Tuesday, May 5, 2009


A funny thing happened yesterday in the hallways of my office ....

As usual, I took my daily post-lunch excursion to our little gift shop for a bottle of water and a tootsie pop. The return route from the gift shop takes me down a long, dark hallway where the restrooms are located. Yesterday was no exception. (I wonder why our building maintenance people think we don't need lighting in a bathroom hallway? Every other spot in the building is bathed in blinding fluorescence. Hmm.)

Anyway, the cleaning lady walked down the hall in front of me, then stopped and parked her cart in front of the men's room. Everybody out, time for the afternoon scrub-down. She knocked on the door, and then I heard her say:

"Hi Stinker!"

Whoa horsey!! Back that one up. Hi Stinker? Stinker!?!?!?!

That one stopped me dead in my tracks. I was far enough past the scene to know she wasn't talking to me, but I turned around to look nonetheless. There was, in fact, a man coming out of the bathroom. He looked at her, then looked at me.

Dude, I did NOT call you "Stinker." Can you see she has a cell phone up to her ear? I hope so. I like to think "Stinker" is the nickname for whomever was on the other end of that phone call, but am guessing Bathroom Man may have a been a bit taken aback by the putrid greeting, and was probably a bit embarrassed. I would've been.

In fact, MORTIFIED probably would've been my reaction to the perfect storm of name-calling: 1) at work, 2) loud and in public, 3) upon emerging from some of the nastiest bathrooms in the tri-state area. (Note: Being called 'stinker' at home or amongst friends would be fine ... I've been called worse.)

But at work I'd be pretty embarrassed. Would someone hear her and incorrectly deduce that I am the one with a mid-afternoon ritual that thoroughly pollutes the restrooms rendering them unusable without gas masks and full-on riot gear? God forbid!

Is that what he thought? Did it even phase him? When he sees me in the hallway will he think "there's the girl that probably thinks I stunk up the men's room and got busted by the cleaning lady?"


Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Embaressing I am sure, but tickled my funny bone :) kat

Los said...

Wow - that IS embarrassing ... for all parties!

Gwen said...

I know what you mean and yet some people use that word affectionally and not pejoratively. Either way, if someone said that to me upon emergence from a restroom, I would DIE, just die right there.

Emily said...

I believe that most women would be mortified (including yours truly). But most men I know are somewhat proud of their ability to stink up a bathroom. I'm not sure where they learn this but somehow it is a badge of honor to gross everyone else out. I'm convinced that is why they stay in there so long with the paper. I beg for courtesy flushes in my house. So maybe this guy took it as a compliment.