Monday, 20 April 2009

It turns out there's such a thing as Too Sure.

At work we have a coffee shop on our floor, and we have customer toilets. These toilets are of the most bizarre design I have ever seen. Very space-age. Only UV lighting, no normal lights at all, black walls, black floor and black ceiling. The door is huge, unmarked and locked, and we have the most delightful job of spotting confused people wandering around the floor and buzzing them through the door using our magic button behind the till. Oh, and then rescuing them when they can't work out how to get out again.


Yesterday my floor manager and I were standing by the till when a man wandered over from the direction of the coffee shop. He was looking around as if searching for something. He wandered over to the toilet door and the Filofax stand, and then away again, still looking around with a puzzled expression. This is typical customer-looking-for-toilet behaviour that we've seen a thousand times and pride ourselves on being able to spot.

"Through the door over there," we say as they open the customer opens their mouth to ask directions. "But.. we're looking for the toilets." they say. "Yes, just through that door there," we say knowingly, pressing the buzzer to unlock it. They look at us in awe, often asking how we knew before they said anything. We smile mysteriously and let them wonder. (This is how it looks from inside my head. It's probably a lot creepier from their point of view.)

So, this man was wandering around by the door looking lost, and V. called over to him, "Through that door, I'll buzz you in." but the man didn't hear him. V. pushed the buzzer and the door beeped loudly, but the man was now walking away from it and didn't seem to hear that either. I pointed at the door and said, "It's just that door over there". Still no response. V. said, "Excuse me!" and finally the man looked over at us. I said, "Just through that door." He looked at me with an expression that held zero comprehension. V. said, "That door, over there." The man was looking more and more confused now, so V. said, "Over there... toilets?" and the man said, "No... I'm.... looking for wedding cards?"

There was a second's pause as the situation sank in. It was one of those "must not laugh and make things worse" moments. We both failed and burst into fits of laughter. V. immediately attempted to placate the confused customer and went with him downstairs to show him exactly where the wedding cards are kept, and left me in stitches.

I think next weekend I may be a little less mysterious and a little more sure before trying to force someone to go through the giant, unmarked door by the Filofaxes.

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