Friday, September 23, 2005

They've been workin' on the railroad

The building I work in is shared by the offices of a major railroad company. After working here for about a month, I have ALMOST become used to hearing the gentlemen who work there talking on there cell phones as I walk in the bathroom.

This is no subtle thing, no two-second, "Yeah I'll pick up milk on the way home," conversation with their spouse. They take and make business calls while stall-bound. Their very loud phone rings, gas is passed and deals are done all apon the porcelain throne.

Now, I'll admit I've had a conversation or two while dropping the kids off at the pool. But those calls were mainly to annoy friends and the calls always originated prior to the door being shut and the fan turned on. These guys are sitting there, doing their thing and must think, "Oh yeah. I need to call Jim over at the plant." Pulls out phone, dials.

"Hi, Earl? It's Jim." At this point a loud, gastrointestinal noise ricochets off the walls and causes the stall walls to vibrate. I hold my breath as I feel it rush past my face. Surely this warrants some kind of explanation or apology.

"Do you have those widgets Earl? We need them delivered ASAP." Jim must be about done, because I can hear toilet paper being yanked off the roll, in only what I can imagine must be huge handfuls. The sound of the roll spinning against the plastic holder is evident.

"OK. Well we're going to need to double the order and," Jim pauses here, grunts, and then starts pulling more TP off the roll, "get a half a case of sprokets too. Can you do that?"

Earl must be explaining some kind of trouble he's having getting the sprokets, because Jim doesn't say anything for a bit and continues to unroll toilet paper furiously.

"Could you call the other guy?" asks Jim, standing and pulling up his pants. "But what if the sprokets don't match the widgets? Then we'll be up a creek."

And then he flushes the industrial-strength, 586 psi, guaranteed never to get clogged toilet. The sound is deafening.

"Right, Earl. Thanks." And Jim hangs up the phone.

If Jim had only waited four more seconds to flush, poor Earl wouldn't have had to live with the memory that he'd listened to the whole process.