More White People Problems

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

There are some technologies and practices that, as they get passed by the constant change of the faster, more powerful, great convenience, become almost quaint.  Winding wrist watches come to mind.  As do rowboats (shrug). One carry-over from the past that I thoroughly do not approve of is bathroom attendants.

I’m not saying they don’t do a job.  If there is a bathroom attendant present, the chances are certainly much greater that you will have a clean john to greet you.  And that has value.  But, for the sake of argument, lets put the pro of a clean stall up against these cons.

1.    Worst job in the entire fucking universe.  Ok, hyperbole aside, spending one’s whole work day inside (for the sake of a more visceral example, you can picture me going into the charlotte airport bathroom today) a large row of toilets is horrible.  Its horrible.  Especially (close your eyes if you don’t like the gross stuff) airport bathrooms where people are cycling through, dropping kids off at the pool and getting on out of there.  The effect is  . . .well . . . smelly.  Not only that but you are expected to greet and say goodbye to all users.  And, in said welcome, you are also subtly trying to ask patrons of the bathroom (foreshadowing) to drop you a buck as much because your life is sucking as for the work you are doing.  There are worse jobs.  I have done them.  Maintaining the kibbutz sewer system was worse.  But it was also less humiliating.  At least when I was wading in poo only my coworkers were laughing at me.  Just don’t expect to see me handing you a towel as you are washing up from your bowel movement any time soon.

2.   Nobody wants to socialize in the bathroom.  There are once again exceptions.  Co-ed bathrooms and showers in college led to great harmonizing, community building, and a better understanding of gender.  Also, sometimes, I will enter a bathroom with a group of friends, and there will be simultaneous peeing and merriment.  Not often. 

At almost all other times, silence is golden.  I don’t want to be greeted entering the bathroom.  I’m ok being incognito about my bathroom needs (this blog seems to make that statement a boldface lie—but you get me).  I can get my own towel, I have never used aftershave or mouthwash when exiting a public bathroom (and I don’t see that changing), and I rarely go to the nearest bathroom to share any hot news flash.  Even a talker like myself is ok with a little quiet time in the potty room.

3.   I do not enjoy, or like being seen, as a bathroom patron.  I hate the whole concept.  I mean, should I really need money to take a pee.  Or rather, should I feel like I should need money to go to the bathroom?  No.  No no no.  This is different from those 50 cents to use gas station bathrooms (the fee is for use not cleanliness—obviously).  I can go to the bathroom, start to finish, by myself.  The idea that by placing another human in the bathroom that we can turn everyone’s need to use lavatories into another revenue stream (pee pun), is frankly a bit disconcerting.   Maybe I should point out to these geniuses of business that excrement makes great fertilizer, and that they should be paying ME for my service of providing them with free fertilizer.  Wouldn’t you like to see a video of that conversation?  Me too.

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