this very blog entry that you are reading. And now you have the pleasure of wasting time at work/school/home by reading it. So, when you think about it, The Workplace Poop Break isn't just quality time for ME... it's quality time for US. Separately, of course.

There is only one drawback to The Workplace Poop Break. Although I have not had the misfortune of trying to enjoy my break while someone else simultaneously enjoys their break, I have had the unfortunate experience of walking into the bathroom mid-afternoon either during, or immediately after, someone else blew up the bathroom. The last two days, especially, have been terrifying.

But I won't begrudge my fellow employees their Workplace Poop Break. That wouldn't be kind of me. So I'll just hold my breath, and my tongue, and nod approvingly.

ADDENDUM, 07/08/09: This has been a horrible week. Maybe my blog jinxed me. Because suddenly my bowel movements are not on the workplace poop schedule. Instead, all week, I haven't had to poop until the evening. And that, my friends, makes me furious. When I'm at home it is MY time, and I don't want to waste two minutes of MY time by pooping. On top of that, it keeps me from wasting that time at work. It's a lose-lose for me. I've gotta figure out how to fix this.

*In fact, I am actually PAYING FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS for the summer for the pleasure of being denied the chance to read about the latest Ricky Rubio news.
**I don't care if you think that's gross. Don't borrow my phone?


Lisa said...

I for one think the workplace poop break is somewhat uncomfortable. I don't like exiting the stall while a co-worker is in the bathroom, washing hands or the like. I know this is useless because I'm sure people recognize my shoes, as I recognize theirs.

Also, I have experienced horribly disgusting things as daily shit streaks in the toilet bowl. Always one stall. Always the same poopy bitch.

*RyRowe* said...

i love the workday poop for sooooo many reasons. first off, its probably the only time someone will pay you to take a dump...which feels great. second, once you get over the discomfort, it makes me fool good to imagine the level of stress being alleviated from pipes and plumbing at my own place. right?
Tommy, you hit the thinking/"me time" right on the head.

I almost think you could make a good indie short-film, shot Clerks style, about the "workplace poop break". show the different characters like: "the grunter", "the loud splasher", "the no-handwash guy", "the guy whos 'schedule' is 10 mins ahead of you everyday", "the toothbrusher"(which is actually the grossest thing if you ask me), etc.

waddya guys think? any other "characters" you can add?

Anthony Valerio said...

I have a personal love affair with the Workplace Poop Break ever since my first internship at an architecture firm back in '98. It was my first real job which consisted of organizing the archive room of an architecture firm that kept far too many of their drawings on paper.

Recently though, my poop break has deteriorated into a moment when I realize I may be over-worked. At my current job we have a table with several architecture and other subject magazines for perusing while on the pot which I used to enjoy, or I would do as you do and surf the internet for that one last story I have yet to read about Michigan football. But recently, I have noticed my time at my desk has become so overwhelmingly filled with production work (I'm an archtect) that I am unable to keep up with the over 40 emails a day I get and need to respond to on the management side of my project. This is where my demoralizing poop break comes in. I now spend that precious time on the throne reading (and sometimes responding) to work emails to help me get caught up.

Somehow, when I was a 19 year old intern back at HGA in Milwaukee I had a feeling those poop breaks would be a measure of not only my accomplishments, but my mental health. How true that has become today.