I am writing about several things I have experienced while working. This would be the first experience, and I will write about the others in another entry.
One instance that I would like to share was when I was in the ladies' room in the office.
I opened the door to the ladies' room with some difficulty, because it has been painted on so many times that the door actually got thick enough that it doesn't fit the jamb. However, it has a mechanism that keeps it closed, so you would need to exert some force to get the door to open, and it would make a slamming noise whenever someone opens the door. The cubicles are being held shut by metal barrel locks, so whenever someone closes or exits a cubicle, you would hear a clicking sound of the barrel being locked or unlocked.
When I got inside, there was one closed cubicle, and obviously it means someone is using it. So I went in the one next to it, and did my business. However, I just found out that the cubicle I was in was out of tissue. Luckily, there was someone in the other cubicle. In our office, it is a normal practice to ask anyone in the restroom (even strangers) for tissue paper if you find out that the cubicle you are in doesn't have some.
So I just spoke out loud, "Miss, could you kindly hand me some tissue?" "Sure," she replied. Then I could hear the familiar sound of the tissue dispenser, and a hand appeared at the bottom part of the cubicle, with the tissue I asked for.
"Thank you so much," I said.
"No problem," she replied.
So I went on my business again. Then I just noticed that I could no longer sense any movement from the cubicle on the other side, and it's taking her quite some time to exit the cubicle. While I was almost done and was already fixing myself, I said thank you to her again, but this time I didn't get a response, which to me is kind of alarming. Wonder what happened to her in the cubicle?
I knocked at the cubicle several times. No response. So I opened my own cubicle to get some help, and as I stepped out, I turned to look at the cubicle she was in.
And found out that it was wide open.
There was no one in the room except for me.
It still baffles me to this day, because I just can't think of any other way she could have left without me hearing it. First, the metal barrel lock: you can't miss the clicking sound when you open and close the cubicle door. Second, the main door. There is no way that that will make no sound, because the ill-fitting door would make a sound when you pull it, and it will always slam because of the faulty mechanism (you can't tug it closed because of the mechanism, but after a while it would let out air and just slam). Third, there are only two cubicles in that ladies' room. There is no way she could have hidden somewhere, because it's a really small room with one sink. You can't even fit five people there all at the same time.
Thanks for reading!