Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Can Get My Own Towel, Thankyouverymuch

I wish I was Jerry Seinfeld.

"So what's the deal with bathroom attendants at fancy restaurants and bars?"

Really, I want to know. Why do establishments have them? It doesn't add to the experience. It just adds stress.

Last Friday, my husband and I went with another couple to House of Blues in downtown Cleveland. (We had a great time, thank you G & K) On return from the bathroom, we were notified by our friend that there was an attendant there. Damn. It's been so long since I have been out. So, being pregnant, I have to make sure I can cover my visits to the loo. I didn't bring a purse because we were seeing a standing room only show. So, I had to ask my husband for a dollar.

I know I don't have to pay this lady. I know. I know. But, I also know that I will make countless trips and will feel like such a schmuck if I don't pay up at some point. So, I grab a dollar and try to work out a strategy with my friend as when to pay up. Luckily my friend got wind of a shift change. We didn't want to pay the first shift lady only to see the second shift lady the rest of the evening.

Restaurants and bars probably use the attendant to add class. I don't really agree. It just drives me crazy. I can get my own paper towel and soap. I have been doing it my entire life. They probably also use them to keep the bathrooms a little cleaner. When people are drinking, the bathrooms can get pretty nasty. I don't even want to tell you what I have seen people do to a sink. So, just by having someone there, it makes people behave a little better than they would if they were alone. It may cut down on drug use, smoking (now that it is illegal in restaurants in Ohio) and maybe even trysts.

All this aside, it just is not comfortable for the guest of the establishment. I feel guilty as someone spending money while this person is struggling to make ends meet by working as an attendant. It is just uncomfortable. So, at some point, the guilt overwhelms me and I toss in the $1.

So, bars and restaurants, please do me a favor and just employ someone to check the bathrooms throughout the night. I am guessing that a large percentage of your customers really could do without the bathroom attendant. Maybe I will start putting a tip jar in my bathroom at home. I clean it often and I even wipe butts. I could even put out some mints. That should be worth a tip, right?


kel said...

So, I'm always does one go about getting such a they put an add out for the position or do you go in somewhere and say "I'd like to sit in your bathrooms and give people soap and stuff...maybe spray a little airfreshener." :)

Jessica said...

I've never been anywhere that there has been a restroom attendant, however, I think I would feel the same. AWK.WARD.

TUC said...

I totally agree with you. And, I wonder what kind of establishment owner thinks a "working for tips" bathroom attendant is a good idea. They may as well charge you to use the loo. However, I would rather awkwardly toss in my dollar than get stuck peeing in a pigsty!

Kat said...

I've never been in a bathroom with an attendant. It seems so odd. Hmm.

MIT Mommy said...

Brings back some interesting memories.

I don't recall seeing an attendant when I was at House of Blues, but we went on a Sunday afternoon. I think my only trip to the loo was with Gladys.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way too! I always hate when there is a bathroom attendant! I agree the bathroom does stay cleaning, but you feel guilty if you don't put somthing in the jar everytime.

The worst is if you have ever been sick to your stomach and had an attendant in the bathroom- now that is embarrassing!

SHONK said...

Ya that is the one thing I don't like about Germany here. Its like A Germans have a lot of money or B they don't go to the bathroom. Every bathroom costs money. I don't carry a 50 cent piece or a euro on me so I hold it as long as I can. If I am going to buy a drink and some food from the place atleast let me go to the bathroom for free.

Worst ones are the ones at the Train Station that have machines. B/c you can't walk past them and act like you didn't see them standing there. O well

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