Claustrophobia is something many people suffer, the thought of being stuck in a confined space invoking fear and a cold sweat…
Now, I’ll say upfront that fortunately I don’t seem to suffer from this affliction, but it was put to the test only a day or so ago.
It was like any other work day, normal in fact, nothing untoward happening in the world to affect currency markets, in all reality it was shaping up as a rather boring day. So mid-morning I decided to pop down to the café located in the foyer area of the building I work in to get my toast and vegemite fix for the day.
The bread was perfectly toasted and it had just the right amount of vegemite spread evenly over its golden brown surface, I couldn’t wait to get back to my trading position with my little brown bag containing this little slice of heavenly delight.
I headed back through the turnstiles and toward the lift that provides access to our financial markets dealing room.
The doors opened, I stepped inside and swiped my pass, pressed level two, all mindlessly of course, after all, I’ve done it a thousand times, right?
Strewth, there was this realisation that nothing was going on, the lift wasn’t moving. I swiped my pass again, pressed the button and gave it no more thought, but the lift was not responding.
Geez, talk about being just a little annoyed, my toast was going cold and soggy…
I don’t usually wear a watch, so time appeared to be suspended and moving at half-pace as I pressed the little button marked with a telephone.
Well stone the crows, it was a very pleasant sounding young lady, yes a real person, who asked where I was.
This lady was my salvation and I expected she’d be pressing buttons to get this thing going as we spoke…
Geez, it doesn’t work that way it seems, but she promised to get back to me very shortly to let me know what was going on – good, I thought, I’m not going anywhere!
So, I had a little picnic, of sorts, and devoured my toast like a man possessed.
“Hello, are you still there?”
I looked around in case someone had planted one of those candid camera things, nope, no camera.
“Yes I’m still here, I did think about popping out for a breath of fresh air, but thought I’d better wait for your call”… I replied.
I’m sure she’d heard all the gags before, but I thought it might be just the thing to break the ice in our developing relationship.
“Our engineer is on his way and should be there in about 15 minutes.”
“Great”… I replied,
And thinking that I hope he is running, because that litre of water I drank about 30 minutes ago was filling my bladder faster than a couple of schooners of beer on a Friday night!
Strewth, my mind was racing now. What if it takes him 30 minutes, would it be acceptable for me to pee my pants?
I mean, people would understand, surely?
You know, once they understood my predicament they’d cut me some slack, NOT!
Hell, I’d be the laughing stock on the trading floor forever…
I could just see it, every time I was spotted heading towards a lift the call would go out…
“Hey Baz, don’t forget your pee bucket.”
They say men have weak bladders, and women are much better at holding it in…
Oh my gawd, to be a woman right now, I thought!
“Sir, can you hear me? Are you still there?”
“Yes, I can hear you.”
I was just flipping out over a bladder problem, and wishing I was a woman I mused to myself…
“Our man has just called in and is only a few minutes away…”
Hallelujah, I thought, I won’t need to pee in my pants after all.
“Is there anything I can get you?”
I had to stop and think about that one for a second or two.
She did ask is there anything she can get me, didn’t she?
I mean, what was I supposed to say?
Hell yeah…“could I get a Big Mac with a side of fries and a coke to go while I wait?”
It was one of those moments when you think to yourself, nah, I didn’t really hear that, surely!
Anyway, the doors opened, and I bolted out of that lift faster than Usain Bolt comes out his blocks…
And was that toast and vegemite worth it – you bet it was!