The last two days the office has been running without the internet. I’m not really sure if running is the correct term, maybe dragging it’s spent carcass over the finish line is more accurate. Somehow my work hasn’t really been affected. Although I think that is just making me question what I actually do here.
The phones have been ringing pretty non-stop but seeing as until today all three of the section heads were out of town on business I’ve been mainly taking crappy phone messages and sticking them to the desks of the absentees.
I was given a market research project on the global construction equipment industry for a client and made the most boring PDF about it. Which was highly praised by K2 (K2 is my diminutive cubicle neighbor whose initials are K and K- it has nothing to do with the worlds 2nd largest mountain), mainly because I think K2 didn’t want to do it.
It’s safe to say, nothing terribly interesting has happened this week. Oh, aside from the poor guy getting stuck in the bathrooms and no one noticing for 40 minutes.
Wait, what? How?
I know right, how does that happen? Lemme’ set the scene, it was early afternoon, the hour after lunch before you can legitimately get a coffee, the moment when sleep is wrapping its tender arms around you and you swat at it telling it to leave you the eff alone. I myself was sitting at my desk Facebook stalking people and deleting people I no longer cared about (got rid of 82- YAY!). The lobby phone buzzed and I was told that Mizumachi-san had arrived and was on his way up for the meeting. I went down the stairwell to the floor where the meeting was taking place. I met Mizumachi-san and took him to the room. “ Make yourself at home, I’ll just got let the boss know you’re here, do you want something to drink?” He declined in perfect English, and I went back up to my floor and hunted around for the boss. I found him buried in various newspapers. As soon as he realized he was late for the meeting he ran down. I went back to my desk as I had some pretty pressing paperwork that needed moving round my desk in concentric circles. I also didn’t want to get stuck in another meeting where everyone ignores me and speaks Japanese.
At this point I should point out that the company is quite security conscious. Skype I banned as they fear it may lead to us spilling the beans about what we do (we are a covert organization attempting to take over the world using grain and tea as weapons of mass destruction). We also have a bajillion security doors. The front door is opened by one keycard, the door to our office on our floor is opened by another, there are security codes to punch in if you are the first or last on the floor, as well as the building security. Oh and the restrooms have automatically locking doors that need a keycard to be unlocked.
That’s right, you can get into the restrooms easy. It’s getting out that is the problem. Unlike every other door in the building which you need a keycard to enter and nothing to exit, the bathrooms are the opposite.
So when my boss walked past my desk I assumed he forgot something. A quarter of an hour later I went to his office to find him. He was re-reading the FT. “How did the meeting go?” I tentatively asked, he explained brokenly that the meeting did not take place as Mizumachi-san had not been there, undoubtedly it was my fault for making him wait in the wrong place.
I assured the boss I checked the meeting room twice and so he agreed to follow me down one floor to where Mizumach-san should have been but wasn’t. We could hear a faint plaintive cry and some knocking: “ANOOOOO, sumimaseeeeeen!” (which I have been told means: UMMMMM, ‘scuse meeeeee!!!).
Mizumachi-san had needed the facilities and had been locked into the bathrooms for half an hour, I’ve never seen anyone more grateful to be realized from captivity.
As far as I know the meeting went well. From now on I solemnly swear to inform EVERYBODY about the risks of using the restroom.