I've been told -- several thousand times by now, I'm sure -- that sometimes I overthink things.
And it's true. I'll confess. I like to lift the curtain, to see what's behind what is. I want to know the 'why' of things, how a thing has come to be, what might have happened instead, what could happen next, and what it all means. That's just how I tick.
Of course, sometimes there's nothing behind the curtain. It's just a stupid curtain, and when you lift it, you wind up with your pants down in public.
I should probably connect those dots, from 'overthinking' to 'public depantsing'. Lest you think I'm all weird or something.
(Oh, shut up. I know what you think.)
At work this week, a sign appeared on the stall -- single stall; small company -- in the mens' room. The sign read:
THE DOOR HINGE IS BROKEN! MAINTENANCE WILL FIX SOON
Or words to that effect. I have to admit I didn't look especially closely; I do my very best not to require the services of an enclosed bathroom stall at the office, so I noted that the door was amiss and went on about my business.
(My number one business. Because if I were doing other sorts of "business", then... oh, you've got it? Super. Moving on.)
The sign stayed up all week, until this morning. As I took a pre-lunch constitutional down by the boys' room urinal works, I noticed that the sign was no more.
"What's the washroom chain of command here, and who notifies us grunts when the latrine is AWOL or not?"
That's when the gears started whirring.
I realized that I didn't know exactly when the sign came down. It could have been last night, or earlier this morning. Either way, we've got some people working long and strange hours some days. It might have been nice for someone to have sent out a notice -- some kind of "stall's well!" email, perhaps.
That train of thought just drove me further down the rabbit commode. What would the distribution list be for such an email? Only the guys care about what's going on with the mens' room stall, presumably. Do we have an email list of just the men in the company? Should we? Is that sexist somehow?
What if the email went out to everyone, including the women? Would they really want to read about every miniscule repair and update and paper roll restocking that goes on in our rest room? Would that be sexist? More so, or less?
Then I considered who'd be sending such an email. Most of our staff who would coordinate with maintenance are female. And most of the maintenance staff I've seen in the building are male. Would the person doing the work declare it done? Or would one of our administrators have to go in to sign off on it? Who does the final testing? What if it was a clog, or a wonky flusher handle? What's the washroom chain of command here, and who notifies us grunts when the latrine is AWOL or not?
These questions raced through my head -- spinning, like water down a bowl. Soon enough, it had my stomach keeping time with the churn. Finally -- despite my strict personal policy -- I could hold out no more, and I sat down in the recently de-signed stall. For business.
(Oh yeah. You know the kind I mean.)
I'd just dropped trousers and settled into the job when the mens' room door opened and a couple of the execs came in, chatting. I heard them head to the sink -- washing up for lunch, perhaps.
That's when the stall door, hinge thoroughly busted, eased a corner from the frame and swung wide open outward, possibly hitting one of my uberbosses in the back.
They turned. I sat. I waved. They gaped. I asked for, "Little help, please?"
Which they gave, to very little avail. It just swung right back at them again. By the time their hands were clean, I was slumped half in the floor, trying simultaneously to keep the door hooked with my foot and not fall headfirst backwards into a bowl of my own "overthinking".
I managed only one of the two. But I did keep my hair clean. I think I made the right choice.
And I vowed to try -- oh man, will I try -- not to overthink things in future. Some curtains are simply never meant to be peeked behind.
In other words, sometimes a bare bathroom stall door is an enigma, leading to all sorts of 'whys' and 'what shoulds' and 'how's the best way to bes'.
Other times? The sign that's not there isn't there any more because SOME HORSEHUMPING JACKASS STOLE THE DAMNED SIGN!
And that's all I have to think about that.