Finding a Bathroom in an Unfamiliar Workplace

I’m definitely not a morning person. I’ve always loved waking up to the sun, eat a breakfast once my stomach wakes up, and use the restroom at an appropriate time. AT my own home, where it’s safe and normal. Starting a new job as a school picture-day photographer isn’t exactly what my body is used to, or appreciates, frankly.

Changes in my routine

As someone with IBS, routine is paramount. I need to wake up early enough so that I can use the potty at my home, where it’s reliable. My old trusty toilet that has seen me at my worst. As a photographer, I have to get to k-12 schools before their day starts. This means that if my Imodium isn’t enough to quell the sleeping giant within me, then I need to find options and fast.

My normal routine

Every morning I do what I can to try and poop in the 30-45 minutes that I give myself to get ready and be an awake person.

The first thing I do is get up to brush my teeth. Toothpaste, like clockwork, loves to trigger someone dark passenger inside of me and get my guts rolling. It’s a stupid curse that really starts my day in a frenzy!

Next, I lay in bed and scroll on my phone. Honestly, I wake up with just enough margin to allow myself some browsing time to really wake my mind up. I need to start the day on a warmed up note! It’s a shower of the mind, if you would. While I do this, I curl up in fetal position. I’ll bring up my knees and sit there like I’m faux on the toilet, just tooting away. It helps gets things moving if I’m in a hurry!

The need for a bathroom on the job

Some days, the few and far between, start me off with a BM that plummets my inevitable anxiety of having to find a bathroom at the school I'm working at that day.

Most days, aren’t so lucky.

Different types of bathrooms

As a contractor working in a public school, I’ve found that they have a few different toilet philosophies. The best option, are the private “faculty” only restrooms. It’s such a safe respite. I swear, these bathrooms are even better than the one that I so very miss at home. They have scented sprays, double ply toilet paper, and fans to boot. It’s like living in my own personal toilet paradise where no-one can stop me.

It makes the anxious job of having to work in a new school every day, photographing students for their year book, assembly-line style, much easier.

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Having to disturb others

Other times these adult-only bathrooms are attached to the teacher’s lounge which is okay, but not great. Disturbing teachers, despite me being 27, is something I still find uncomfortable. Hell, I still call them by their last name, despite us all being adults.

The worst option imaginable

The worst option, by far, is the boys' potty. Holy shit, this space is just a breeding ground for nasty teens cutting class. A cesspool of vaping boys who’ve made this their den. Not exactly a comfortable place to go when you have to take a poo in the place where poos are had (the audacity).

What is there to do?

Well I have a few options.

Turn around and just hold it forever, which is a nice and temporary option, wait until they’ve gone to class (likely not) or try my best to stealth poop. This is all incredibly not hypothetical, as at one of my schools, I had to find a way to poo during every loud noise in the room. Whether it was another person flushing, a loud laugh or music playing, I used audio camouflage as my best way to get on with my day.

This job comes with a lot of ups and downs. Yes, I get to leave my work day at 2, but at the price of having to find a bathroom in a building that I’ve never been before, while I set up my photography equipment. It’s not ideal, but hopefully, the more my body forms a habit, the easier it’ll be for me to find a way to balance my schedule and my need for poops.

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