“A brief history of my time” by Barbara Dexter
I leave the secured lab area to visit the hall restroom. I enter my usual choice for a stall. The one second away from the wall. I like this one because no one hardly uses it and there is never a line for it. Upon review of my dialog Lucy asked “How do you know it isn’t hardly used?” “Do you have a meter?” I don’t like the other ones that are closer to the paper towels by the exit as they have large cracks where the other women can see in. On this particular day I put the liner down in the correct position over the seat and do “my business.” As I clean my bottom the toilet seat breaks underneath me and pinches the back of my thigh. I’m freaking out. I don’t want anyone to see me leaving the stall in this condition. I know the office lady (alias mission support specialist) is off in Brazil for two weeks to care for her mother. Needless to say I know she cannot call maintenance. I sheepishly go to my team leader and tell her. She suggests that I need to get ahold of maintenance and if I didn’t want to walk around and find one of workers I need to go and see the lab director (L.D.). I take a brief walk to ascertain if the maintenance men were close by and then I “put my tail between my legs” and go visit the L.D. I tell her you will never believe what just happened and inform her of the broken toilet seat and say I didn’t want to leave it like that. After a brief laugh she said she would take care of it and say that there was a broken toilet in the second stall from the wall.
The next day I decide to use the facility located within the secured lab area as the one in the hall area was being cleaned. I go to my usual stall farthest away from the door. As I finish doing “my business” and attempt to stand up my left foot slides out from under me, due to a water leak. I think it is a good thing I have been exercising and have built up my thigh muscles as I am able to catch myself by using my balance and strength my right leg. Ok so it’s two days in a row that I need to visit the L.D. regarding rest room issues. Once again I put my “tail between my legs” and see the L.D. and once again there is laughter. Then she says “Just what are you doing in there?” I assure her that it is only natural functions and she said she would take care of it. I am mortified but decide to laugh at myself and move on.