I. Show a Little Respect
The maintenance staff on our floor are gems. They some of the nicest individuals I have met. Whether they are sweeping/mopping the floors or emptying the trash/recycling bins, they are never resistant to conversation. You don’t have to tell them, “You’re doing a great job.” It’s not necessary. They know they are. The simplistic acknowledgement, a smile or a hello and striking up conversation, does the trick. No matter the size of a company, although they may not work directly with you, they are still technically your co-workers. Treating such individuals with respect is the least you can do.
II. Making a Decision
With that said, I would like to throw individuals under the bus. If it were legal, I would do it literally. I am talking about those individuals, the persons who don’t seem to care, the ones leaving the bathroom in complete disarray.
It’s a gamble walking into the men’s bathroom. You don’t know what you’re going to expect: cleanliness or papers strewn everywhere, un-flushed toilets or toilets filled with the paper-cardboard-like towels, zombies or ninjas, the evil toilet from Look Who’s Talking Too (or the even scarier concept of Look Who’s Talking Now) or the demons from Barney & Friends… err… Hellraiser. You get my drift. That toilet was pretty scary.
The desolation and destruction of the bathroom can be compared to the devastation caused by Captain Trips.
Let’s see how many more allusions I can throw in here.
It’s obvious I have made my point, but COME ON, PEOPLE! Are we not adults? You know it’s the individuals getting a raw deal in their divorce outcome trashing the place. What ever happened to the stereotypical drinking your problems away? That’s great you don’t have to use this bathroom on a daily basis, sir, but I have to. Yet, it’s not just them.
There are three of the two setups in the men’s bathroom, all of which have the motion sensor automatic flush. If the automatic flush does not work, there is a small, black button that has to be lightly pushed. It’s a simple concept. However, for many individuals, this process is extremely difficult. Aside the strewn, shredded paper towels across the floor and the paper towels stuffed in the handle of the door, you have to decide what toilet you have to use.
Using the concept illustrated in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” one looks at the urinals and decides what toilet has the palest yellow, because that’s the urinal you are going to want to use. When having to squat, the same concept is demonstrated. Normally, one would go for the stall situated furthest from the bathroom door; however, usually there are more paper towels stuffed in that thing than a marshmallows filling the mouth of a fat man, playing Chubby Bunny. The second stall is the next choice, and it’s usually occupied. Yet, when you see the second stall vacant, hesitation grows on your part. You consider the fact that number two for your #2 is the most utilized stall, ultimately convincing yourself to not use it. Who knows what could be on that seat? (Subliminal message: Captain Trips) Finally, you arrive at the third and closest stall to the door–do you have a choice? Yes, you do. If that toilet is unflushed, please resort to using stall two. If you needed any more reason: lightly scribbled into the first stall’s wall is a jagged “F*** THE IRISH.” I’m offended, yes. However, if you’re a constipated Irishman, please feel free to allow the message to work its magic.
It’s sad that one has to go through this decision making process on a daily basis. No surprises.
Next on the chopping block:
III. Catching People in the Act
I don’t know how this couldn’t irk people.
You’re in the stall or at the urinal, and the individual doesn’t flush. Then that person may, or may not, wash their hands. It’s pitiful. That’s why I don’t shake hands with anyone when I’m in the building. You just don’t know, and sometimes having a mystery isn’t such a bad thing. Sometimes assuming will only benefit you in the future. Look at the movie(s) The Thing. Just assume, people. You’re looking out for the greater good: your own personal health.
Then, while you are in the stall, people think they have the opportunity to get away with things: you hear the person who was next to you throw their palms under the water for literally a second and quickly walk out the door. They don’t even dry their hands, because you don’t hear the automatic blower or the crinkle of the paper towel. Waaaaaaaaait. That means one thing: they faked the one-second-rinse. Remember, this is good assuming.
Then there is the guy who walks into the stall for a #1 and then walks out, does not flush and does not wash his hands. There should be a scanner, which analyzes your hands before you leave the bathroom. However, people do try to get away with murder. This will only call for more sanitation policies, and who really knows if the radiation from the scanner will do bodily harm.
Could you imagine that scanner getting pissed off like Hal and going all Terminator on the offenders? It would make the world a more sanitary place. Instead of locking individuals outside the space station, the machine wouldn’t let you leave the bathroom, let alone with limbs missing.
And your dignity.
(“That’s not her toe, Dude.”)
(“Then whose toe is it, Walter?)
V. Title Track: My Fourth Major (or The Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda)
I don’t need to revisit my indecisiveness of majors before, while applying, or during my college years. We all know this. However, I’ve been deciding on what the hell to do for graduate school. I think I have made my decision. I think.
