Monday May 22nd, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: acrobatics.

I'm not totally sure that's the best prompt for my story, but I already used Spider-Man as a prompt so... here we are.

Plus I can't imagine there will be too many bathroom stories from my job that aren't the least bit gross, so I figured I'd best share this one.

Feel I should point out before getting to my tale that Max is having a sleepover at Kat's parents house tonight. Our home is... weirdly empty without him here.


After my lunch break today I returned to the washrooms at the main beach here in Osoyoos. Which have been incredibly busy this weekend, needing two cleans each day and multiple restockings on paper towels and toilet paper.

Anyway. I go in to check on the men's washroom and only one of the two stalls was unoccupied. So I go check the women's side and then come back to see if I can have a look at the second stall.

Still someone in there.

Or so I thought.

Eventually I got tired of waiting (plus I was getting suspicious) and ducked down to find... nobody in there. But the door was locked.

Annoyed by the thought of someone purposely locking the door from the inside and then either crawling under the door (no way I was doing that) or climbing out the top, I went back to my work truck to get my litter grabber (since I figured I could reach the lock without having to climb in).

The walls on the stall, by the way, are maybe seven feet tall. Maybe closer to six and a half. I, on the other hand, am five foot eight inches tall.

So I use the top of the urinal next to the stall as a step to get myself up on the wall and grab for the lock. Got it, dropped down. And... nope I didn't. Tried again. Pretty sure I got it to slide all the way across. And completely sure the door still won't open.

Great. The lock is broken.

And now I had a completely different impression of the guy who was in there when it broke. Poor bastard.

Back to the truck. Grab a screwdriver. Climb up. Drop down inside the stall. Unscrew the lock. Try to fix it. Fail miserably. Back to the truck. Get a marker and a piece of paper. Write 'Lock broken Please knock before entering Thank you!". Tape it over the hole where the lock was. Make mental note to report the issue tomorrow morning so that the foreman can get someone to properly fix the lock. Leave to go clean Town Hall.

That, by the way, left out the first time I dropped into the stall, when I realized I couldn't get it unlocked by hand and I would need a screwdriver to open it.

I was pleased that I pulled that off without a) falling, or b) injuring myself in some awkward and impressive fashion. Was disappointed I couldn't fix it.

I think I impressed the two boys who were in there with their father, getting changed and dried off after being at the beach.

Hopefully I didn't give them any ideas of trying that themselves.


Greg said...

I think you can reuse a prompt title now and then you know :) Still, it sounds like you had the quite the adventure that day! I'm impressed with the lengths you went to, and how resourceful you were in getting things fixed (well, as fixed as you could), and it sounds like your audience were impressed as well, which is surely a good thing! I like the touch of dropping down inside the stall and then realising you should have brought a screwdriver with you :)

Kieran closed the laptop and rubbed his eyes. The screams had stopped a half-hour ago, which had been a relief, and he'd been filling in spreadsheets listlessly – they needed to be done but they weren't essential – while checking his email every three minutes. Any faster and the server would decide that it was a robot trying to access the network and lock the account. Finally the email had come through announcing a reduction in head-count and downsizing in several unrelated departments. The names of the affected were attached, and he'd gone through it twice, using the CTRL-F search as well, to make sure his name wasn't in there.
He still didn't know if he'd been intended to be downsized, but he'd escaped it this time round.
There was the soft snick of someone unlocking his office door. He tensed, the cotton of his shirt creaking slightly as his muscles put the stitching under tension. He slid the lowest left-hand desk drawer open slightly, enough to save a valuable second later if needed. The door swung open.
"Kieran." It was his boss, Madeleine. "I'm genuinely pleased to see you."
Kieran's smile was genuine. His boss was unaffectionate, grumpy, and largely hostile to everyone, so this was close to a real compliment. She came in, a slender, petite figure in a plain black dress. She wore a gold chain around her neck, chunky and heavy as though she'd once been part of an extremely wealthy and posh biker gang. Each link of the chain was engraved with a different warding, allowing her access to various parts of the office, so it was functional more than decorative. She sat in the visitor's seat with indifference, and smiled at him.
"You weren't supposed to be in that meeting," she said, the smile vanishing. "There are... let us call them corporate acrobatics going on at the moment. Hidalgi" – that was the HR woman's name – "is trying out for the main ring of this circus, and I am concerned about what the fallout might be." She raised a hand to forestall Kieran's question. "I don't care about the clowns" – she smiled – "this analogy works better than I'd expected! I don't care about the clowns or the lion-tamers or the bearded lady for that matter, but there are performers here who are what keep the whole show going. And I don't believe Hidalgi understands that, sat up on her corporate trapeze swinging above the audience." She sighed. "Give someone sequins and they go straight to their head."
Kieran laughed, a short chuckle. "I'm not a clown then?"
"Hah. No. I don't employ clowns on my team. You are in danger though, since Hidalgi thought she could get away with putting you in that meeting without my knowledge. I've acted on that already, don't worry about it, and Hidalgi will have her nose smacked with the rolled-up corporate newspaper. So we need to see that she stops looking over my team and trying to fit in into her plans."
"You sound like you're up to something, boss?"
"Oh yes." Madeleine smiled and it was a thing of terror.

Marc said...

Greg - eh, I was really hoping the first time I dropped in that it could be opened with enough jiggling and swearing. Plus it let me see what type of screwdriver was required, which saved me from bringing all three that were in the truck.

Pretty sure that would have resulted in an injury of some sort...

So pleased to see this continue! And in such a satisfying manner, too. I like the continued reveal of Kieran's character and the introduction of his boss. As well as the insight into what was happening in your previous post.

Great stuff all around :)