Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Strange Folks at the Office

The Setting:

I work in an office building in the Navy Yard. There are multiple companies sharing the space. Across the hall is a large, fish bowl style conference room used by, I think, a pharmaceutical company.

My office does not have a sink, but I make my own coffee using a travel French Press. This means I head to the floor bathroom whenever I need to empty the grounds. I dump the grounds in the trash (Where the paper towels already there absorb any residual liquid) and then rinse the press out in the sink.

The Event:

I left the office to head to the shared bathroom, opaque plastic French press in hand, just as the conference room across the hall was emptying. A chubby middle aged man gave me an antagonistic look out of the corner of his eye and then cut me off to get into the bathroom door before me, shoving me aside with his shoulder. He then sneered at me when he entered the bathroom. I got the impression of a man who'd peaked on the high school football team and learned all his life skills from the Coach.

I walked in and saw that there was already a queue at the urinal. This was not a problem for me, as I was just there for the sink. Since this was a mens' restroom, and only 40% of men wash their hands after using the restroom, there was no line at the sinks.

I dumped out the grounds and began rinsing the plastic base of the press. That's when one of the men in line for the loo decided I needed a peanut gallery. He turned to the person next to him and said "Most people know how to use a kitchen sink."

I glanced in the mirror and saw that the person next to him was not reacting. The speaker however had a smug look on his face. This was my first look at the Peanut Gallery. He was shorter than me by about four inches, very thin and had a pointed goatee, like a high school student trying to look like an mad scientist. His hair was jet black, slicked to a helmet like sheen. It occurred to me that if I looked like him, I'd be a bitter jackass too.

I began rinsing the filter portion of the press.

"What kind of redneck washes dishes in the toilet?"

I shook the water off the press components and grabbed a paper towel to wipe us some grounds that had gotten on the counter.

"Oh look, the janitor."

I took another paper towel and began drying off the press. He was silent for a moment, but I found myself facing him when I went to leave the restroom. He leaned towards me and said "Ever hear of Starbucks Forest?"

I stopped and looked him in the eye. I cocked an eyebrow and said "Charbucks? You actually drink that garbage?" I turned and walked away, muttering just loud enough to be heard "Can't tell coffee from carbon. Bilge drinker probably calls it EXpresso."

The door closed behind me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh for a witty put-down!

Hey, you had one.