This lunchtime, after getting my phone past security, I visited the toilet at the same client’s offices. I was staggered to see a sign above the urinal that had another red ‘No Entry’ sign that said:

‘STOP ! If you wish to use this space, please call Facilities Management on Ext 3131. Reference TZ 864’

So I dutifully stopped, zipped my flies up, walked to the sink and called Ext 3131.

‘Hello. I would like to use the space - reference TZ 864’

‘Hold on. I will just put you through’

[ A good job I wasn’t actually holding on ]

‘Good afternoon. FM, Sheila speaking. How may I help you ?

‘Hello. Norman Brightside here. I would like to use the space at TZ 684’.

‘Oh I see. Do you have a specific campaign in mind ?’

‘Err, well, no. What do you mean by a campaign ?’

‘Well - Recycle more printer cartridges. New deli range available in the Atrium restaurant. Availability of Single Sign On for another 7 IT systems. Discounted dry cleaning. Reinforce the corporate mission statement. That sort of thing.’

‘Oh I see. Well no. This is more of a personal matter.’

‘Oh I see. Well is it to advertise a pub quiz night, five-a-side tournament, sponsored fun run, apartment to let in Portugal, double buggy for sale, tickets for a Chelsea game. That sort of thing’.

‘Well no. Actually I was just hoping to use the, err, facilities here.’

‘Oh I see. Where are you calling from ?’

‘The mens toilets in Block 43.’

‘The mens toilets ?’

‘Err, yes. Just by the sink’

‘And you just want to use the toilets ?’


‘Oh I see. So why did you call me ?’

‘Well the red, no-entry sign said “If you wish to use this space, call FM on Ext 3131”’

‘Oh I see. Well is there a similar sign above the middle urinal ?’


‘OK. Well use that one. Good-bye.’