Hello internet, how are you doing? Been a while since we talked to each other on this blog, but it isn’t like we’ve been ignoring each other. Just hanging out and bumping into each other on other social media and forums.
But I had something I wanted to get off my chest, and seeing as I’m pretty sure that the only people who read this blog are either SpamBots and Content Scrapers, this is probably a good place to do it. That way I can ramble on ad infinitum and it won’t affect the people I subject my FB feed to. I try and keep my rants there limited and or concise. After all, my mom reads my FB feed.
You see, we often hear someone say things like “There oughta be a law” or “There oughta be a rule” etc. in response to individual, or fairly rare incidents. This tends to things like committees, decision making processes, and eventually, new laws and rules. And in reality, that’s generally speaking a bad thing.
Let me explain by example. One that affects me deeply and personally.
They’ve added swipe card and pass-code access to the washrooms in my building.
Now, even from this distance, I’m pretty sure I heard a few gears disconnect from your mental switching process as you tried to connect those thoughts. But if you’ve held with me for this long, hold with me a bit longer and you’ll probably get the connection.
You see, my office is on the 5th floor of a downtown tower. Until this morning when I arrived at work (the change probably happened over the weekend), we worked in a blissfully Utopian world where we had a washroom of the commons. Turn the handle, open the door, pass through a vestibule, and there you were, presented with a few urinals and toilet stalls. Unfettered access to the ability to relieve yourself in a dignified manner, available to the hoi-poloi and the elite in equal measure.
Sadly, this Nirvana of reasonably clean, reasonably well maintained, open access to all who could operate an elevator button and reach the 5th floor, was apparently too much freedom for some. You see, occasionally, and we’re talking maybe once a week or so, someone from the cafe on the main floor would realize they could bypass the line for those facilities by a couple of button presses and quick access to our floor.
The gall. I mean, how dare the masses from the Timmies Cafe dare to take advantage of our facilities to achieve some gastronomic relief when in need.
There oughta be a law against that.
And someone probably said just that to the building management. In the 3+ years since our company moved to this building, I can’t remember once where one of those dastardly double-double drinking masses actually inconvenienced anyone by doing this, or made any kind of a mess. But hey, that’s our bathroom, right?
And so it goes. I can picture the whole chain of events. Someone spots a sweatpants wearing hockey mom, large “double-double to go” in hand, quickly deking into our washroom to relieve themselves of some burden. On seeing this, an uptight receptionist with a view of the elevator lobby (as all the receptionists on this floor seem to have), is immediately offended. Offended to the point where they pause from maintaining their cuticles to pound out a polite but firm inquiry to the building management as to how this state of affairs came to be, and how can we prevent such an abuse of our sacred commode in the future.
From there, the building management would have had a meeting.
If one person complains, then surely, others must be offended? Have we missed out on potential lessees because of our lack of a secure lavatory? If we resolve this pressing issue, can we potentially attract a higher caliber of business, willing to pay a higher rent?
And from there, it becomes a self affirming circle of inquiry. Sometimes these ideas grab hold of the committee group think, and there is no force on earth that can stop a committee bound and determined to move forward with a grand idea to improve the process or, in this case, to secure the loo – for god’s sake, think of the children! Never mind the fact that, as far as I’m aware, child labor laws in Canada are strict enough to keep children from the horrors of cubicle life.
And the end result of all this…
This morning, when I, an elite cubicle dwelling drone, who is privileged enough to be an employee of a subsidiary of a company that rents a portion of the 5th floor of this fine office tower, need to vacate my system of some coffee that, coincidentally enough, acquired from the main floor Timmies, head to the washroom, I am confronted by this:
And let me tell you, when I have the pressing need to unburden myself of some of that ever so sweet, sweet, double-double, my abilities to navigate the finer points of swipe card and passcode access, are limited.
So consider my dilemma, and the dilemma of an increasing number of our fine office dwelling citizenry. And the next time you see something that offends you, or someone does something that would normally be outside the bounds of good social behavior, ask yourself:
Does there really need to be a new law, rule, or process? Some new granting of rights of those in power to exert control over those they govern?
Or, perchance, was the event an anomaly? Inconsequential? Horrid, but statistically irrelevant? Did it actually inconvenience you more than most possible solutions?
Because, believe it or not, the same kind of committee group think doesn’t just lead to high security commodes. It can lead to all the laws that have put us in a place where governments consider laws like Bill C-51, the DMCA, SOPA, HomeLand Security, the ability of the RCMP to use a natural catastrophe as cover to commit mass unlawful search and seizure, with no more consequence than a polite report and reprimand as a result.
And high security bathrooms. I mean, seriously, is a high security bathroom actually going to make our lives better, or worse?
I’d answer, but I have more pressing matters at hand. I need to find my swipe card and the slip of paper I wrote the pass code to the washroom on. I need to pee.