When starting a new job, everyone wants to put their best feet forward and make the most favorable initial impressions possible.  A lot of these things are within one’s control: eye contact, displaying a genuine interest in the company/co-workers, not blasting gangsta rap, etc.  Then there are things outside of one’s control that crop up.  Unsurprisingly, I have a story from the latter category.

It was my second week on the job, and though I’m super shitty with directions, I was finding my way around the office pretty well.  It’s many times larger than my last working environment, plus there’s a bunch of construction going on that’s caused some wings to shape-shift from one day to the next.  Regardless, I was getting my bearings and feeling good about that.  I’d even settled on a bathrooming routing.  (Yes, bathrooming.  Look for it in the 2032 Olympics.)  There’s the main, multi-stall/multi-urinal bathroom by the elevators (about 85 steps from my workspace), and a small, single-user, unisex one about a third of that distance away.  My plan is simple: don’t shit in the small one.  Makes sense, right?

On this particular day, I walked over to the smaller bathroom to do my lesser business.  I went inside, locked the door, and then turned to see splashes of urine on the unlifted toilet seat.  It was already too late for me to remove myself from the situation.  Even quickly unlocking the door and leaving would still make it seem like I had been the last one to use the facility, so I was firmly entrenched in this predicament.  My options were clear: have people think that I rudely pissed on the toilet seat with no regard for others or clean up a stranger’s urine.  I kicked the seat up with my foot and thought about my options while I let loose my liquid.  I finished up and knew what I had to do.  I grabbed some toilet paper, lowered the seat, quickly wiped the inconsiderate stranger’s mess off of the seat (that never should’ve been left down in the first place), flushed my pee, his pee, and the t.p. down the toilet, and thoroughly washed my hands.  It sucked, but it’s what I had to do unless I wanted to risk having some female see me leave the bathroom, assume the rudely left urine was mine, and tell others about the asshole new guy.  I couldn’t let that happen, but the forced clean-up of some douchebag’s errant stream still left me (wait for it) a little pissed.

p.s. It only occurred to me while writing this that there was a third option I didn’t consider.  I could have put the toilet seat up, done my thing, and then left it up.  The next person might have thought I was rude for not lowering the seat, but upon lowering it herself, she would’ve known that I hadn’t been the errant pee-r.  I wouldn’t have ultimately settled on that option because I still end up looking like a minor jerk, and I’m trying to avoid that until completely necessary.

p.p.s. I couldn’t help but think of David Serdaris’ story “Big Boy” while I was in there.  If you’re familiar with that story, you probably already thought about it during this post.  If you’re not, you should be.  It’s good shit.

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