Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Avoiding the Issue

I generally don't like to complain about my job, for although it may not be the most fulfilling, I can think of plenty worse, as well as plenty that may be better but also far more demanding. Really, the only thing my work requires is a high tolerance for tedium--I basically repeat the same five-minute process for eight hours per day, day after day. So maybe I could do with a little more excitement in my life. Unfortunately, recent "developments" at the office have introduced entirely the wrong kind of excitement, bordering more on terror.

For over a month now, contractors have been working to renovate the roof. Management warned us that we might have to bear with some loud banging and perhaps the smell of chemicals throughout the duration of this process. They did not mention anything about the peculiar leaks from holes in the ceiling all along the outside perimeter of the building.

These holes are not cracks or any other kind of damage; they look like open pipes, and they have always been there, though I never really noticed them until they started leaking. I don't know whence they originate, nor am I adequately educated in plumbing as to guess the reason for them to be protruding out of the ceiling and facing down where people would be walking, but most of them are easy to steer clear of and therefore harmless enough. The one dastardly exception happens to be positioned right above the entrance to the building.

Dripping directly in my path, there is only a very narrow gap around the leak itself, while the puddle below extends across the length of the doorway and must practically be hopped over. That's disturbing enough, but after it had been brewing for two days, by the third I could not help but notice the foul yet familiar stench that had developed around the area. I really didn't want to believe the worst, especially as I still didn't understand why these pipes were in the ceiling instead of harmlessly underground. After about the first week, however, someone set down a bucket to catch that liquid, and sure enough, it's a sickening brown-yellow color.

Yes, for over a month now, every day as I arrive at work, I have had to dodge urine dripping from the ceiling. Leaning as far as I can toward the wall, even while pushing the heavy door open, I then have to make a big sideways step over the overflowing bucket and across the puddle of urine below.

I suppose I must look like a fool to anyone watching, but these are the desperate measures the situation has driven me to. I cringe when occasionally I see co-workers indifferently stepping into the puddle, or even allowing a drop to splash upon a shoulder. Do these people not have noses and/or eyes?! Can they not tell that it is pee?! Just as management has failed to address it at all beyond laying down that insufficient bucket, I suppose these civilians would rather not face reality. But in that case, tell me, which of us is truly the fool?

It's all just too much. I need a vacation.

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