A few months ago, my department was moved downstairs as we were merged in with another similar department. Now we all sit in the same place. Our new surroundings are in the basement, as befits our status. Engineers do not need daylight, and are not to be allowed to have it. We are so deep in the basement that Bakerloo line trains cause an audible rumble through the walls every few minutes. We’ve calculated that they might actually be slightly above our floor level.
One interesting feature of the sub-basement where we have been hidden away, as though we are some sort of embarassment, is the shortage of toilet facilities. It’s almost like this floor was designed for apparatus rooms and storage areas, and the idea that teams of people might spend their lives down there wasn’t considered by the architects.
That leaves me with a choice of three sub-optimal toilets, as follows.
- Toilet One is a single cubicle, self-contained with a sink and hand dryer, located a short walk from our room, but close to other rooms where people work so it’s often busy. If you flush the toilet the sink tap stops running, so you have to wash your hands before you flush or (more often) you forget to wash your hands before you flush so you then stand there for several minutes waiting for the cistern to slowly refill before you can get a trickle of water on your hands.
- Toilet Two is another single self-contained cubicle, not much further away, but located at a little kitchen area where people come to make tea. From inside the cubicle you can hear everything people say and do at the kitchen, and I know from experience that people in the kitchen can hear everything that happens in the toilet cubicle. I don’t like that at all. Once I sat in there for the whole time it took someone to make a round of tea because I didn’t want them to hear me having a poo.
- Toilet Three is yet another self-contained cubicle, and technically a disabled toilet with one of those seats that feels a bit higher up than it should be. The automatic tap makes a massive noise when you wash your hands, like a siren going off to alert anyone nearby to the fact that you’re using a disabled toilet. It’s a long walk away from the room where I work on the other side of two security doors. Someone once came out of it when I was approaching to go in who gave me a really angry look.
I haven’t yet decided which of these is the least worst, but please keep me in your thoughts as I struggle to find somewhere satisfactory to go for a wee at work.