Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Bathrooms For Dummies

“Where’s the bathroom?”

This question comes at least five times a day no matter how large or brightly decorated the signs are. The sheer repetition of this question used to grate on my nerves but recently I have found new joy in answering it. We found out the hard way that some people are too shy to ask and take matters into their own hands.

A few months ago we stumbled upon a…surprise…by the emergency exit. An ominous pile was resting quietly on the floor. Perhaps the sign was misinterpreted? We all ended up investigating it because we just couldn’t bring ourselves to believe that it was what we thought it was. We all came up with wild alternatives involving smuggled animals or people raised by wolves.
Yet, none of those psyche-preserving stories could alter the fact that someone had crapped on the floor.

Now I quite eagerly show people where the bathroom is and am grateful that they asked. So much for instincts.

An occasion only slightly less horrible but sadly more prevalent came a couple of years ago when a pale faced patron quietly approached the desk and informed us that someone had “missed” in the men’s room. I’d never been so glad to be female in my entire life. It didn’t matter that I routinely checked the men’s room at night when we were closing, I blatantly played the modest young lady card and turned expectantly toward my male co-worker (he owed me, this guy never worked). Grim faced, he grudgingly accepted his manly obligation and went into the bathroom. He was back in only seconds but his face was ashen and there was a haunted quality to his eyes.
Me: Well, how bad is it?
Jack: ...
Me: That bad?
Jack: ..yea...
Me: Number 1 or 2?
Jack: ..(flinch)........2.....
Me: Should we call the janitor or would you like to clean it up?(Did I mention that this deadbeat only played on the computer all day long and always looked to the rest of us whenever someone asked him a question? Naturally some retaliation was required.)
Jack: .....I’ll call the janitor......
Me: I’m not sure they’re still here (it’s nighttime), are you sure it’s that bad? (Squirm, you worm, squirm!)
Jack: (emphatic nodding)

PTSD at its best. This guy wouldn’t talk for the rest of the evening and looked really queasy for a couple of hours. I guess some patrons are just overachievers.


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