I want to delve into the social psychology and/or human ecology branches. I want to bastardize the two and hold it high, like a baby Simba. I am one of those individuals who love to take things apart, seeing how these things work, and eventually putting those objects back together. The exception is these objects are people. I’m not going to go crazy on the human race, but I love to analyze people and what they do. I tend to over analyze, overshooting the rational and this includes over analyzing myself, but then the being grounded settles in.
Before I stopped going to Starbucks, I used to sit and write and watch all the crazies come and go, laugh and talk to themselves, and act out amongst other things. I automatically target the people who don’t watch their children when they should be, and then the child does something stupid: opening and knocking over an entire container of coffee beans. You cannot analyze a child, because they are simply learning by experience; the parents, however, are fair game. The crazy, homeless looking man sitting in the chair, who randomly stands every five minutes or so to stretch in front of the window, leaves and his seat is taken over by a crazier goth lady; when the disheveled man returns to find his seat occupied, acknowledging his possessions are still next to the chair and the goth’s disregard for anything around her, simply stares down at the woman for a handful of minutes with no response from the expressionless woman before reaching over for his belongings to leave. The couple obviously on a first or second date, sitting next to your table: fair game. The people, utilizing the fountain as a free pool: fair game. The guy asleep on the bench in a bar on a Tuesday night at 10 o’clock: fair game. The guy interrupting your walk on lunch, talking to you until you remove your ear buds, and then shifting a conversation from “weather enjoyment” to “how he’s going to get laid that night:” need I go on?
After all, I base a lot of fiction around other people and what crazy things I observe. This way, I can leave my personal live out of the fiction. Society amuses me, and I want to pick apart every ounce of it.
I don’t judge people, I speculate. We all have the same insides as the next person: we all have hearts, we all have lungs, we all have brains, and we all function similarly. It’s the outward actions that make others, including ourselves, so damn interesting.
However, if I did change my major to sociology, I wouldn’t have been into writing; that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, because I am not that great at it. However, I kick myself sometimes for not choosing Paul Smith over Oneonta; but the thing is: I made that decision on gut instinct. Paul Smith was very, very, very appealing; Oneonta had something that the other did not. I do not know what that was. It was the momentary Ahhh moment. I would have never met those Bill, Ryan H., Ryan C., Brian, Ross, Cliff, Chris, or Mike individuals.
No Zach, either.
If I did meet anyone with the same first name and same first letter of their surname, they probably wouldn’t have been the same. I probably would have turned into a better or worse person, but who really knows. I just know that I realize who I am now.
I just have to get back to taking those exams.
Yet, I digress.
I know I don’t want to be this super famous person the media focuses on daily, which is why I want to partially focus on writing. All these A-List stars and personalities are absolutely insane, insecure, and just plain obnoxious. I want a family, not be on the road and film and miss out on this aspect. I want to write for them. I get credit when I am still the guy in the background.
VI. Coda: Nancy Grace is Annoying or “That Confounded Bridge”
Speaking of just plain obnoxious: Nancy Grace. I turn on Channel 9 every morning to have background noise while I read the newspaper. The show has a segment where they hold a quick debate, and Nancy Grace is featured as one of the two regulars. I cannot remember who the other guy is. However, each has a few minutes to state a point, and then the other person goes. Ms. Grace, not living up to the definition of her last name, shouts/yells when her counterpart–a calm, soft spoken individual–his stating his view. Grace, shut your mouth; you can probably fit an entire pie in there. Someone get Ms. Grace some pie! However, sociology allusion, she understands this isn’t her turn. So, what does she do? Ms. Grace shouts the same word/name over and over as if she is speaking the worded beat in 4/4 time, sounding more like a skipping record and annoying everyone in the world. When it is finally her turn to speak, Ms. Grace continues to shout. Why? I don’t know!!! Nancy Grace, simply her life and excluding her political/personal affiliations, is an annoying person. She is America’s rooster: if you’re not awake by 8:30 on a week day, well, you are now.
VII. I Shut Nancy Grace Up, or This Damn Entry is Finally Over
It’s your friends and family. It’s those crazies in Starbucks (if you go in there, I have given up on it). It’s the people with lack of bathroom etiquette. It’s those individuals on awkward first dates. It’s those bathrom destroyers. It’s the gentleman swinging his cane as if he is a modern day Don Quixote.
I know I never touched on the hopeless romantics, the charismatic individuals, the outstanding acts of kindness… Those people aren’t as funny. However, I take note of those people, too: to understand and to take mental notes. They are interesting. Practice makes perfect, and realizing who you are and fixing your underlying issues will only help for the better. Do unto others…
I want to understand the motivation behind people. I want to watch and listen. I want to understand myself. I want to continue writing with better ideas. I want to better myself, but continue to be myself.
It just takes time and patience.
I play with words and invisible objects.
A mind, a pen and a piece paper have the best relationship ever.
"Remember this--if you shut your mouth, you have your choice."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald