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I’ve settled myself into a rut at work. I know this because I’ve begun to notice patterns in things that really should go unnoticed. But, because the life in my current position is just so mind-numbingly bad, I’ve figured out that I see the same rotation of about four women who all have the same bathroom schedule as I do.

We don’t really comment to each other much. If one is ahead of the other in the hall, we will nod our heads in acknowledgement. The one further ahead will quicken her pace slightly, so that we don’t end up walking together to compete for the same two bathrooms. (Our floor only has two on one wing and they are sometimes at a premium.)

One nice woman told me that the floor just above us has identical bathrooms if ours are full. This was nice of her, so I didn’t have to wait for her, doing my “have to potty” dance. Mostly, I think she didn’t want me waiting for her when she got out, as awkward as that social interaction can be.

The first rule of bathroom club is that we don’t talk. The second rule, like fight club, is the same. The third rule is the person who gets their first, gets dibs. The fourth rule is to visually check for the locked door instead of trying the locked handle like a barbarian. The fifth rule is to definitely not knock on the locked door like a goddamn animal. Other rules include not making eye contact, not waiting like a toddler outside the stall for the person to finish, and so on.

But the most important is that we never acknowledge each other outside of bathroom club, because to do so is not to address the same person. Who you are in bathroom club is not the same person when your business is finished. Besides, how many conversations go well after saying, “hey, I know you! You’re the lady from the bathroom!”