Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Go to the damn bathroom
Raise your hand if you've ever felt any pressure at work to limit your trips to the bathroom.
That's a lot of hands.
American business culture is effed up in more ways than there are stars in the rural night sky, but few things are more effed up than attempting to regulate people's bodily functions. Our bodies did not evolve to synchronize themselves with Company Time. Our bodies do not always conveniently wait until the clock says Break Time before sending a Call of Nature. Our bodies and our bodily functions are paragons of Internal Self-Direction, utterly indifferent to their impact upon the quarterly P&L Statement. And some people have a problem with that.
The rationale, to the extent that reason can be said to have anything to do with the way such people run a business, is generally along the lines that "excessive" use of the bathroom wastes time and cuts down on productivity and profits. Or, in a rare moment of honesty, they might simply admit that they are control freaks who want to ensure that the employees work in a perpetual state of fear and insecurity and feeling as if they have no authority whatsoever over themselves or their work lives.
People do not exist to serve business: business exists to serve people. Contrary to what they told you in your economics and business classes in school, the central purpose of a business is not to maximize profits for a handful of shareholders. The real purpose of business is to meet human need: to reward the investments and financial risks of the shareholders, yes, but also to provide goods and services that meet the needs of the customers, and also to provide a decent living to the people who are working in the business and creating those profits with their time, talents, and labors.
People need to make a living, and they shouldn't be expected to wreak havoc on their own well-being in order to do so.
You are a human being with dignity and worth. You are entitled to earn your living in conditions that honor your dignity and worth. Fundamental to being treated with dignity and worth is the freedom to use the bathroom at will.
Go to the damn bathroom.
If your bladder is full, pee. If your bowels are moving, poop. If you have got your period, change your tampon.
And don't ever, ever, ever let anybody, anywhere, in any position, make you feel as if you shouldn't attend to your bodily functions. The only time there is such a thing as "too much" going to the bathroom is when it involves an underlying medical condition, in which case, go to the damn doctor.
And the damn doctor will probably tell you to drink plenty of fluids and go to the damn bathroom as needed.