In the Spring of 2008 I took on a second job at the recently opened Debenhams store in Liverpool. My friends and I had booked a weeks holiday in Ibiza for the end of the summer and I wished to have one big burnout without financial constraint. I'd finish my office job at 4.30 pm and then wander down to Debenhams to do a shift from 6 till 10. I planned on doing the job for three months until the holiday, when I would quit.
My role was that of order picker. Our team of 10 or so would amble around the back storeroom replenishing the days stock. The rest of the team comprised of kids that were less than half my age. I can only assume that the bosses expected me to take on a leadership role given my seniority. How wrong they were. Throw me in a room with people of any age and I automatically become that age. Be it kindergarten kids or old folks. Needless to say, it was like somebody had transported me back to the mid 80s and I was a 16 year old again dicking around like I had done back in the day.
The way things worked in the store room went as follows. We'd print out a list of stuff to be picked and then grab a cart to put it in. Once the sheet was complete we'd go back to the computer to get a new one. In theory this should have been easy enough but I was working with a bunch of youngsters employed for the first time. Their desire to do nothing outweighed their desire to work by some considerable margin, and it was safe to say that more than one of them was on the rob.
The layout of our picking area was a little higgeldy piggeldy. There seemed to be little rooms branching off all over the place, and the toilet was right down the far end of the corridor down by the canteen. This was most inconvenient for a short time until I found a short cut through some double doors in the training room. Result! I thought, this cuts a good minute off the amount of time that it takes me to get to the shitter. Those who know me well will know that I like to hang on to my shits for as long as possible to get the maximum pleasure out of them. I'm talking erect nipples and goose bumps all over my body. Years of this malpractice means that I can time my toilet stops to perfection.
So this particular evening I'm pushing my cart around the store room, making idle banter with the youngsters and trying to avoid the eye of the supervisor, when I am hit by the sudden urge to shit. That's fine, I think to myself, the secret door is going to buy me another five minutes of this pleasurable experience. With this in mind I casually saunter around without a care in the world while soaking up the excitement within.
When the feeling becomes no longer bearable I head for my newly discovered short cut. I've got plenty of time to get to the toilet, who know's I may even grab my book from the locker on the way. But all is not good. When I get to the door it is locked. I peer through the glass and to my dismay I see that there is a meeting going on in the training room. Fuck! this is far from ideal. Plan B is put into action.
Plan B is an ill thought out contingency plan made up on the spur of the moment. It goes as follows. Run like fuck, as fast as you possibly can while holding your arse cheeks together and trying not to offload on the way to your destination. Any doors that get in your way must be kicked very hard and don't stop to talk to anybody on the way no matter what they have to say to you. And it seems to be going quite well, until I'm halfway down the final corridor well in sight of the men's room. That's when it all comes unstuck (for want of a better expression).
I've been touching cloth since I left the double doors. The turtles head has well and truly been pushed out. I think that I have the situation under control, images of my porcelain chalice filling my every thought. But this is to be my downfall, I relax 20 seconds too early and the turtle is ejected from its hiding place with some force. With so much force in fact that it manages to squeeze its way out of my underpants, down my leg and out of the bottom of my trousers.
I am aware that something weird just fell out of the bottom of my trousers but I don't want to believe the truth. My only thought is to leave the scene of the crime as fast as possible. I'll disown my faecal matter and pretend that somebody else did if anybody should challenge me. However, it suddenly strikes me as I enter the gents toilet that there is without doubt going to be CCTV cameras in the corridor. Shit, what am I going to do? There's nothing for it but to retrieve the offending item.
With stealth I run down the corridor and with one foul swoop I pick up the solid brown matter before depositing it in my pocket. Fortunately, nobody is around or I would have been caught brown handed. But the drama is not over! What should I do with it? My head is all over the place now and I can hear my own heart as it pumps blood through my veins. The pressure is so intense that it takes a second for me to realise that I am running away from the toilets, which are my only chance of salvaging this dreadful situation. I turn on my axis and make a dart for them.
As I am entering the toilet a bunch of people emerge from the canteen and head my way. Blinded by sheer panic I run to my locker, open it up and throw the turd in. There's no hiding the smell though. I can only pray that it does not become too overpowering. I wash my hands thoroughly and return to the storeroom.
"Have you farted lad", I'm asked repeatedly by little Jamie for the next few hours.
The turd lies undiscovered and is deposited in the toilet as soon as I am brave enough to perform the manoeuvre.
I live to shit another day.