It's a sad inevitability. No matter how hard you try, how accurately you plan, how much you control what you eat, it's going to happen at some point: you will have to poop at work. It's where the biological meets the professional and it's always, pardon the expression, a shit show. Let's try to make it easier, shall we?
As the children's book tells us, everyone poops, and everyone has to work, but while we have to work together it doesn't mean we have to poop together, or at least acknowledge that we are all pooping in the same place. It's the great unspoken occurrence of the workplace (unless your office has some crazy rogue nasty pooper or something). So, here are some easy rules to follow so you can drop the deuce without ruining your professional reputation.
Know the Topography
Every office is different in how the toilets are set up, so you have to know the positives and negatives of each set up. If your office has one-man units that's good in terms of privacy but it's hard to escape any blame for noxious fumes. If your bathroom has multiple stalls it's easy to blame the stink on a coworker, but you have to deal with everyone seeing your business. If you work in a restaurant or somewhere the employees use the same facilities as the customers, you have to go without anyone seeing you entering or exiting and possibly ruining your tip. The more you know about the lay of the land, the easier it will be to plan a thorough strategy.
Know the Shitting Toilet
Every bathroom has one, the one bowl that is reserved for dumps. Whether that's the stall in the corner, the bathroom farthest from the desks or what have you, it is the unspoken shitting toilet. Use it. Always. It's like "goal" in a game of tag. No one can judge you if you're in the right place. Double Check the Door
Make sure it is locked. Twice! If it's not, you are headed for a career-destroying disaster.
Get Out of Dodge
A few years ago I had the luxury of living only two blocks from my office, so when the need arose I could escape to my apartment. While this is rare, there might be a Starbucks or McDonald's or hotel lobby (always the fanciest toilets around) where you can escape. Sure, the throne is probably totally nasty and filled with a million cooties, but at least you'll have some anonymity. If a third-party toilet is unavailable, perhaps go to another floor of the building or another department and sully their restroom. Crop dust that asshole Bob in accounting on your way. That guy is a dick.
Drop the Book
If someone sees you walking around your workplace carrying a book or a magazine and you don't work at Barnes & Noble, then they know where you're going and your cover is blown, you dirty office shitter. No reading material in the bathroom. And if you're dumb enough to disobey this rule, certainly don't leave your newspaper lying all over the stall. People will just resent having to clean up your mess. And certainly don't leave a half-done crossword lying around. Then people will think you're stupid on top of gross. Everyone these days has a phone, so look at that and put it back in your pocket. Hell, you can even send some emails so if a bomb goes off you have a time-stamped alibi.
I decided to put this in business terms to make it more euphemistic. What I really mean is don't sit your ass in there for like 30 minutes. You may be one of those people who likes to take your sweet time at home chilling your ass over the bowl for as long as you want, but this is work. Not only do you have shit to do (pun definitely intended) but the longer you linger, the longer the chance that you're going to get caught and embarrassed. So get in, get out, and get back to your desk and leave the leisurely loaves for Saturdays. (cont)