Have a Cup...

Coffee is, without a doubt, a key contributor to the productivity of the American corporate machine. It is the liquid lifeblood of business and office activity. Many office designs are centered around the coffee station, with well worn carpet on the paths to the community pot. These office areas are the proverbial community well providing a much needed resource and opportunities to collaborate. Most start their work day off with a cup of the brewed elixir prior to logging in, turning on the monitor, checking voice mail or even sitting in their chair. The work day simply does not get rolling until that first cup. While we are all different, and we arrive at varying times, the human time constant and meeting schedules - (hour on the hour) result in many having another opportunity to meet…at the rest room. It is uncanny how that many people can synch up to arrive simultaneously for relief. Just as amazing (although some theorize of a conspiracy of sorts) is the entirely improbable yet consistent coincident arrival of the female janitor to clean the restroom… At the top of the hour, conference room doors fling open, men who have spent the last fifteen minutes of the meeting noticing how slowly the second hand moves when one’s bladder is full, run toward the restroom like school children to a playground for recess….”Sorry, the restroom is closed for cleaning”. The sight is a common one; several professional men standing around dancing with their legs crossed outside the restroom waiting for service to complete. A few brave enough to venture off to find another restroom, chance long lines of floating eyeballs at the next restroom. That is, if the sneaky janitorial staff has not already started cleaning that restroom with female attendant number two. Suddenly, the cup of coffee that got us off to such a good start is now having the reverse effect. This is, by the way, why most men no longer start their day off with a bran muffin. This leaves me pondering the philosophy of restroom hygiene: Is there a universal force that allows restrooms to be cleaned only at the top of the hour? What happened to all the male janitors? How empty are the restrooms before and after normal work hours? Perhaps restrooms can only be effectively cleaned if people are waiting to use them. Why are there no paper towels in the dispenser? Where do you get those giant rolls of tissue? I can’t ponder too long, they have re-opened and I need to get in line…I gotta go!