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Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Bathroom Attendant: Why?

I want to question the city phenomenon that is known as the bathroom attendant. They are people hired by the restaurant/bar to sit in a bathroom, offer people paper towels and sell a variety of mints/gum/tampons/mouthwash, etc.  In other words?  It's weird.

I've been in the dingiest of Chicago bars that have bathroom attendants. So instead of investing in a better ambiance, the bar decides the best business decision is hiring someone to sit in the pooper.

On Friday night, Mike and I went out to dinner with some friends.  I left to go to the bathroom so I left my purse at the table.  When I opened the restroom door, there was a very friendly looking woman standing there, and she greeted me with a pleasant "hello."  While I was going potty, she was talking to another woman in the bathroom.  The other patron (very clearly drunk) was saying, "I'm on a fwirst date...and we's doing shawts of Patron.  Me very drunksh."  The bathroom attendant laughed and chatted with her like they were BFF's.

When I came out to wash my hands, the attendant was ready for me with two paper towels in hand.  I started feeling bad that I didn't have my wallet, therefore, no money to give her.  Then I thought, wait a minute, I can clearly get a paper towel myself, so why do I have to pay a dollar to do so?

I then looked at the candy bowl, and I was about to grab a mint, but there was a handwritten note inside, describing the bathroom attendant "Sheila" and how she depends on tips to make a living, so if you take something, you should donate money.  I quickly pulled my hand out of the jar...empty.

Here's the thing...who wants this job???  Sure, I've been unemployed in my life (as you know), but I'm pretty sure I'd rather work at McDonald's than sit in a bathroom all day.  Can you imagine the smells?  The sounds?  Ick.

To any restaurant owners reading this: Do away with the bathroom attendants, seriously.  It's annoying to feel like you need to give a buck for a hand towel, and there are times when a girl needs to pass a little gas, but it's much harder with someone standing right there.  Sheesh.  (That's what I've heard of course, I wouldn't know myself.)

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