Do you know where to go?

The building I work in is quite old, but it was renovated several years ago by someone who clearly subscribed to the MC Escher school of architecture. Aerial walkways, hidden stairwells and passages to nowhere are common features of our office, so it is unsurprising that newcomers and visitors get lost. There are rumours of a guy who has been trying to find his way out of the archives for a decade and has survived on a diet of rats and rainwater. Apparently he’s an external auditor, which explains why no-one has been in a hurry to mount a search party.

Anyway, we often have meetings at the offices, so there are usually a few strangers wandering around looking bewildered and worried (okay, more bewildered and worried than the staff, at any rate). You can always tell the ones who have missed a critical turning while en-route to the toilet, because they look bewildered, worried and in a certain amount of torment. One such lost soul turned up at my office door earlier today. Now he was really lost, because my little corner is located on one of the flying buttresses at the extreme southwestern end of the building. It’s about as far away from the gents as one can possibly get, without climbing onto the windowsill (and yes, I have been tempted to do so, on occasion).

In addition to his bewilderment, worry and – at this point – quite pressing need, the unfortunate fellow had to suffer the ignominious fate of being led past the knowing stares of my colleagues as I guided him back onto the True Path of Relief. I wonder how many urologists are kept in business by our building?

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19 thoughts on “Do you know where to go?

  1. “my little corner is located on one of the flying buttress” and “climbing onto the windowsill”…

    Just make like a Gargoyle and spout some liquid and it sounds like you’d fit into the architecture.

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  2. tina: Ta (and right back atcha, BTW)

    IITQ: Hmmm. I am rather scary-looking and I do tend to drool a bit…I think you may just have helped me discover my vocation in life.

    bee: And a good thought it is, too. [begins writing memo to the boss…]

    anne: Yes, ‘visitor ping-pong’ is a firm favourite. A flying buttress is one of those masonry things holding up the side of the Notre Dame cathedral.

    ZG: We have lots of really big pot plants in the building – for emergencies.

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  3. You would enjoy the windowsill thing, wouldn’t you? Well, unless you were on the first floor, then it takes a bit of the mystery out of it – you know basically being eye level with someone.

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  4. My hospital is a similar maze of hallways. I can rarely go to lunch or get to my car without seeing someone with a bewildered look on their face. They may be stressed about a doctor appointment–but at least they don’t (generally) have to pee.

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  5. livewire: I’m thinking that sitting eye-level with the passers-by may be even more fun.

    anne: 😉

    sophie: Yup. Hospitals are a bit like parking garages in that everything looks similar. I usually keep a low-tech GPS with me at all times to keep calm (it’s a piece of paper with an arrow pointing downward and above the arrow are the comforting words, “YOU ARE HERE”).

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  6. ARGH! I am one of those poor souls who will get SO turned around in a hospital. It’ll take me days to find my way out. And I’ll stop and ask directions like 4 times and each time someone will get me even more lost than before. You’d have a field day with me…

    Oh, and breadcrumbs? How about a sherpa?

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  7. You guys should paint lines on the floor like in a hospital. Like “follow the green line for accounting” and “follow the yellow line to the bathroom.”

    Then you wouldn’t have to get up to help.

    Found you via Zube Girl- great site!

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  8. terri: That would depend on how long it took you to find it and if you were desperate enough to use one of the pots of cacti as an emergency exit.

    paintingchef: That gives me an idea. Now that our currency isn’t as favourable as before, the tourist trade is beginning to taper off a bit. There must be a few surplus tour guides looking to supplement their income.

    me-Liz: Thanks 🙂 Hmm. I’ve just realised that you may be referring to the worthy commenters above and not to me at all…

    anon: It would probably be worth a try if there was at least some logic to our building layout, but I suspect our floors would end up looking like a large Jackson Pollock canvas.

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  9. I work in a hospital and it just happens that outside of my door there is two intersecting hallways where half of the people who get lost in the hospital stand. Always the same look, staring up in the air.

    Jess
    Monkeyzine.com

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  10. jess: I can just picture the scene. You could rent out the space to religious groups who like to distribute pamphlets with ‘Are You Lost?’ printed in bold at the top.

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