This week I have quaffed deep of the carafe of crapness. Supped long and hard on the soup-bowl of complete and utter work soddery. It is not an expression I use often on this blog but this week has been a shit sandwich. A shit sandwich of doorstep proportions.
There’s too much to go into here. Too much to discuss that would get me into trouble with my employers were I to share it openly – and you all know how I actively seek to avoid trouble of that nature. So let me satisfy external analysis by providing – for your delectation – one small vignette that not only began this week of work-based woe but also rather neatly sums it up.
Monday morning. We have just opened to the public. The foyer area is sparkling and smelling of pine fresh disinfectant. A contractor turns up to meet me. We exchange pleasantries and head back through the foyer to look at the faulty doors he has come to repair.
There is shit everywhere. Human shit. A trail of man-poo that slithers from the public toilets across the foyer to the library, across their cool blue carpet tiles, back out across the foyer towards the entrance doors and, yes, when I check, leads off across the parkland outside. Without any effort at all I bet I could follow the perpetrator all the way home.
The trail reminds me for some reason of the blood trail left after a seal has been clubbed and dragged back to a fur trading ship. Somebody has obviously clubbed a seal to death with an elephant sized turd.
I am gobsmacked. In fact I smack my gob and keep my hand there to prevent myself from inhaling the ripe aroma of freshly ejected effluvia that floats up from ground level like marsh gas.
In the space of a few brief seconds some scrote has – unfathomably – left the public toilets whilst soiling himself at a constant rate of one plop every third footfall.
How can you do this and not know you are doing it? ‘Cos I’m assuming it was an accident and not deliberate. Or am I wrong? Has the guy in question cut a hole in his trouser pockets like a POW in the Great Escape and carefully and surreptitiously dropped his load in the hope that the Nazi prison guards wouldn't notice what he was doing?
He’s failed. It sticks out a mile. And it smells. And – oh God – other customers are coming into the building and walking through it. As I watch, the wheel of a wheelchair carves a moist furrow in a particularly fetid looking dollop. There are now new shite trails beginning to spread out everywhere.
We get the cleaner. Bless her, she dons her marigolds with the stern expression of a vet about to remove a breach calf from the back end of a cow and gets to work. The clean-up operation has begun.
In the meantime a quick look of the CCTV cameras reveals a lost, confused, heavily bearded man wearing a woollen bobble hat despite the summer heat leaving the loos and wandering across to the library at the right time. Even with the dodgy quality of the CCTV footage you can clearly see that he’s not “all there” (indeed, a lot of him is spread across our floors). The phrase “care in the community” comes to mind. I.E. nobody cares and he’s been left to his own devices.
The cleaner reports that the loos are a bombsite (bum site?). Faeces and toilet paper in all the loos and all over the sinks. It’s going to be a big job (no pun intended).
And that is how Monday began and – you know what? – the work week hasn’t got any better than that.
Like I said.
A shit sandwich.