Sunday, December 15, 2013

Flushed with excitement

N.B. There are references to poop in this post.  If poop offends you, please do not proceed.


As you all know, a little while ago there was a fire in my workplace.  The following week, we had flooding, as a blockage 60 feet down the sewage lines caused every toilet in the place to start overflowing almost simultaneously.  (Someone had to stay until 2:30 in the morning to get that one sorted out, but fortunately it wasn't me.)

Logically, what follows next?  Drought, of course.

On Thursday morning, when the early shift (6:00 am) arrived at my workplace, there was no running water.  A water main break had flooded the street overnight, and the process of repair required us to be waterless for a few hours.  Luckily the water was turned back on by 8:30 am.  Business could continue as usual.  No problem, right?

You know how when the water's been off for a while, when it comes back on the faucets spit and kick?  Because air bubbles are being delivered along with the water at high pressure?  So, that was happening.  Again, whatever, you let the water run for a little while, stand out of the way of the spurts, and eventually it normalizes.

One girl who I work with headed to the ladies' room as soon as the water came back on.  She had to do a couple of numbers.  After taking care of business, she stepped on the flush lever.

Two offices over, another two ladies were standing together having a discussion.  A muffled sound stopped them in mid-sentence.  One turned to the other and asked "Did you just hear a bang?"  As the words hung in the air, the girl who had been in the bathroom ran past their door.  Shards of white ceramic were sprinkled in her hair.

The toilet had literally EXPLODED.  When girlfriend flushed, a monster air bubble shot into the part of the toilet where the metal pipe fastens onto the ceramic bowl, and literally blasted that area to pieces.  Fortunately, the bowl itself remained intact.  Unfortunately, girlfriend's poop (along with a goodly amount of water) was blasted out of the bowl.  Fortunately, no one was hurt.  Unfortunately, "someone" (she eventually went back to do this herself) had to chase down her poop, which was floating around on the floor, and tidy that up before anyone could witness her humiliation.

When one of my employees told me over the phone that a toilet had exploded, I thought she was exaggerating.  I thought: she must just mean that it overflowed, or it made a loud gurgling noise, or something.  When I got to work, and saw for myself that chunks of porcelain were scattered on the floor, I could hardly believe my eyes.

The emergency plumber couldn't even believe it.  He's never seen such a thing happen before, and that's his job.  I am seriously starting to think that my workplace is cursed.  Why am I still working there?  I have no idea.  In the past several weeks alone we've had fire, floods, a fight, the lawsuit, and now an exploding toilet.  I mean, what the...?  What is going on here?

It also got me thinking about all the things that have exploded at my workplace over the past two years.  There was the toner bomb, which wasn't technically an explosion, but which had similar results.  Then there was the battery explosion, which was an honest-to-goodness detonation.  And now this.  How many things have exploded at your workplace in the past two years?  Anything at all?  A bag of microwave popcorn at the worst, probably?

I had no idea that being an office manager could be so fraught with danger.  I'd probably be better off working in a sawmill, or being an electrician.  An electrician working 80 feet up with no safety harness on high-voltage wires, over a lake of lava swarming with evil lava-gators.  Sheesh!

Appendix A:  Cross section of toilet.  The area that exploded was the chamber at the upper left-most corner of the diagram.  In case you were wondering.


DarcKnyt said...

I know naught of curses, officially, but if I did, I'd swear this looks an awful lot like one, certainly.

I sure am glad nothing's ever harmed you along the way. The world is a much better place with Spark in it, unharmed and happy.

LL Cool Joe said...

And of course it had to explode whilst someone was pooping, not just pee. Sure it wasn't something to do with her poop? Had she had an extra strong curry the night before? :D

Warped Mind of Ron said...

I've thought I would have a toilet explode once or twice in my life, but it had nothing to do with water pressure.

Vanessa T said...

Oh my goodness! That poor girl! How scared she must have been, how horrified!

I'm SO glad no one was hurt!

Sounds like that must have been some kind of defect in the manufacturing process. Wow.

Whether or not your workplace is cursed, I sure hope the hedge around you continues to keep you safe. The world needs more Spark, not less!


wigsf3 said...

You warned of poop but never did I imagine it would be that pooptacular.

Granny Annie said...

Did I really just read that? Oh my goodness gracious sakes alive. I thought I had it bad when, as office manager, I had to clean a child's spagetti o's vomit off our Indian statue in the bank lobby, but your exploits have me beat by miles. The place does sound cursed but makes for entertaining reading:)

Lynn said...

I'm glad you are all OK. :)

Jenski said...

The poor woman! I would've been so embarrassed. I've worked in research labs with undergrads for years and have no comparable stories. That's saying something.

G. B. Miller said...

I'm having a flashback to movies that have an exploding toilet in them right now and I can't make it stop.

Thanks for the morning chuckle. :D

Snowbrush said...

If it was that smallish chamber that exploded, did the bowl itself shatter?

Sparkling Red said...

The bowl remained intact. Although there was still plenty of water on the floor, and the toilet was still a write-off, so it didn't make much difference.