*Note: hang in there on this post. It might, in the end, be worth it. 

The Manager is pleased to report that our two-year employee has made great strides over the past few weeks in learning to use the Employee Rest Room. She's moved on from both previously outlined Incentive Programs, the Happy Birthday Song/Candle Routine and the Penny Paycheck Plan, and will settle for simple applause and other enthusiastic remarks. 

More and more, though, the payoff has become Doing It All Herself, which has in turn led Management and Employee to a crossroads. 

Note that: 
*The employee can pee on the small potty. 
*If we stay at the office all day, the employee has very few accidents. (Knock on wood.)
*But during this process, the employee is not wearing the bottom half of her uniform. 
*The employee is as yet unable, in spite of training sessions and encouragement from The Manager, to dress or undress herself in the employee uniform. 
*Management knows the employee uniform skills will come with training and time, but also notes the employee's own frustration and impatience in not yet achieving these goals. 

Also note that: 
*The employee has used the big toilet a few times. 
*The employee brings the little potty over to the toilet to empty it every time, insists that she do it herself, carrying it and everything. 
*The employee can climb down from the toilet using the step stool with some level of skill, but lacks full confidence. 
*The employee requires assistance climbing up onto the big toilet, although she usually requests to get down shortly afterward, and/or requests several items be brought to her, such as training manuals, K.La, etc., indicating that she really wishes she did not require Managerial assistance in any part of this task. 

The crux of the issue is that: 
*K.Lo has pooped on the little potty a few times.
*K.Lo has pooped on the big potty once, nearly by accident. (It's a long story.) 
*K.Lo has had a few pooping accidents near but not on the potty. 
*K.Lo dances and circles anxiously around the little potty and then the toilet, every time she wants to poop, but can't settle down enough to poop. 
*K.Lo screams bloody murder when she actually poops. 

According to managerial training materials:
*Some employees feel as though they are losing a part of themselves when they poop, which can be scary. 
*Some employees, for various reasons, may associate pooping with pain. 

In response, The Manager: 
*Has been consistent with comforting the employee, giving hugs and talking calmly when the employee starts running in circles, screaming, and/or having an accident. 
*Has played the part of Motivational Speaker and Team Spirit Coordinator in regards to all successes on the potty. 
*Draws the line a bit (i.e. walks away, gives employee "space") when K.Lo becomes completely consumed with anxious indecision, and/or is completely unresponsive to communication efforts. 
*Puts the employee back in her Pull-Ups as requested. 
*Offers encouragement such as, "Everybody poops," and "It's okay, accidents happen." 

Training sessions involving poop have recently escalated to the point where K.Lo interjects her own self-consolations, weeping dramatically while on the potty, "Everybody poops!" and "It's gonna happen!" meaning "accidents." She wails and cries and repeats these phrases at top volume. The Manager finds the scene to be alternately hilarious and pitiful. She tries very hard not to laugh in front of the employee, and to console the employee as the employee allows. 

The issue is, so far, getting worse before it's getting better. The Manager knows it will get better, eventually, so long as managerial tactics remain sympathetic, yet sensible and consistent. The Manager does not suspect anything is physically wrong with K.Lo, that the issue is more in the employee's head. 

In the meantime, after today's training session ended with the employee back in Pull-Ups to poop, and after she calmed down enough (took a few hours) to actually do so, the entire office gathered in the cafeteria for a company meal. K.Lo was, as one would expect, in a much better mood as she ate her pasta with tomato sauce, and awarded The Manager with many polite comments regarding the Kitchen Staff's cooking. 

Then, near the end of the meal, K.Lo regarded the CEO's plate, which contained the same pasta with a side of Italian sausage. "See poop!" K.Lo said cheerfully, and smirked. To which the Managerial Staff nearly fell out of the chairs, The Manager unable, at last, to retain any semblance of composure. 

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7 peanuts:
  1. Megan says:

    Oh, my, a whole post about poop! It is so tough with employees just learning to use the employee rest room... But the remark in the cafeteria is absolutely hysterical!

  1. penelope says:

    I know. Normally I don't approve of so much poop in a post, but I thought the comment at the end warranted the buildup. For the readers who hang in there (all 3 of you!), the payoff will be worth it!

  1. Stephkimbro says:

    We had the same issue at our office with fear of pooping in the potty. My daughter used to run away and hide to do the deed when she was in diapers. She really wants her privacy - and who can blame her?

    I've been reading "Everyone Poops" to her a hundred times and finally yesterday my daughter came up to me to let me know she had to go and was able relax enough to poop on there. My point: I think it just takes them time to get comfortable with it. Thanks for posting about the things that several of us are dealing with. We are so proud of our little pooper troupers.

    I'll sign off with a quote from the classic: "All living things eat, so Everyone Poops." *sigh*

  1. it was totally worth it, though the payoff for me is in the bizarrity of the reaction to bodily function. its actually revelatory that so much trauma is associated- yes, both pitiable and downright hilarious. i mean what is THAT about! it definitely warrants further posts as to employee progress. i had no idea.

  1. with such awesome progress, there has to be a stumbling block...otherwise we would all hate you for it happening so fast and well! ;)
    Our employee can undress himself, though when sitting on the potty insists on having nothing on his lower half...thus by the time he is undressed whatever was going to happen in said potty has already happened in the diaper...sigh...
    again... the laughing with non-exsistent ab muscles is not so easy...though there was warning, so my bad! but pretty hilarious... will never eat itlaian sausage again!!! (not that i really did in the first place!)
    holy monkey the password thingy is like 171340791875 letters long!

  1. almost anonymous says:

    That's hysterical. I had no idea there was so much anxiety related to pooping on the potty. But the comment at the table...Hee.

  1. Andria says:

    I fully agree with Erin. .things were going so well and quickly for you, there *might* have been some resentment from other companies that are still really struggling with this whole damn process! So, it's good to post about all the struggles you are experiencing as well. Although, I hate that it's so traumatic for K.Lo. I had read about these issues, too, but Dellaina never really experienced it - she's been the opposite, pooping right from the beginning and it took a while to get her to pee in the potty. Now, she goes consistently whenever she is on the potty and will usually tell us when she needs to go stinky, but we just can NOT seem to get her to keep her PullUps dry in between. And I'm at a complete loss at what to do differently. ugh. [sorry, for the long venting comment.]