When people talk about jobs and offices in general they seem to focus only on the actual work stuff: title, responsibilities, salary, etc. That's all important, sure, but I think that things like general office culture and the suckiness of the commute are just as vital to overall job satisfaction. If you could make a boatload of money saving baby dolphins from cancer, that would be super, right? But what if you had to sit in traffic for three hours each morning and then sit in a basement office with cinderblock walls for eight more hours? People tend to discount things like working in the basement and never seeing the light of day EVER, but these things can make you pretty miserable even if you do spend all your office energy saving dolphins and curing cancer. Uh, I assume.
So, my new job (and I swear, after this I will officially stop talking about it) is pretty great except for one big problem: the bathroom situation. At my old office we had a giant ladies' room, with three banks of toilets, two rows of sinks and a freaking COUCH. I never took advantage of the couch (I'm not really sure what it was for... napping? Relaxing with a cup of coffee?), but I liked knowing that it was there. I also liked the ability to easily head for the other side of the bathroom if, say, I entered as the same time as my supervisor.
There was also another smaller bathroom at the other end of the hall that had soft lighting and a little vestibule and a vase with silk flowers on the counter. This was referred to as The Nice Bathroom. I hardly ever used it because it was about fifteen steps farther away than The Regular Bathroom and I am lazy.
I never thought that the thing I'd miss most about my old job was the bathrooms, but after three weeks of using the teeny tiny (you have to turn to the side to squeeze by if someone's coming out when you're coming in) three-stall facility shared by the entire department (OMG) here, let me tell you: I REALLY miss those bathrooms. You see, I suffer from a serious medical condition known as Stage Fright. I absolutely cannot pee when I can see the shoes of my boss's boss's boss six inches away from my own. And that's even worse, because then I'm sitting there silently and they probably think I'm in there to do something other than pee, when really I'm silently chanting LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE I HAVE TO PEE. And then there's the awkwardness of making conversation over the sink. What do you say? "So... come here often?" "Have a nice time in there?"
The whole situation makes me extremely anxious, so much so that I went to a different floor to use their bathroom at one point last week. Yes.
It seems like a silly gripe, but I really like coffee and coffee makes me pee seventeen times a day. I don't want to get caught slinking off to the other floor's bathroom and become That Girl Who Pees In Secret. I also really, really don't want to pee next to my boss. It seems the only choice is to give up fluids entirely. I'm sure that's healthy.
I've got a tendency to gripe about the many ways men have things easier than women. Hair dyeing, leg shaving, period having; I'll take all of it because oh my god can you imagine: URINALS. All of a sudden I'm grateful to be the one who gets stuck with childbirth.