Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Worthless Profession: Bathroom Attendants

At the Charlotte airport yesterday during our layover I decided to take care of some business in the men's room.  As soon as I walked in, I noticed an African American man sitting on a stool next to a basket of some mouthwash, toothpaste and various other random sundries.  He greeted me and I said "hi" back.  He seemed nice enough but unfortunately he is employed in one of the most annoying job positions out there:  Bathroom Attendant.

When I decide it's time to go freshen up or "take the Cosby Kids to the pool", I have a plan of action from the moment I step in the restroom until I leave and it doesn't involve anyone else assisting me in the process.  I'm perfectly capable of drying my hands by myself and I really don't need any mid-day mouthwash action.  Plus I think it's a bit creepy to have him sitting in the room and listening to/smelling whatever damage goes on in the men's bathroom.  

Maybe some people do enjoy this extra service but I'm more of a do-it-yourself person and I like to interact with service personnel as infrequently as possible.  If I could do all my shopping online (and not talk or converse with an actual person) I would.  I'm getting very close to that becoming a reality too.  To me, a bathroom attendant is just another instance in my daily routine where I am encouraged to tip for a service I don't need.  I felt bad yesterday in making a point of washing my hands away from the attendant so I could dry them myself and not tip him on my way out.  We had just spent our last bit of cash in the Bahamas and I had nothing to tip with anyways.  I do think the bathroom attendant is a little more tolerable when you're drunk though.  At that point, even a random stranger that lives in the bathroom becomes a real good friend.

I know that in this economy, the man I ran into yesterday is fortunate enough to even have that job.  I just don't see the need for bathroom attendants in general though and think they should be outlawed from the national restroom landscape.  One thing I don't know is if this employment opportunity even exists at all in women's restrooms.  I'm guessing no, but I think women would be more apt to get some assistance in the restroom.  I'm counting on my female-laden readership to chime in on this one.


Mommy, Esq. said...

I hate the idea of bathroom attendants. Such a vestage of another era. But I do tip them better when I'm drunk.

Anonymous said...

Of course there are bathroom attendants in ladies' rooms. I think their energies would be better spent making sure everyone has flushed and cleaning up after those who don't obey the "if you sprinkle when you tinkle" rule.

And I love you honey, but sometimes you do need a little midday mouthwash action.