After my second cup of machine-generated coffee, I felt an urgent need to visit the smallest room in the office. Actually, it’s not in the office per se, but rather in a hallway outside the office, accessible to denizens of other offices. In fact, it might not even be the smallest room in the office, but that’s not the point. The Executive Washroom, as I like to call it, has space for two to sit and two to stand. I chose to stand. Just as I reached the point beyond which it’s pretty much impossible to change your mind about such things, I heard a voice behind me. “Yes, I got your email about that.”

There was a man in one of the stalls and he was talking. He wasn’t talking to me. He might have been talking to himself, but I’m pretty sure at this point that he was talking on a mobile phone. On the throne.

You might think that this sort of awful behavior is between the man in the stall and whomever is on the other end of the call. By all rights, it should be, but suddenly I was involved. Does the person on the other end know that she or he is conversing with a man who is sitting down with his pants around his ankles? If I tinkle too loudly or flush (or shout, “What a beautiful bathroom this is!”) will I blow his cover and embarrass him or even mess up a delicate business or personal transaction?

Having reached the point of no return on my liquid transaction, I couldn’t do much about that worry. But as I relieved myself, and the man continued to hold up one end of ths converastion, I had another moment of panic. What if I could not complete my business, wash and exit before the man on the can with the national rate plan came out of the stall? I would see him. And vice versa. I didn’t recognize his voice, he might have been a co worker, or he might have been from another company. We would forever be bonded together by the fact that I knew that he had taken or made a call while making, or as some say, taking…

I finished, zipped, tucked and washed faster than I ever have, bolted from the executive washroom as if it were on fire and dashed back to my office.