Take A Stand!

The company I work for hire a floor within a building which has three wings. In the centre of these wings are public lifts, access to stairs and the disgusting men’s toilets, which always need a repair.

Currently one of the toilets is constantly flushing. A constant mass of water falling into the pan and splashing everywhere. I’m not saying that it is bad, but I passed a guy holding a kayak waiting to go in the other day!

The company I work for have decided to take ownership of that central part of the floor, which is essentially for everyone’s use within the building. It is a common area. There are toilets after all. But in their awesome logic they’ve placed a finger print recognition door lock on the door to the stairwell. There is a sign saying *Enter Company Name* Staff Only. Not great if you are a man either one floor higher or lower needing the loo.

Furthermore, what about potential or even existing clients? They would firstly have to make their way onto the car park being careful not to scare the horses. Also being careful not to trip over the lasso’s that are lying around and then make their way up to our floor. Now lets just imagine that one of this group of potential customers suffered from claustrophobia, they would have to take the stairs. But wait, you can’t get access to the floor from there unless you have a finger print that is recognised by the hi tech CIA style door lock because this floor is strictly for *Enter Company Name* Staff Only!! They would then need to approach a member of staff smoking outside, render them unconscious, sever a hand and hope that it was the correct hand with the correct finger for that fingerprint reader.


Alternatively, they would then have to turn round, head down to the floor below and whilst panicking in a cold sweat and maybe even crying, ascend the one floor via one of the metal rickety boxes that often break down, only to be left dangling apprehensively.

Upon arrival to the landing of our floor, through moist eyes, they would then be greeted with three corporate stands exhibiting all the wonderful services our company offers and tries, sometimes in vain, to provide. This is an example of the sort of thing I mean.


This is another way that my employers have stamped their ownership onto what is a communal area.

The client or potential client with claustrophobia may then choose to take it all in. The information, that is. Not the overall ambience of the very welcoming “company foyer” with the soothing sound of constant running water, the sweet scent of urine and the sight of Ian leaving the gents doing up his fly.

But I do wonder if despite their location, these promotional stands would impress anyone who might want to place their business in our hands? Do they really give a wow factor? If so, it’s definitely false advertising.  You see they are not portraying an accurate reflection of this company. Why? Because of these two people.


These two airbrushed, squeaky clean, attractive and extremely professional looking pair do not work here. They have never worked here. They are the polar opposite of what awaits behind the finger print recognition lock leading to the office where the general staff await. These two American looking people on this stand are not the kind of people who would be dealing with your business here.

Look at those pearly white, beaming, model smiles in the picture. In reality, I have seen one particular member of staff smile to reveal what quite frankly resembles a burnt out fusebox. The attractive lady in the picture is also severely underweight for the apparent minimum weight requirement for the women of this company. I’m not joking when I say that either. Just an accurate observation.

The potential client could be looking at this image whilst waiting to leave and have their last impressions of the highly professional image of the staff completely obliterated in seconds; when the lift arrives; the doors open; and two large middle aged members of staff wobble out having been for a cigarette break; wearing company fleeces covered in pasty crumbs and cat hair, leaving the lovely scent of their breath behind; lingering, in the lift, for the potential client to enjoy as they descend along with their opinion of the hygiene levels of this companies’ staff members.

I myself know about this because I have experienced this type of thing. I got into the lift to be joined by one particular colleague. We did not converse on our journey to the ground. I for one did not want to encourage any extra breath of theirs to be exhaled in such close proximity but also because I was desperately holding my breath. I was cornered at the back of the lift with my colleague standing 90 degrees to me, back to the wall and side on to the door. I assure you, I was trying very hard to maintain a safe working distance!

We reached the ground and as the doors opened, with a slightly red face, I motioned for her to leave first, being the gentleman as always. She thanked me and left. I let out a gasp as I released the air remaining in my lungs and breathed in fresh(ish) air. But unfortunately, I breathed in as I was passing through the dank putrid air my colleague had just exhaled. With my mouth open!! It was like walking into the hot house of the botanical gardens but a million times worse! You know when you walk into a sudden humid atmosphere and you feel it hit you? But you see, you can’t really taste anything when you walk into the hot house. As this hit me, as I walked into it, this gruesome triple pronged attack was a nightmare for my senses! Oh, and my glasses steamed up.

I felt it on my skin and instantly wanted to run under a hot shower with a bottle of bleach and a wire brush. I could smell it lingering in my nostrils and I wanted to give myself a bleach water-boarding experience and finally, it was in my mouth. This was dealt with a natural reflex. A natural gag reflex. Yes, I was slightly sick in my mouth. Never before have I so welcomed the taste of vomit and never again will I.

I understand that this highbrow journalism is cutting edge and razor sharp. So sharp that my accurate depiction may be interpreted by some as arrogance. I assure you it is not. Do I think I’m an oil painting? Well, yes I do.


They wouldn’t use me as a poster boy anyway. Why would you promote your business with someone scowling, completely resenting the job they do and possibly the most miserable bastard in the building?

But there is something else that bothers me about this picture on the stand. It’s as if he’s been told to stay as still as possible and to under no circumstances, blink. He looks like he’s been there for 6 minutes. Each time I walk past, I make eye contact with him and I start to think that his glare gets more and more intense each time. I think he is looking at me like he wants to kill me.



Do you see it? Look!


I’m right aren’t I? Look!


Poster boy now scares me. He is there every time I leave and enter the office. I have to look at him! He’s looking at me! He wants to kill me!

I literally want to take a stand.

As in take it and burn it.


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