24 October 2010 Categories: Gerry's Corner

       I have criticized Technology in previous blogs and pointed out shortfalls or problems prompted by certain Technological changes. Today I am going to share an embarrassing situation that happened this week but as much as it is embarrassing it is funny as all hell. I caution readers that the following is not for the weak at heart. I also caution readers that this may be so funny that it may cause involuntary personal accidents.

         This week I attended one of my many Association meetings. The food was great and the speaker was dynamic and informative. The speaker’s presentation was longer than anyone expected therefore some participates started leaving early to get back to work. While listening to this interesting topic my stomach started rumbling warning me that it wanted a break soon, I did not want to leave the presentation for fear of missing some valuable information. I persisted and waited till the speaker was finished. As soon as the question period started I darted to the washroom as my stomach was on a 3rd and last warning. I entered the washroom and the lights go on automatically. I say to myself what a neat invention to save energy. I briskly walk into a stall put down my briefcase, hang up my coat and drop my drawers to do my business. As I am sitting there no more than maybe 5 minutes the lights go out. There I am sitting in a stall not finished what I came to do and I can’t see the hand in front of my face. I felt like I was trapped in an elevator with no lights. What am I going to do now? The meeting was not over, maybe someone will come in the washroom and the lights would go back on. I sat there in the dark for what seemed to be 20 minutes but was only 5 minutes. It is amazing what the mind does when you are alone in the dark. I started thinking the meeting was quite long maybe everyone will leave and go directly to work and not use the washrooms. Then it dawned on me the group was predominantly women in fact I remembered when I left  there were only 4 men in the room. Now my chances of one of them saving me were greatly reduced. Now the mind says you are alone and no one will come in to activate the lights. What are my options? These lights are only activated my motion so what do I do? Bear in mind it is still as dark as a deep cave. I get the not so bright idea of making toilet paper balls and throwing them over the stall and towards the light switch. That was a lead balloon idea. Then I decided to stand up and wave my hands over the stall to activate the lights but I am too far for the activation. Do I start throwing my shoes and shirts over the stall?? Not a brilliant idea. Do I start yelling and call for help?? Too embarrassing! Do I wait for the night janitor? It is 2:30 pm in the afternoon. This meeting place is also a low traffic meeting floor therefore I could be in there till the next day. Only one solution left, I have to get up and walk awkwardly out of the stall with my pants around my ankles to activate these damn lights and hope no one walks in. I sit for a few more moments thinking about other options. There are no other options. Out of the stall I go praying that no one walks in. The lights go on and I dash back in the stall to clean up and get the hell out of there before the lights go out again. By that time everyone had left and I was the only person left on the floor. I walked out of the building and almost ran to my truck then drove fast out of town.

       Well this is definitely a case of Technology catching me literally with my pants down. I recommend that those individuals who program these automated lights use the facilities to see if they are practical. Or maybe they should place warning signs that you have less than 5 minutes to do what you have to do and get the heck out. The next time you use a Washroom with automated lights. BEWARE!!