The Toilet Decides: My New Co-worker


Work makes me depressed. Chronic indecision can be a symptom of depression. Thus, for me, the importance of making decisions about work falls somewhere between having a conversation with a particularly nihilistic postal worker, and those numbers in the corner of your driver’s license, and is something I generally loathe. No matter what I choose, the result will almost certainly be shit. This is where you come in. Your single click can change my life. Through the power of the Toilet ov Hell community my fate will be chosen. My tomb, sealed.

Today I’m asking for your valued opinion, by means of a simple vote, to determine who I should appoint as my offsider at work. The ramifications of this poll are as real as the pain of existence. Before I go through the three candidates and ask for your decision, I will preface with a brief description of what my job entails.

My job predominantly involves working in small crews, typically just one other person. From the moment I get to the depot, we find out where we’re going and drive a truck/ute/gondola to the job site. As some of these jobs are up to two or more hours away, this ends up becoming a lot of time spent in a vehicle with someone I’d rather not be isolated with, had I a choice in the matter. I’m sure they feel the same. The music on these drives becomes a focal point of your time. Once on site, the job doesn’t exactly require your synapses to fire at blistering speeds like the double-bass of an infernal black metal drummer; I’ve seen quite a few come and go whose minds clearly operate at a pace more akin to funeral doom. Nevertheless, having someone who can at least spell the word “belt” (*) is always a bonus.

The company performs property maintenance, which covers a surprisingly large variety of tasks. My role is primarily Native Bushland Regeneration, i.e. – cutting down noxious/introduced species of tree/plant and replanting with endemic species. It’s a job that only seems important to scientists/ecologists, “Greenies,” and certain hippy sects. So, nobody with money. We also do a bunch of landscaping work and other mundane shit. The work is quite physical, and if you’re paired up with someone who is lazy, you end up picking up the slack, along with a variety of rage induced aneurysm-like brain issues. If the job doesn’t get completed, the blame falls squarely on me. Having a good working relationship with the co-worker can make all the difference to both my mental and physical health. Therefore, I will be using only the most pertinent parameters, upon which you will base your final decision.

The Candidates

#1 – “Silent Bob”

Age: About 40 (around a decade older than me).

Skill/Aptitude: He has worked in this industry previously and is quite skilled in almost every area required. I don’t have to show him how to do much and can trust that he’ll do an adequate job most of the time.

Music Taste: On his first day with me, a Metallica song came on the radio, and he mentioned he’d seen a cover performed by some kids on YouTube that he described as “awesome.” So when I followed this up and asked what music he was into, he responded with “I don’t really listen to music.” He may as well be dead.

Intellect & Demeanour:  He’s no dummy and can hold a conversation. He knows our job sucks and is comparably grumpy to me most of the time.

Summary: While he may be skilled, he doesn’t work very hard. He may do a decent job, but takes his time. Possibly a dishonest type that will try and get away with anything he can. Not a bad dude, but the music thing really sours things. I mean fuck, if you listen to ABBA/Kid Rock/Power Metal, just come out and say it!


#2 – “The Disposable Hero”

Age: 18 (mental age possibly lower).

Skill/Aptitude: Moderate. He says he’s done this type of work before and knows what he’s doing, but the results so far are questionable. Can run the equipment but has already broken some of it.

Musical Taste: Often has one ear-bud in listening to something. The other day I could hear “MASTER! MASTER! Where’s the dreams that I’ve been after?” coming from his free ear-bud. Potential redeeming feature?

Intellect & Demeanour: A fool. Yes, he’s young but he’s docile as fuck. My few attempts to strike a conversation with him have proved futile. He wants to talk about things but essentially has no idea how to do it. I don’t have the patience to try anymore.

Summary: He’s pretty clueless about basically everything, which while frustrating, could be a good thing as while he’s still young it might be easier to somehow mould him into a decent worker.


#3 Slim Shady

Age: Around my age.

Skill/Aptitude: Previously worked in a bar and has little to no experience in the field. Willing to learn and asks questions.

Musical Taste: My work phone rang while he was in the truck and I was finishing a job. Upon my return he said “I think your phone rang before,” to which I quizzically replied “Oh?”, which he followed with “I think so, I heard some heavy rock playing.” My ringtone is the track posted below. Heavy rock. My fears were realised the next day when he was working with his phone playing music from his pocket. Eminem. Then the day later, Eminem. The day after that, Eminem… but louder.

Intellect & Demeanour: He’s no genius but clearly not an idiot either. Even though our interests are quite disparate we have already had some funny conversations regardless. He has an easy-going nature and seems like he’s honest.

Summary: Barring his inexperience, he seems like a great fit, but will the real Slim Shady stand up?

Above – “Heavy rock”.

So, I’m leaving it up to you fine people to decide, as I don’t want to. Who would you choose in this situation? Whichever candidate gets the most votes will have the displeasure of working with me until either one of us commits sudoku.

Who would you pick?
Does music play a pivotal role in your time at work? I know some of you can listen freely, but I’m sure there are a bunch of you who have stricter workplace rules. Have you ever had to go to extreme lengths to sneak in a listen to a new track/album? Let’s hear about them below in the comments. I know Dr Dagon has just begun performing autopsies, and he is forbidden from even playing a little Mental Funeral, the injustice!

* = Seriously, a guy at work whose role includes writing out a daily job activity report had a disagreement with 2 other workers on how to spell “belt.” “Nah, it has an ‘e’ at the end”… Fuck.

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