Tuesday, 6 November 2007


There are things in a man's working day - and I think, in this case, it is men - that are sacrosanct. Today I was shocked to find one of those things violated in my own workplace. Since being introduced to the ways of working men 30 or so years ago, I have understood that at certain times - usually about mid-morning - a man might boldly stroll out of the office, with a rolled copy of the Daily Mirror tucked under his arm, for ten minutes private time behind a firmly bolted door. Of course the days of entering the Gents to see a plume of smoke rising like a cloud from a cooling tower, behind a cubicle door, disappeared with the advent of no-smoking policies; but traditions persist and still a moment's meditation away from the fray are welcome.

Today though, as I popped in for a pre-meeting pee I noticed, in the gap beneath a cubicle door, some poor corporate soul felt that even that moment's private time must be sacrificed to the giant corporate leech. A box file, its lid open and resting against the cubicle door, bore along its spine, the legend IT Strategy Implementation Plan Reports; the sound of turning pages said all that needed to be said.

This, I fear, is the thin end of the wedge; how long before we have Wi - Fi points alongside the porcelain and those few most private of moments are disturbed by the chatter of laptop keystrokes from behind closed doors.


70steen said...

Oh no what is the world coming to! It reminds me of Ally McBeal (there'll be communal john's soon, I do pray not in my working life time though!!).
I must confess I never lend my paper to some of the chaps in my office, there is a certain YUK factor attached to me knowing where it may be taken to read eeeewwww!!

Mystic Veg said...

You sure there wasn't just a shortage of toilet paper?

misterwoppit said...

Unbelievable isn't it? I daresay it won't be long before one has to 'clock out' before 'logging off'. And I read that us Brits are the worst offenders in Europe for this sort of corporate time saving. It would not surprise me if the workforce of 30 years in the future kills 2 birds with one stone and takes their sandwiches into the cubicle with them to save time on costly lunch breaks.

I went to our head office in Paris last month and things are very different there. You have a proper 2 hour lunch break, where you sit down to a hot meal in a nice cafe. You may then return to your 'bureau' and enjoy a luxury 'merde' at your leisure, puffing on a stem of StBruno if you so wish. Not only are our European neighbours more culinary civilised than us Brits, but it seems, more lavatorially cultured too. (Apart from those 'long drop' bogs in the motorway services, obviously).

Lisa said...

Maybe they were just saving time, IT strategy Implementation Plan sounds like a right load of, ahem, poo to me so maybe they were saving the rest of us poor souls and flushing it away as all poo should be!
Although don't get me start on that one.....!

WalksFarWoman said...

Talking of urinals...I laughed when the judge on Strictly Come Dancing suggested that one of the contestants should dance as if up on his toes at the urinal. Do men pee on tip toe? Or is it a place to practice your dancing?

Crofty said...

Perhaps it was Bruno who said it - not that I watch, you understand - he isn't very tall so perhaps has to stand on tiptoe.