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6:20 a.m. - 2005-06-28

TINKLE TINKLE LITTLE STAR


So the first day on the new job went ... ummmm ... okay.

I'm not sure I'll be showing up for work today though.

I got there at 8 a.m., two hours before the store opened.

Met with the manager who was very happy that I have come aboard, blah blah blah.

Filled out paperwork and then began learning the skills that separate the men from the boys when it comes to measuring people for formal wear. I was under the impression that you just jammed your fist in someone's crotch and said "42 Regular" and then yanked a tuxedo off a rack and tossed it at them.

How wrong was I?

There's all KINDS of things you have to go over. Color, style, and ... of course ... pushing that top hat and tails.

If you get someone to bite on the top hat and tails, that's an extra 12 bucks in your pocket.

"Oh, c'mon man ... top hat and tails are the SHIZNIT!! All the kids at the prom will have 'em!"

Yeah. Making money off of socially retarded teenagers' naiveness. I think I've found my nirvana.

So it gets to be about 11 a.m. and it's time for my 11 a.m. weasel draining.

I head back to the employee bathroom in the back, whip the weasel out and urinate all over the floor and toilet because I'm the assistant manager and I can just grab one of the lowly salespeople and say "Somebody pissed all over the floor and toilet back there ... grab a mop, Gringo."

Tomorrow I piss on the mirror above the sink. Thursday I'm pissing in the storage room. Friday I'm putting an ad in the paper looking to hire a "Professional Mopper".

Why?

Because the whole "Assistant Manager" nametag has already gone to my head.

So I finish peeing and have a good pee shiver go through my body.

I wash my hands because I'm now officially a freak about washing my hands now that it's going to be suspiciously close to men's testicles all day.

And I go to leave the bathroom where I will head back out on the floor and stand there with the rest of the employees as we look out the windows, always on the lookout for potential customers coming in wanting a penguin suit.

(That's formal wear shop lingo for "Tuxedo". I invented the term. Well ... maybe I didn't, but I did introduce it to the shop's employees yesterday who smiled weakly because they know they better stay on my good side or they'll be mopping up piss from 8-5.)

I go to leave the bathroom.

The door handle won't turn.

When I came in the bathroom, I had locked the door because the last thing you want is someone marching in on you the first day on the job and you're trying to whiz on the ceiling.

The way you lock the door is to push the door handle in about an inch or so and that supposedly locks it into place. Nobody explained this to me, but in my history of locking doors, I've come across this type of handle once or twice in my life and figured it out on my own.

So I turn the handle the other way in order to get the doorknob to pop back out of its locked position.

Nothing.

Back the other way.

Nothing.

Back the other way.

Nothing.

I use a little force, twisting the knob a bit harder.

(Wow. That almost sounded dirty)

Nothing.

I decide to jiggle the doorknob. I've seen this method used on television before when people got locked in bathrooms.

Nothing.

At this point, I've probably been in the bathroom about four minutes.

Most likely, my new co-workers are thinking to themselves "Avoid the bathroom for the next half hour" because when you're in the potty that long, you're a public pooper and we all know that being the person who poops in the employee bathroom will get you marked for life.

They'll call you things like Stinky McPoopsalot and stuff like that behind your back.

Ask Drunk Assed Jamie. I used to call him Feces O'Plenty back in the day.

So I'm beginning to get a bit frustrated with the doorknob. I'm jiggling it and juggling it and jostling it and it is not budging.

At this point, it was time to make a decision worthy of an assistant manager.

Basically it was the first decision I was presented with on the job.

That decision being ... just how the hell do I get out of this bathroom?

Should I knock softly and hope that someone hears some knocking in the back, waltzes through the racks and racks of formal wear before they come to the bathroom which is all the way at the back of the building near the back door?

Or do I pound the living hell out of it, screaming "HELP ME!! GOD HELP ME!! I'M CLAUSTROPHOBIC AND I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE!!"

It was at that point that I thought "W.W.J.D.?"

What Would Jerry Do?

(Jerry was my first assistant manager at a clothes store job I had in high school. He served as my first inspiration in the world of clothing sales.)

I answered my own question when I said aloud "Jerry would be able to open the door. Jerry had a double-digit IQ, unlike myself."

I decided to knock out a steady rhythm on the door.

So I began knock knock knocking on the bathroom door in hopes that someone would hear it, come open the door and promise that this little secret would be between us. In return, I would never hand them a mop and say "That piss back there isn't going to mop itself up, Essay."

(I know that's not how you spell the word, spelling geeks. But a lot of my readers come from the south and wouldn't understand how to pronounce "Esse".)

Finally, Joyce, the kindly woman with a face like Wilford Brimley's ass hears me.

"Are you okay?" she asks through the door.

"I'm locked in," I say with a chuckle to insinuate that I almost did it on purpose. "Can you turn the handle out there?"

It was then that she explained that I had to turn the handle while pushing in hard. The handle normally got stuck if you didn't push it in with a bit of force behind it.

Roughly 15 minutes after I stepped in to the bathroom, I was finally set free.

I thanked Joyce for her kindness. I wanted to hug her, but that would have been kind of weird. Falling out of a bathroom and hugging a woman you've only known for a few hours isn't the best way to start a job.

And I told the manager we needed to get a new doorknob for the bathroom as soon as possible.

Lo and behold, a new doorknob was on the desk I share with the manager by 3 p.m.

I smell a job for Henry today.

And luckily for Henry, the job doesn't smell like urine.

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