Irk

It's always a bit of a chore explaining just what it is that I do at work. It still amazes me the fraction of the public who, upon hearing the word "parcel," first think "package" instead of "land." I blame UPS. Folks will ask, often in lieu of understanding, whether I enjoy what I do or not. Oh, I do enjoy it. It feels worthwhile; a project that should have been undertaken ages ago, but is just now becoming really do-able. It always feels like we're advancing the state of the art. These are all things I like about my job, my career, if you will. Few ever ask, though, what I don't like about it. There's not much, really. As order-phillic as I am, I even kinda like the chaos that our many priorities bring. Petty as it is, the thing that bothers me most on a day-to-day level is comically mundane.

I work in a modest office building of four stories, all of which are part of our company or parent company. It's a great place to work, clean and tidy, and regularly updated to look nice and modern. The cleaning, though, can get out of hand. We have a custodian, a young lady who makes the rounds to the common spaces during the day to prevent small messes from becoming big ones; this is especially true of the restrooms, where things can go seriously awry with disturbing speed. Therefore, she makes several stops a day in each of the four sets of privies. You'll hear the clank-ka-clank of the cart on the tile outside the door, followed by a polite knock and an inquiry about the occupancy of the room. All the guys respond with some variations of "Just a minute" or "occupied." This will happen from time to time, and I think nothing of it. Some days, though, it's like she's got my number. Some sort of potty synchronicity will arise that has me either rushing to vacate or turned back by her yellow CLOSED sign that bars the door. I'm never sure which way she'll go, either; men first or women, up a floor or down. I have developed a coping strategy, though. My cube is on the third floor; assuming she'll proceed one floor at a time, the best bet when I see that sign is to head for the first floor, which is the least likely to be cleaned next. I can do my business in peace.

Plus, it gives me an excuse to raid the receptionist's candy tray. Win-win!

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