The Occupation Movement
Work is the destination for college graduates. It is one step in the many that define life in America. If you follow the path of the billions that have successfully lived to die before you, then you’ll program your mechanics to seek employment as soon as the last scantron bubble is delicately penciled “B.”
And depending upon any number of variables that include whether or not you were raised to believe you are good at anything, who you know in high places, and what college you went to, will determine the quality of your post-grad endeavors. For most of us, those items average out to get you remedial office work in a decent company if you look hard enough for long enough.
I on the other hand come from a long line of hustlers. I’m cut from the same cloth of migrant thieves that created their own destiny: A hard working family that refuses to take “that’s my wallet!” as an answer.
My old man knew of a group of his cohorts who were piecing together what could have been a monumental technology start-up company. It was a collection of people who had all taken large part in a number of great past successes. Though I became lowest member on the totem pole, it was still a major intimidation factor to arrive at work and realize that I was essentially a sapling amongst giant champagne sipping sequoia.
I settled in fairly well to my cubicle and various duties. In a start-up that went staff heavy on chiefs, I found that I was kept overly busy at disposal of any and all department heads. Good for job security, not so good on the stress and persistent anxiety of a young corporate lackey.
When your head is spinning from a litany of tasks and titanic responsibility, I often found solace in organization. Simply living in agenda; to schedule down to the quarter-hour precision was a true friend in war.
An average day may have appeared something to the tune of the following:
Emergency email responses & phone calls
Priority 1 task completion
Additional email correspondence
Relax while shitting in the handicap bathroom stall
Subsequent task completion
Attend production meeting
Schedule the following days duties
As you read these words lazily trailing across your monitor, you may immediately realize that of course the person who has produced them truly enjoys writing as an escape and means of communicating odd occurrences. Dually noted, Never have I been more productive on the assembly line than when I really take my time to sponsor a sufficient brownhole derby. It became a magical art of relaxation for me; eventually I learned that I could combine my two loves of writing and toiletlaxation by simply stashing a miniature version of my required writing utensils in a pocket. And so, post-lunch brain-dumps were born. My work pace excelled, and I quickly became a vital crutch for those that stood tall above me. I was commended on many occasions for my calm and productive demeanor; all the while, I harbored a compact secret in my pocket each day as I disappeared down the hall for a 30 minute Whitman-inspired bowel jostling.
One day, I carved a crude image of a duck into the toilet paper compartment, and scribbled below it, “Malteca shits here.” I’m not entirely sure how relevant the duck is, but rest-the-fuck-assured you could tell my rendition of a Welsh Harlequin was male from across the bathroom: on point. There it likely remains to this day.
On a warm September day in 2003, I was unfortunately forced to retire toilet-laxing forever.
It started from a simple miscommunication, as I had thought in plain English that I had instructed my roommate to complete washing the khaki pants of mine that her putrid cat had pissed all over the day before. Apparently, this was executed as throw the pants in the washer and wait until Santa Claus or some other holiday fucktard can grant you the wish of competency in operating heavy laundry room machinery.
Without suitable pants I was completely hindered. Time running short, I slipped on some fancy black slacks that presented me as if I had stumbled in from a courthouse wedding. Needless to say, the 15 minutes tardiness went over extremely unwell, leading to an additional 15 minute lashing. Nothing like starting the day with a warm cup of fuck-my-life, and eyeballing an inbox of perpetually toxic hate mail.
I was off my game. So off infact, that I could hardly sit down and focus on my tasks at hand. I did however manage to scramble and get within striking distance of my typical work pace. After knocking several items off the list, I lifted my head to notice the clock, which put me on the high side of 15 minutes late to lunch.
Everything was made awry. My corned beef–a rye. The coleslaw– just awry. My standard visit to the bathroom, completely awry. The late lunch had me waddling back to the office with a full colon, and a sense of urgency.
Post it notes and pencil in pocket, I made my way down the hall to the facility and gave a hearty shove to the handicrapper. It jounced a bit on its hinges, but gave very little indication that it would open for me. A second two handed jab, and I was beamed a startling bellow from the tenant inside. I was infringing on the late shift crew. He had every right to occupy the condo stall at that time; I was the alien. Nearing a breaking point in waste disposal necessity, I darted quickly into the adjoined single unit and released several ass- cheek-vanguards onto the toilet lid with an unsettled hand. I was shaking like a toaster in a robot orgy.
Regardless of all of my mishandlings, I planted my sitting utensil squarely on the target and engaged immediately. From my pocket, set adrift on the bathroom floor, I delicately plucked the notepad and pencil. I felt muse struck, and the words began to jump out of the end of my fingertips into the finest workplace poetry I‘d ever managed…
‘I see you have your coffee cup,
It strangely resembles mine,
You’ve went ahead and filled the top,
And you can see that so have I,
We shoot the breeze with FLDs,QEPs, and EMCs,
Tied up in the market Jap-an-ese.
