The bathroom at work, for the next three weeks, is on the 54th floor.
Coinciding with this is the introduction of an espresso machine, mere yards from my desk, on the 53rd.
To further layer these events, the bathroom on 54 requires a security badge, both to get in and out of the room.
You see, we here at Acme Gravel and Grommets take our security very seriously. Sure, you claim to be yourself on the way in to the bathroom, but can you say the same on the way out?
Can you prove it?
The cries of those who get in on the tails of others and are now stranded, card-less, are piteous.
I consider all of this from my desk, late Thursday morning. Tweaked on espresso, I simultaneously compose an e-mail, take a soapy toothbrush to some of the last file folders on the planet, and, wide-eyed and twitchy, plan my next trip to the bathroom.
There’s something about having to walk down a flight of stairs and then further in to the bowels, as it were, of another floor for something so simple as relieving one’s self that makes one pause.
Wait too long – as all American office workers do – and you may find yourself doing an interesting and potentially undignified dance.
We take for granted the little things, don’t we? Heating. Tarred roads. Rooves and/or roofs. Plumbing.
I check the ceilings for cameras. In a world of self-locking bathrooms, perhaps the simultaneous arrival of both the updating of the bathrooms and the espresso machine are a test of some sort. But of what? Project management? Spatial awareness? Bladder control?
Shaking a clenched fist at the ceiling, I vow to endure this latest first-world problem. Like one-ply toilet paper and lotion that smells like lavender, not the geranium I prefer, a bathroom one floor down is really nothing.
Still. I shall shake my fist.
And like my pioneering foremothers, I shall rise to the occasion.