Earlier today, Candice Nguyen escaped from work for a quick bathroom break. Upon opening the stall door, she entered an enchanted world where she could endlessly check her phone.
“At first it seemed to be an ordinary bathroom door leading to a public toilet,” says Nguyen. “When I walked through I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had entered a magical world of rolling green hills, beautiful mountain ranges and dozens of my coworkers all wandering around, checking their phones free from reprimand.”
Nguyen’s workplace has a strict policy against employees checking their phones. To get around this, Nguyen went to the bathroom – a place she believed no one could stop her from mindlessly checking Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Instead, she stumbled into a fantastical realm beyond this one.
“I’ve been returning to this place for years,” says Laura Kingsley, Nguyen’s coworker. “The first time I passed through the stall doors I nearly cried. I had thought, ‘I’m just going to pee really quickly,’ but the bathroom I walked into was no ordinary bathroom. It was a portal into a beautiful world where magic exists, and people can check their phones as long as they want without fear, or a write-up from our manager, Ral.”
The rules of the magical realm remain unclear. It appears to be accessible only via bathroom stall, and permits its inhabitants up to five minutes of completely uninterrupted phone-time.
“Time passes differently beyond the bathroom door,” says Nguyen. “Five minutes feel more like an hour when you’re not worried about anyone catching you looking at animal videos. Constraints on your ability to watch stuff like a hedgehog floating in a bathtub don’t exist here, and it makes time feel limitless.”
Nguyen’s manager, Ral Schaefer, remains only moderately aware of what his employees do when they disappear into the bathroom.
“They’re peeing, right? Or pooping?” Schaefer guesses.
“Ral can’t see the same world as us since he can already check his phone freely,” explains Kingsley. “The bathroom portal only works for those who need someplace to text that’s not under their desk, or hidden in their purse. That’s the beauty and the magic of it.”
At the conclusion of the interview, Nguyen could be seen exiting the bathroom, smiling and more relaxed than she had been before. A long line had formed in front of the door, but it didn’t matter to her – she was returning to work having tasted true freedom.