I’ve been riding the motorcycle into the new contract for a month now. The last contract was great–I could work in my boots and jeans and didn’t have to worry about bringing a change of clothes. Now, I’m back to the compulsory uniform (meaning suit and tie). I’m wearing jeans or wet weather trousers into work and keep my suit shoes and trousers under my desk. I get into work, grab my suit and change in the toilet stalls.
There’s an art to changing in the toilet stalls. I’m still getting to grips with it.
First, you have to find a clean stall (no drops on the floor) with a hook.
Second, you have to find a quiet time of the day to do it.
I had a very embarrassing situation last week where I tried to change in a toilet at a busy time of day. I went into my stall and pulled off my boots, took off my trouser and was just folding them up to put into my bag. A queue was forming outside the stalls. This is when all of the change fell out of my pockets and onto the floor. It all rolled out of the stall and into the growing queue of people waiting. Since I was in my underwear and socks, I didn’t really want to walk out and start picking up my change, so I put my hand under the stall and started feeling around for the coins. I knew I had some Â£2 coins and I was going to need those for lunch later–otherwise I would have taken the hit and avoided the embarrassment. Eventually, everyone started kicking the coins back under the stall door. I deepened my voice and tried to say something masculine like “Yeah, nice one. Cheers mate.” I waited until all of the other stalls emptied and the queue was gone before I left.
It’s not easy changing in the toilets. Luckily, at the bank I’m working at now, the stalls are pretty clean.
When I told a colleague how difficult I was finding it changing in the toilets, he commented that it worked for Superman. But Superman didn’t change in the toilets– he used a phone booth or a broom closet. I couldn’t see Clark Kent sneak into the bathroom and check all of the stalls for the cleanest one to change in. “This looks like a job for Superman. Let’s see . . . this one? No, too smelly. This one? No, someone didn’t flush. This one? Skidmarks,” he would say before resigning to the first smelly one.
My point? Brink back the phone booth.