My office is on the second floor of an old converted farmhouse. There are a couple other tenants with spaces on the second floor as well – some guy that I’m pretty sure is a mad Internet scientist (he’s the one with the dog), and a lady who teaches Pilates classes.

Obviously, because the Pilates lady is teaching classes, there’s a fair amount of traffic up and down the stairs and in our little hallway some mornings and afternoons. For the most part the people that come for the Pilates classes are no big deal, although for a while there was one that would always wear so much perfume that it would throw me into a migraine or an asthma attack whenever she showed up.

There was also The Groaner – a guy who would make the most hilariously awful sounds during his sessions on the Pilates Reformer machine thing. It seriously sounded like he was making geriatric Pilates porn in there. Which, don’t Google that…just assume it exists and move on with your life untainted.


So, there’s one  bathroom on the second floor. It’s a little half-bath like you’d find in a home, not an industrial multi-stall deal. Normally that’s perfectly adequate, as when it’s just the people from my company working up there, we number only four. Sometimes somebody from our downstairs office will sneak up and use our bathroom if they know they’re going to lay a particularly stinky egg, but whatever. Still adequate for the number of employees, and we seldom experience any kind of toilet traffic drama.

At least, until the Pilates people show up.

There are the ones that use our bathroom as their changing room, the ones that just need a quick pee before or after class…and then there’s Doorknob Jiggler.

First of all, I don’t know if DJ is always on the verge of pissing herself or what, but she never even slows down long enough to notice that the bathroom door is closed and the fan is running. She just always makes a beeline straight from the doorway of the Pilates room to the bathroom (which is like three steps) and bodily throws herself at the bathroom door. Maybe her bathroom door at home is made of solid mahogany and is really heavy so she’s just used to having to heave her whole weight against it to move it? All I know is that it’s terrifying to be sitting there on the toilet when she gets out of class because you’d swear it was a fucking battering ram coming through that door.

Second of all, if DJ encounters a close and locked door, rather than saying to herself “oh there’s someone in there, I’ll hang out in the hall and wait my turn”, she will, in fact, start jiggling the doorknob. Further, if she jiggles the doorknob and you don’t immediately say something to let her know you’re in there, she will assume that the door is somehow mistakenly jammed shut (again, the fan and light are both on if someone is in there. You can see the light around the edges of the door and you can hear the fan halfway down the hall), and will start turning the knob and start battering the door bodily again.

This afternoon was one such situation. There I was, spending some quality time with my Instagram feed while enjoying the tranquil confines of the bathroom, when suddenly I heard someone coming. I didn’t think much of it until the first loud BANG as she heaved against the door.

Shit“, I thought…”it’s DJ and she sounds like she means business“.

Apparently the split second I took in self-dialog was too long for her liking because the doorknob jiggling started almost immediately.

“Occupied” I said, trying to sound friendly but, you know…busy. I put my phone down on the counter, wiped, stood up, and jumped as she banged into the door AGAIN!

“Be right out” I said, not trying for anything less than terse this time. I washed my hands, dried them, put my phone in my pocket, reached for the slide-latch on the door to unlatch it…and found that DJ had in fact bashed into the door so aggressively that it had jammed the motherfucking latch. She started jiggling the doorknob again just about then and I was done with her shit.

“HOLD ON. The latch is jammed.”

I could hear her muttering on the other side of the door but I took the high road and ignored it – mostly due to the fact that I was dealing with mounting panic over being permanently stuck in the bathroom, I’ll be completely honest.

After a couple of tries, I finally got the slide-latch thingy to unlock and the door swung open. DJ stood there in the hallway with an accusatory glare on her face and basically SHOVED past me into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.

I silently wished in that moment that she would sit down on the toilet and discover she had pin worms. Or some other kind of anal-itch-causing malady. Basically, I really wanted her to feel like she needed to drag her ass across a nice rough carpet. Preferably with a bunch of people watching and trying to get her to hurry up because they wanted to use the carpet themselves. Although who would want to use a carpet after someone butt-dragged on it, I don’t know. But still. You get my point.




5 thoughts on “occupied

  1. She sounds narcissistic. You need to wait and watch for her to go in to the bathroom in the future- and jiggle the fucking shit out of the door knob when she’s in there (warning- if she doesn’t lock the door, you might get an unwanted eye-full. jiggle aggressively, but don’t try to open.) If she has any self-awareness at all, she will hopefully recognize her own similar behavior. Unless you end up jiggling so hard that you jam the latch again and she’s stuck in there forever, eventually starving to death (she’ll have a water source, so prepare to wait a long time).

    The people who try to open bathroom doors without knocking first freaks me out. When I approach a closed bathroom door in a public place, I try to do a friendly knock-knock with my knuckle and listen. People are either friendly (“Be out in a minute!”) or angry (“SOMEONE’S IN HERE!”) I always want to shout back, “That’s why I fucking knocked! To see if anyone was in there! You’re welcome!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • What continues to get me about the whole thing is that that door is NEVER closed unless someone is in there. Even when someone has left the fan on as a courtesy airing-out after having befouled the toilet in particularly heinous fashion, they still don’t shut the door all the way closed – they leave it open a couple inches so that people can see it’s not occupied (at least, not by anyone other than a stench demon).

      I think you’re right – I think she’s either a narcissist who doesn’t even realize what she’s doing.

      Or maybe she grew up in a yurt and just never got used to how doors work.


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