Don’t Show Up With aFull Diaper


It’s true. I often keep a box of diapers at my desk. Open, with a single diaper lifted slightly, inviting a potential taker like a comforting tissue protruding from a box of kleenex. A raised tissue is a bold shout to those in need, “Take me!” To the crier it says: “Turn on the waterworks. I’ll dry your tears and comfort you.” It’s a soft-spoken lull to the dripping nose: “Go ahead.. snot it up. I got you.”

But, what of the diaper? What message does it send? “Don’t bother getting up. Don’t head to the toilet, just let it rip?!”

A diaper is more utility than comfort. Once a diaper has fulfilled its core mission, the shelf life of its utility rapidly dwindles. If you require a fresh one, then it’s a foregone conclusion that you have either soiled or teed yourself, and its only a matter of time before you’re painfully uncomfortable sitting in a temporary garment full of human waste.

This invariably leads to infantile approaches of crying, kicking, screaming, all meant to inspire someone else to provide a new diaper and a comforting hiney-wipe.

And here’s where it gets tricky. The bigger the hiney, the more odious the wiping chore. Dainty little cheeks peeking out from humble Huggies in a nursery crib invite a soft and motherly wipe, even when the Huggies carry a mighty load. The soft scent of baby is still in there, and its easy to tune into one’s nurturing pulse as you make quick work of the wipe, the powder, and the fresh nappy. Nursery rhymes jingle. Dainty kittens and furry lambs dance in unison to the golden promise of infancy. A freshly powdered bottom rests gently in a new diaper, laying soft against organic cotton bed linens- freshly laundered and crisp for the occassion.

As hiney cheeks blossom into full assery, the more elusive and distant the dancing kittens and lambs become. The sweet music of the baby nursery is replaced by the drone of repetition and the only animals heard are the brays of donkeys, in a daunting chorale led by Lampwick from the Island of Toys. The nursery is now a sterile conference room with sales forecasts projected onto a big screen for your digestion and submission. The tinkling mobile that danced over the crib is now a veritble array of sticky notes— unharvested insights from stakeholders that will make their way into bold mission statements, core values, and doodles on corporate box lunch napkins. Who had the tuna? I thought you were getting veggie. Damnit Bob, you took the last Diet Coke. I’ve always hated you. Whatever, Lisa. Why don’t you go steal one from the client fridge, like you always do?

And maybe this is where it starts for some. That little rumble. That pang in the lower abdomen stabs and beckons. 20% top line growth? Over our stretch targets from last year that we missed by 18%? …. rumble, rumble.

For others, the full diaper manifests not from the actual content on the big screen but from the content engagement of their gentle colleagues across the conference room table. Marketing Mary and Product Paul talk loudly over one another, making passionate points of nothingness about the client purchase order that waits in the wings unsigned and full of promise. Their not so subtle misalignment sends another girgle of gastronomic activity towards the nether regions of diaper-coverage.

In still other cases, the diaper fills from malaise, a trickle of biologic function that is a by product of boredom and discontent.

A full diaper on grown ass-cheeks appeals to practically no one. And yet, there is an abundance of kicking, screaming, crying bodies- all wearing full diapers. Diapers are cradled around fully matured buttocks, venerable vestments of a more innocent time. The ass-cheeks, attached to human forms, are wandering through the workplace, overcommitting and under delivering, ill-focused and off-point, stumbling through presentations, shouting from the lectern. They are hunched over desks, all housed within incandescent caverns— flourescent-lit dream factories, wrapped in full diapers of malcontent and need.

Big eyes search for the fresh powder, a fresh box of diapers and a magical Mary Poppins who will hiney-wipe with a song and some tough but tender turn of phrase and send them on their way to their next meeting.

I’ve accepted this costuming of human condition for years. Its a daunting dilemna predicated on nurture and need, both of which are supposed to get sublimated during the workday, but never do.

If you look, you’ll see the diaper box on my desk. There is one gentle diaper, slightly protruding from the top. It calls to you. You may take one or two, as often as you like. But, there’s no hiney-wipe available, and its “BYOP”- bring your own powder. And now.. off with you to your 2:00 p.m. meeting, it’s in the big conference room with the projector.

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