We were gathered together for an office meeting after lunch. It's always been my suspicion that our boss calls these meetings after lunch in order to maximize the indigestion potential in his staff.
“As I'm sure you all know,” he began, “the economy is really bad out there, so we're all just going to have to buckle down.”
I sat, waiting for the natural progression of his speech which, I was positive, would be to inform all of us that we had to start selling more. Sales were down, we were slacking, and don't think for a minute that he wouldn't fire every single one of us. We had heard this speech several times before.
“This being said,” he continued, “I've decided to let go of the maintenance service that cleans the office each night. Instead, I'm assigning some of you to do these housekeeping duties.”
It's a small office with only six employees, and three of us, myself included, were added to his newly formed cleaning crew.
For the rest of the afternoon, our boss worked on a spreadsheet outlining his new cleaning schedule...time that he could have been spent selling, which could have increased sales and eliminated the need to create a cleaning schedule since the cleaning service could have been retained.
Once finished, he posted his schedule on the bulletin board next to the monthly sales chart. I saw that my Monday and Wednesday afternoons would be spent sweeping the carpets and my Tuesday and Thursday afternoons would consist of cleaning the bathrooms.
Later that day, wearing my yellow, rubber gloves, I stood over the toilet, gingerly poking the inside of the porcelain bowl with the toilet brush. The nature of my job was taking an alarming, and unfortunate turn...though I guessed that this fell under the 'other duties as described' section in my job description. At least I'm still receiving a paycheck, I told myself...puny as the check may be.
Once I had poked at the toilet enough to deem it 'clean', I checked to make sure that enough toilet paper remained in the dispenser to accommodate everyone's toilet paper needs. Our office's particular toilet paper dispenser is a NeverOut 3000, which is simply an impressive sounding name for a toilet paper dispenser that housed two rolls of toilet paper, one on top of the other.
As I checked the roll status of the NeverOut 3000, I began wondering where the number 3000 came from. Was this an attempt to make the cheap plastic casing sound futuristic? Doubtfully, I thought, because by the year 3000 I'm quite sure that pedestrian activities such as going to the bathroom will be a thing of the past. By then, I figured, bathrooms would consist of high powered laser beams shot toward our colon region and vaporizing all the excrement that had built up for the day, thus eliminating the need for any type of paper products, toilet or otherwise, in the bathrooms of the future.
And I couldn't imagine that this was the 3000th model of NeverOut toilet paper dispensers...because how hard would it be to simply design a dispenser that housed two rolls, one on top of the other? Even I, a lowly sales/bathroom cleaning associate, could have designed something like this...and I'm quite certain that it wouldn't have taken 3000 attempts. 25 or 30, perhaps, but not 3000.
At most, I thought, this might be the third generation of NeverOut toilet dispensers, but the NeverOut executives, fearing that a product called the NeverOut 3 didn't sound very impressive, decided to add a few zeros. A large number such as 3000, rather than 3, would ensure everybody that NeverOut only utilized the most up-to-date toilet paper technology available.
Which, as I stood in the middle of the office bathroom wearing my yellow, rubber gloves and contemplating our toilet paper dispenser, made perfect sense. Adding zeros to anything makes it sound more impressive and exciting! Would Thriller have been such a revered album if it had sold 45 copies instead of 45,000,000? Of course not. And, with another birthday coming up only a few short weeks away, I decided that I would employ this same logic.
So, coming this May, I am proud to introduce the new and improved Terry 3700!