Saturday, March 21, 2015

Now Hiring: Hydraulics Engineer

My African violet is so pretty today.  (Here are the buds of these blossoms three weeks ago, where it is pictured fourth from the top.)

So what's new in Sparkland?  Oh, you know, the usual litany of work drama and not much of anything else.

Things that have happened this week at work:
  • Someone, not part of our company, was invited into a closed-door meeting with the goal of eventual cooperation between their business and ours.  This someone promptly brought confidential and distorted information out of that meeting to another someone who shouldn't have heard it, causing a major poop-storm.  As is typical, although I didn't cause the problem, it fell into my lap initially to be dealt with. This took the form of trying to placate an almost hysterical colleague.  It was way more drama than I ever want in a day, and not any fun at all.
  • There has not yet been a flood.
  • In lieu of a flood, there was a water outage, forcing us to close the business for the better part of a day due to NO TOILETS.  
  • That evening, when the water came back on and the cleaners were doing their thing, a toilet exploded.  Seriously?  This is the second time that's happened in our unit!
So, like, from a health and safety perspective, what the heck am I supposed to do about this?  I Googled "How to prevent a toilet from exploding", but I couldn't find anything.  Fortunately, we were lucky again and no one was hurt, but...  One time is a fluke.  Twice makes a pattern.  It's the company's legal responsibility to take all possible precautions to prevent anyone from being injured.

(I'm not sure how much force was behind the explosion: whether it was enough to embed a chunk of porcelain in someone's skull [I doubt it/hope not], or "only" enough to cause lacerations.  I'm going to check in with the unlucky cleaning lady on Monday to get her eyewitness report.)

So, what protocol can I possibly implement that would be effective?  Call a bomb squad to come flush all our toilets after every water outage and before we open our doors to staff and customers?  Buy a protective body suit for staff to wear while doing a post-outage "flush sweep"?  

I was wondering if there's some way to rig a system to pull the flush levers while standing outside each bathroom door, and I actually figured out a way that might work for the stall setup, but couldn't picture it for the single-seaters.

I'm going to take it up with a plumber next week, and see how far that gets me, but if anyone has any bright ideas I'd be happy to hear them.  


LL Cool Joe said...

Let's hope the cleaner wasn't sitting on the loo at the time. I have never heard of an exploding toilet. Tell a lie, I have, on your blog before.

It must be you.

Jenski said...

Beautiful flowers!

Why was the water out? Why would there be enough pressure build up when the water is out to then make a toilet explode? So many questions...Hopefully the plumber can answer them!

G. B. Miller said...


Warped Mind of Ron said...

I think exploding toilets add an air of excitement to things. Like Russian roulette but with plumbing.

Sparkling Red said...

Joey: I think it's safe to say that the cleaner would not have remained uninjured if she had been sitting on the loo at the time. She would probably have ended up on the roof!

Jenski: Indeed. I have no answers. When I had a plumber in to replace the first toilet that blew up, he said it was the first time he'd ever heard of anything like that happening.

G.B.: IKR?

Ronnie: LOL Oh man, too true. Fun fact: our landlord is Russian.

Ginny said...

How has that happened twice? That's crazy!

DarcKnyt said...

Wow! TWO toilet explosions now? And Google searches for a solution might just land you on a watch list of some kind! I feel the pain, Spark. And I at least have the luxury of letting that be someone else's problem. I feel for you deeply having to shoulder that burden.

And yes...the violet is so lovely. :)

Lynn said...

We had an exploding toilet in one of the condos where I live. Many $$$ went to fix the condo below it, with many people wandering around in biohazard suits.

Jenny Woolf said...

That is surely one of the most bizarre problems I have heard of. Exploding toilets. Well. I am actually lost for words. Though I am sorry for you having to deal with it. Just hope that nobody was sitting on it at the time ...tee hee..

Vanessa T said...

Wow, I thought that mostly happened when mischievous teens tossed M80s into the toilets in high schools - had that happen in the one I went to. I'm so glad no one was seriously injured and I hope your talk with the cleaning crew yielded more information. Surely it has to do with air pockets and pressure and water flow and lots more things I haven't figured out. Has the plumber given you more insight?

I'm sorry you've had to deal with the repercussions of the bigmouth at work. How unprofessional to spill the confidential information like that! Does that mean your company will not be doing business with their company? I'd be leery of maintaining an association.

Your violet is lovely! Do you have it in a special pot? I once made African Violet pots in a ceramics class I took many years ago. Before that, I had no idea they had such special requirements, but they're worth it, they're so pretty.

I hope this week has been better for you! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. :) *hugs*

Sparkling Red said...

Ginny: It just goes to show that my workplace is cursed.

DarcKnyt: Thanks. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't in the job description at the time I applied.

Lynn: Seriously, ew! Well, at least we don't have anyone downstairs from us at my work. There's not even a parking garage or a basement.

Jenny: The toilet explosions are triggered by the flusher, so it's unlikely that someone would be sitting on the toilet at the time... but not impossible! That would be a courtesy flush that someone would regret for the rest of their days.

Vanessa: I think my boss is now committed to cutting his ties with the blabbermouth. Snitches get stitches, right?
I don't have my African violet in a special pot, or in special soil (although I've seen it sold). It used to be in a plastic pot, and now it's in a clay one, and either way it's perfectly happy as long as it gets plenty of water once per week and a few hours of direct sunlight per day. It's growing like gangbusters.

Snowbrush said...

"I Googled "How to prevent a toilet from exploding", but I couldn't find anything."

Not putting lit cherry bombs in them is said to help, but that could just be an urban rumor. We had a fellow come to our house once who easily weighed over 500 pounds. He was too fat to fit into any of our chairs, and he didn't dare sit on the couch because it was low enough that he wouldn't have been able to get back up (he passed the visit with one half his butt perched on the edge of a recliner). I was very glad when he left because I was afraid that if he sat on the toilet, he would break it. I wonder how often that happens, as surely it must.