I had to come up with a game plan. The building had 2 single-person bathrooms. One looked out into the primary manufacturing area where everyone was. Getting to this one would require passing through 2-3 different rooms and the door was directly next to a computer. That bathroom risked too much exposure. The other bathroom was about 5 feet down a short hall and opened up to a small room (that at the time was empty) where carbon fiber devices were laminated. It seemed like a no-brainer. I chose the close room with nobody in it.
That was a poor, poor choice. As my diagram below will illustrate (and I learned the hard way that day), the carbon fiber lamination room experiences some toxic chemicals, and as a result, has a very robust ventilation system. So robust in fact, that it sucks air from the bathroom, even if the bathroom fan is on. Now this wouldn’t necessarily be terrible, except that the path that the air takes rakes through the three workstations. See diagram below.
So here’s how this played out. Nobody was in the lamination room. I snuck into the bathroom, turned on the bathroom fan, and unleashed a brown river of patty melt, mocha, and garlic fries upon the commode. I emptied my entire digestive tract into that toilet, then as I was about to sigh with relief, wipe, wash my hands, and GTFO before anyone learned of my indiscretions, it happened. 4 production guys came into the lamination room to begin working on various prosthetic devices. I froze. Nobody knew that I was in the bathroom. I sat there, with my asshole burning from last night’s burrito, trying to plan my next move when I heard the lamination room’s ventilation fan kick on. A minute later, I heard the exclamations of disgust coming from the lamination room. As I hunkered down, pants around my ankles, careful not to make any additional noise, I once again broke out into a cold sweat. This time not from physical discomfort, but emotional. I was going to be the girl who shit up the bathroom on her first day.
“Ugh, what did Scott have for lunch?”
“Oh man, he seriously blew it up in there!”
“This is terrible, I’m out of here.”
This exchange solidified 2 things for me. 1) I was not going to leave that bathroom while people remained in the lamination room under any circumstances, and 2) they thought it was someone else who had detonated a shit grenade in the lavoratory. Great success. I just had to wait them out. And wait I did. For probably 30 minutes I hid in that bathroom, waiting for everyone to clear out of that room and allow me to slink back to my office.
Over a year later, I was out to beers with the guys when I admitted what had transpired. They told me that they all suspected that it was me, but didn’t know if I could take the shaming at the time, so kept their mouths shut. Thank goodness for understanding coworkers. That’s still the funnest place I’ve ever worked.