“One cannot spend one’s entire life running into bathrooms when danger calls!”
― Reif Larsen, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet
As my time here at Noneofyourbusiness University PD winds down, I’ve got to thinking about what I’ve learned working here. Sure my typing is faster than it’s ever been and I can set up last minute blood drives, but there are a lot of little things you pick up at a job that have nothing to do with your day to day responsibilities. Here are some unexpected lessons I’ve learned dropping off and picking up laundry – which involves a lot of time in the men’s restroom.
- Knock first. Some surprises aren’t pleasant.
- People take you largely at your own estimation. I flat out frightened more than a few boys who wandered in and found me unexpectedly found me hanging gear on lockers, believe me I never thought it would become part of my job description either, but I learned that simply acting like you know what you’re doing is a great deterrent to questions and complaints. I hope one day to test this theory by simply walking into a high security facility.
- Things are only strange until they become routine. These days absolutely no one is surprised to see me going about my job in the bathroom, and the guys are all pretty laid back about it. Life’s curveballs turn into your new reality pretty quickly, might as well learn to roll with the punches. (And mix metaphors as necessary.)
- Dogsbody work is rough, and the people who do it should be appreciated. I routinely lug 30+ lbs. of clothing around, the hangers have cut my hands, doors have slammed on me, and people (in misguided attempts to be funny) have neglected to hold doors when I’ve asked, in spite of the fact that I’m performing a service for them. I hate it. Which now means when I see somebody struggling with a hard task, the moral thing to do is lend a hand if I can.
- People will blame you for their own errors, like telling the Chief that you are responsible for their lost pants when they have been hanging in his home locker for weeks (I might take that anger to my grave). It’s a fact of life. Remember how grouchy it made you and try to make sure you’re never guilty of the same behavior.
- Find the humor. It make be a thankless chore, but there’s nothing like the look on a seasoned, grizzled man’s face when you skip merrily out of the men’s room with a chipper, “Good morning!” to make it a little less onerous.