To celebrate my third month as a mildly successful freelance marketing professional, I’ve decided to start a blog series quantifying some of the lessons I’ve learned working at marketing agencies. I hope that my stories are helpful or entertaining to those in the marketing field, but really, I write these as a show of appreciation for the positions, employers, and coworkers that helped make me the guy I am today.
Don’t Drink From Public Water Fountains
This is not a clickbait headline and it’s not a joke—I’m literally advising you not to drink out of public water fountains. I’m choosing death by dehydration 10/10 times before I’ll ever drink from one again. Let’s back up a bit.
Two years ago, this was not my position. In fact, I’ve been drinking from public water fountains ever since I was a little kid. Part of me is like “Screw you yuppies and your plastic water bottles—I’ll do it the old-fashioned way!”
Until I saw a homeless guy washing his junk in the water fountain outside Tytanium Ideas.
Yes, a water fountain I drank from no more than 2 weeks prior to the incident.
Well, to be honest, I didn’t actually see it. Here’s the scene:
I’m in the office in Lincoln, CA at 8AM, doing marketing agency work things. A coworker enters, clearly in a state of distress but also holding back laughter. She goes on to explain that she had just witnessed a homeless man casually washing his genitals in the water fountain by the bathrooms.
According to my coworker, this bold man couldn’t care less about the public nature of his bathing—his back arched in relaxation from the soothing effects of a freshly rinsed scrotum. It goes without saying that he clearly had little regard for the hygiene (or lack thereof) of the public water fountain.
When things settled down, my coworker had the decency to put a homemade ‘Out of Order’ sign on the fountain, because seriously, what else are you supposed to do in that situation?
A few days later the sign had been removed, likely by the building’s maintenance crew, but who really knows if they cleaned the water fountain? And even if they bleached that thing and brought in a saint to say some things and sprinkle it with holy water, the sanctity of that public water fountain was forever gone—tainted. (giggle)
As an agency, we moved on, but part of my childhood is lost forever—like a loose pubic hair down the drain of a public water fountain.
Lesson: Don’t drink from public water fountains.