Thursday, February 29, 2024

Unlit Stall Thoughts

A few weeks ago I was in a bathroom stall at work, playing some Freecell, passing a little time and a little gas. Not much else though. Suddenly, the lights went out. 

After that split-second of low-grade confusion, I realized that I was the only person in the bathroom, and the facility's motion detector must have shut off the lights when it didn't detect anyone moving. I certainly wasn't doing much moving (in more ways than one).

My thoughts went towards how you might add sensors in the stalls or even the toilets. Those sensors could communicate to the lights that there were people inside who couldn't move but were nonetheless present. It could do double-duty by tracking stall usage.

But then my thoughts went towards the ancient times. How did people go to the bathroom at night before there were lights? Did they just stumble around their unlit homes? Did they fire up a candle? What about prehistoric times? Did people just wake up in the night then wander nearby to relieve themselves? They would likely be concerned about predators.

My thoughts finally settled back towards mid-2021, back to when COVID was starting to fade away. Nearly four years later, my office building is a small fraction of its former population. How long before someone else walks into this bathroom? I waved my arms, but that didn't trigger the lights. 

Just as I started to think practically about finishing up in the dark, someone else walked in. The lights came on. I thought about how this person might have calculated he had the whole bathroom to himself, but then  realized another person was here, sitting in the dark. He went into anoter stall, and then I made my way out, into the light.

Bathroom from Post

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