“Dont waste your time in Real Estate,
these buyers have an eye”
“Dont eat your catch,
unless it’s Bass,
They’re high in omega 5s”
“Come bring the kids, we’ll eat the kids,
ho ho ha ha aha”
We stare and stand and scowl and pace,
There is no place to sit,
So return we must to our cubey place,
Where we soon re-join the ….
As I began the final strokes of my masterpiece, the pencil got squirrelly between my sweaty, disillusioned fingertips. It slipped out and began to barrel roll out of the stall. It came to a halt just underneath the door of my unit. At that distance, just out of sitting reach. Casually, I came to a half salute to reach forward and grab it. I paused as a sensation gripped the rim of my asshole. It was a bat. There was a bat in the cave, and I felt it swinging gracefully as it gripped my exit point with its tiny claws. I was frozen, locked in a compromising position. At my 20, there was a significant amount of bare ground until the toilet. If I continued to move forward I risked dropping the bat and creating a compounded disaster. My quads were beginning to burn as I stood there on the tightrope and weighed my options:
1) Lunge back onto the toilet with miraculous speed and hope to appropriately corral the suicidal round-brown. Waiting until after the goins-ons to retrieve my writing device and hopefully regain the amazing stream of thought.
2) Create a lasso of toilet paper to reel in the wayward #2 pencil, then reseat.
3) Simply ball up some TP and surgically remove the unwanted bat, risking that it’s keen eco-location may startle it into biting my hand or clothing or worse.
3) Go ninja, darting forward to grab the pencil and seat back down before anything crazy happened.
I dreamt for a second about finishing runner-up Poet Laureate as I failed to finish this poem’s remaining thought; Poo-wrangling causing such a thick fog over the creative process until I could see no feasible finishing word but those cowardly ellipsis. Fuck that shit! Who wants Maya Angelou wishing you ‘better luck next time’.
I went for the swift collection of the pencil method.
In a smelly blur of hands, weight shifting, and legs propelling into the air, I was back sitting with my sturdy #2 pencil back in hand. I checked the perimeter, like a hawk atop perch. There appeared to be nary a brown ball of waste in either direction. I checked in the trough of my boxers, and they too revealed no trace of fecal-magnetism. Switching my balls from comfort to speed mode, I peered in the toilet between my legs to analyze the density and girth of each deep sea inhabitant. None seemed to match the composite drawing that I had imagined.
So return we must to our cubey place,
Where we soon re-join the hive.
All was right. I completed my poem with a cherry on-top and all misplaced waste seemed to have simply vanished into thin air, as it should. I wrapped up my toiletry and gave a second once over in the bathroom mirror, ironing myself with my hands for inspection.
I returned to my work station to commence my duties on high alert as I had, once again, the clock working against me. As I surged my productivity forward, I was interrupted several minutes later by a customer service call.
“Hamish, you can’t simply hit the back button on the browser. This is a web-based software and it will time-out, you crazy Scotsmen.” As I continued explaining the delicacies of the company’s software apparatus, I nervously grabbed a loosely chewed piece of gum out of my pocket and began swirling it in my hand.
“No, Hamish, nothing good has ever come to people that were unable to take risks. What I need from you is to…to…”
I glanced down as I realized that partially chewed gum would stick in my pocket, not glide out with the ease of a floppy disk.
My hand was completely covered in human waste. My human waste, to be exact. It looked as though a spirited day in the garden was performed gloveless or I had just helped a constipated rhinoceros birth an ass baby.
Either way, my sudden freeze from shock was allowing the scent of crap to waft to and fro out of my open cubicle and in every reachable office, cranny, nook, and quadrant of the company. People one after another began to tip their noses and analyze the air, as if to taste and identify the source of the stench. I exited quickly out of the backdoor, holding my traumatic hand with the only hand I’ll ever eat with again. I chose to not return to the office for the remainder of the day.
Strange emotions come from embarrassment, if you let them. I walked into work the following day with my sunglasses on until I reached my desk, acknowledging only those that did so to me first. I sat down and turned on my monitor without issue, but still flighty until the atmosphere proved safe enough for me to drop my guard. Phil, my cube neighbor peered over the top of our dividing fence to address me with the prodding grin of a gay shark.
“Hey…” he said.
“FUCK YOU PHIL…YOU GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU FUCKING FUCKFUCK. I DIDN’T SHIT INTO MY PANTS! GO ROT SOMEPLACE, YOU GARBLING-TURKEY-MOUTH-SHITBAG!” and with that, I stormed back out of the office noticing in the reflection of the glass door that my shirt was on inside out.