Most people don't like using the toilet at work. It just doesn't provide the same comfort and privacy as having the home-lavatory advantage. Because we have little control over when the need to defecate will strike, however, and because most of us spend a majority of our daytime hours at work, dropping a deuce at the office is difficult to avoid.
We all know what the cons are to doing our business at our places of business. The issues of comfort and privacy have very little to do with the quality of the toilet and more to do with the presence or lack of video cameras. It's all about personal anxiety.
First of all, there's the fear that someone might walk in on you. Even though the door is locked, you can't help but question whether that lock will be enough to keep your co-workers from catching you with your pants down. Did you engage the lock correctly? Could the lock be broken? Even if the lock is working, the person outside might knock and make you have to shout something to let him know you're in there, as if there's some chance the door locked itself or you passed out in there and are in need of medical attention.
Then, there's the very real fear that the toilet might clog or even overflow. This could happen just as easily at home, but if it happens at work you'll have to cover up the evidence quickly so that no one will think you produce massive turds that modern plumbing cannot withstand.
There's also the fear that you'll foul up the air and everyone will know it's you. You know firsthand what others will think because you've thought it yourself every time you've gone in after someone else stunk up the shitbox.
Lastly, if you pinch one out at work you'll have to deal with that cheap 150-grit toilet paper your boss so graciously provides. That may be reason enough to hold it in until you get home.
There is really only one benefit to emptying your bowels at work, but it is a very empowering one. There's nothing more satisfying than sitting on the toilet and thinking to yourself, "I'm getting paid for this."
Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. His e-mail address is paul [at] geekprom.com.