“The Handwriting is on the Wall–Part 1”

“The Handwriting is on the Wall–Part 1”

NEUROTICS AND NUTCASES©

Strange rangers can roam the floors of any company.  Their weirdness may offer co-workers an enjoyable break from the monotony of day-to-day activity.  Other times these characters can be outright unsettling.  Their behavior comes in all forms, varying from simple cases of peculiar and annoying personal habits to frightening and destructive acts.  Even with careful screening techniques, a few pass through the doors and are not discovered until they are on the job.  Often, the culmination of daily stresses erodes their ability to cope as normal folks.  For some of these time bombs, just one incident may set them off.  It's scary to think you might be working right next to them.

THE HANDWRITING IS ON THE WALL©

ladies restroom muralJane and her friend Tracy met at their favorite cafe.  Soft shell crabs were in season.  As she tested them with her fork, Jane grinned.  "This is great–having the best food with my best friend.  Gosh, Tracy, there's so much gossip to catch up on, I don't know where to begin."

Tracy nodded in agreement and encouraged her.  Before Jane knew it, the hour had vanished.  She had covered the entire department and the one on the floor below.  The friends laughed and giggled the whole time.

"Oh, waiter, could I have a refill on the lemonade, please?" Jane politely motioned.  She checked her watch.  "Whoops!  I better get going.  I don't want to be too late getting back." 

Tracy hugged her good-bye and Jane raced her car up the highway.  She ate too much.  The food was wonderful, but she could have eaten half the amount.   Her stomach was gurgling and swishing from all the lemonade.  The speed bumps in the parking lot didn't make her any more comfortable. 

She checked her watch again.  She was two minutes late.  "Need to make a quick pass through the restroom, " she thought.  "Otherwise, I won't make it to my desk."

Her full bladder was sending signals of urgency.  When she swung open the ladies' room door, she staggered.  The smell was so vile that it stung her eyes and burned her nostrils.  "PEE-UUU! It smells like a baby filled its diaper in here," she blurted aloud, screwing up her face and dashing to the nearest stall.

She struggled to get her pantyhose down and didn't even bother with seat paper.  "God, I'm glad no one's in here.  First there's this awful smell, and now I sound like a cow peeing on a flat rock," she thought.  "Thank goodness everyone else is back from lunch."

Jane quickly washed her hands, whipped out a towel as fast as a frog snatches a dragonfly, and started out the door, when. . .

"YIIEECHHHHH!" she gagged.

She raced back to the sink and turned the water to Niagara strength.  She turned her head away in disgust as she blasted the brown pasty foreign substance that she just collected from the push plate of the swinging door.

Then it happened.  The lemonade that had settled so comfortably in her stomach decided to make a U-turn.  The jolt sent Jane speeding toward the stall.  Before she could raise the lid, she said good-bye to her lunch. 

Jane felt like she was going to lose consciousness.  Simultaneously chilled and perspiring, she managed to drag herself back to the sink and wipe her mouth and face.  She had to get out of there.

This time Jane took some extra towels for protection and decided to brave the trip.  The back of the door was smeared with excrement, and Jane faced the message for the second time.  Scrawled in six-inch letters, "THE DEVIL IS MY SAVIOR" stared back at her.

She wrapped her fingers in the towels, held her breath, and closed her eyes.  Then summoning up what strength she had left, she poked open the door with her gloved index and third fingers.  Once through, she dropped the towels and sped down the hall, gasping for breath. 

Still horrified and shaking, Jane ran to the Personnel Department.  Pushing her way past the smiling, mannequin-like receptionist, she burst into the personnel manager's office and collapsed in a chair.  Her head flopped to the side as she tried to regulate her breath.

By the terrified look in Jane's eyes and her heavy breathing, Gary instantly knew he had a severe problem.  "What's wrong?  Has someone tried to hurt you?"

"I . . . I . . . uh . . . I . . . um," Jane stammered. "The ladies' restroom . . . ."  She fell silent.

"On this floor?" Gary asked.

Jane weakly nodded, "Yes."

 "Suzanne, call security to investigate the ladies' restroom immediately," Gary shouted to his secretary.

"Can you tell me your name?" he asked quietly.

"J . . . Ja . . . Jane Montrose."

"Jane, did someone try to hurt you in the restroom?"

Jane looked at the floor and shook her head, "No."

Within a few minutes….

Read Part 2 to find out more.

Excerpted from Outrageous Conduct:  Bizarre Behavior at Work© 

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