'the culprit' by Karl McCann
It was the 6th week in my work as a technical support agent for a large well established UK business. I'd settled down pretty well in the job and was beginning to see a very enjoyable future, small term or long term, I didn't care, I was pretty happy and the extra money was going to much use.
Over recent weeks I'd become very aware of this 'toilet culture'. I was already a nervous man and I was very conscious of excretion time. Each floor had their separate toilets, this was in attempt to cut down cleaning expenses and to minimise overloading at the urinals, I suppose, however this simply was not the case.
My team consisted of 8 members, each to their own toilet routine and needs. It's like everybody's secret, no one discusses it, it's a very sensitive subject and people are frankly embarrassed to enter a conversation including such a subject.
Many days I entered the toilet, there was often another fellow in the room. I am male, this means I have to use urinals. Amongst most males we have this 'rule' I suppose where if you are peeing at a urinal, another male would, usually, not pee in the next urinal to you. However, there are just some males who don't seem to have this morale, they have no self dignity and in ordinary working class society at offices think it is averagely normal to stand next to another male enduring in such an act.
This was only for the peeing though, however we had 3 cubicles. The cubicles point was to be cut off from the rest of the room. Like your own private space every so often you can sit down and reflect on the world. If you're feeling sad, it's the only place at work you can escape and break down in tears. But these cubicles were not so 'private' they were just artificial walls put up in the room, with space at the bottom and top (which was the rest of the room). There were 3 cubicles in our toilet room.
Again, most males I've discussed this with agree that if someone is in a cubicle, you don't enter the cubicle next to them, because this enters you into an embarrassing situation and can subject your neighbour to the sound of dropping faeces into the H20 in the toilet bowl. Some people see the walls as a mask. It steals your identity and takes your face away for that brief 10 minutes you are excreting. So you are free to make as much noise in the cubicle as possible.
Being a conscious man, I particularly felt embarrassed by this whole culture. And, more often than not, when I visited the loo there were at least 1 companion in a cubicle. One particular time there were three people in the cubicles next to each other, farting loudly, openly, emptying their intestines into the provided utilities less than 2 feet next to each other.
I can visit the toilet on a break, have an experience like this, leave the toilet room and sit down at my desk. People from my team walk in our room to sit at their desk, guilty faces, they could be innocent, they could be secretly disgusting, nobody knows, only them. Anyone could be the culprit.