Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm Tardy, but I Have a Good Excuse! My Mom Even Signed a Permission Slip! I Swear it's not Forged!

I seem to have taken a small break from the blog scene.

In the last ten days Your Ever-Lovin' Restroom Attendant got engaged, got sick, ate a lot of food, got sicker, and eventually returned to work last Friday. Seeing as how that was the day after Thanksgiving, everyone was eating leftovers and not going out to work. Needless to say, I only worked 2 hours and 45 minutes.

In our lame attempt to celebrate the engagement Y.E.L.R.A., his newly-dubbed fiance, and some friends went out to drink. Big mistake for ol' Y.E.L.R.A. It only made matters worse. I spent the next two days in bed and wasn't having any fun. Except when I woke up and caught a few episodes of the "Good Times" marathon on TV Land.

Seeing as how I needed to recoup my money spent on the ring, I offered my services to my manager for Monday evening. I don't usually work on Mondays because it's a really slow night. But, I knew that a large party was taking over the restaurant that night. When I spoke to my manager on Sunday afternoon, he wasn't sure if he needed my but agreed to call me and let me know.

Fast-forward to Monday night at ten p.m. I received a phone call from my manager. It went something like this:

Manager: "Hey, Y.E.L.R.A."

Y.E.LR.A.: "Hi."

Manager: "Did I tell you to come in tonight?"

Y.E.L.R.A.: "No..."

Manager: "Oh. Well, I guess we'll have to deal with it. Incidentally, what did I tell you?

Y.E.L.R.A.: "You said that you would let me know if you needed me, but you never called me back."

Manager: "Okay... Well, I'll see you later on in the week."

That conversation made me a little paranoid. I was going over in my head the possibilities that he did actually call me and I forgot. It's fun when your mind plays little tricks like that on you.

So, that brings us to this evening. I remembered that another party was scheduled to take over the restaurant and I was anticipating making some cash. I was not looking forward to working late because I was still feeling under the weather. However, recouping my expenses was a bit important.

I arrived to work to find out that the party that took over the restaurant was comprised of 30 people. I spent the evening down in the bathroom by myself. I think roughly 10 people visited the bathroom the whole three hours I worked. Granted, I did get a lot of reading done, but not much else happened.

Can't a brother get a break?

Incidentally, the party was hosted by a certain person that was involved with the Reagan years. I'm not naming names. I just wished I could have at least coughed on him.

That should bring you up to date.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

With Apologies to my Islamic Friends...

Goofball: "Do they have these in Turkey?"

Turkish Guy: "No."

Are you sure, Turkish Guy? I thought Islamic countries were full of unisex restrooms. They kind of go hand in hand, don't they?

Somewhere Elroy is Weeping

I heard the stupidest thing tonight. A gentleman -- and I used that word in the most incorrect way -- was amazed by the restroom.

"It reminds me of the Jetsons," he said.

Ah, yes. I see the connection. George and Jane often had candles lit in their living room. Their apartment building? Made entirely out of wood and had mirrors everywhere. I remember quite fondly the episode where they decided to get countertops made from corian. Ah, those were the days.

It's true. Hanna-Barbara just didn't want you to know.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Night I Came This Close to Meeting Chandler Bing

Matthew Perry ate at the restaurant tonight. I tingled with anticipation in hopes that I would meet him.

Alas, he didn't have to go potty.

Do celebrities have extra special bladders that I'm not aware of? Perhaps they get the extra large ones so they don't have to go that often. They should cover this on an an episode of Nip/Tuck.

Friday, November 18, 2005

On the Warpath!

Y.E.L.R.A was on a warpath tonight.

The story goes something like this:

A certain retailer that is opening a couple of stores in this fine city this weekend had a party at the restaurant. This party was attended by the usual people who come for other parties: young socialites of this fine city who will go anywhere to be seen. Granted, they're not on the caliber of Paris Hilton, but they're just as annoying. I really wish they would go somewhere else sometimes.

The damn shindig didn't start until 11pm.

I had five hours before the party and boy were they good ones. A woman vomited in the bar. One of her friends got hit and came down to the restroom to clean herself off. Several minutes later a woman came down to clean off her purse that was covered in vomit. A man came down about an hour later. He had just sat down in some vomit. I did not need to see or smell any of that. Why in God's name does the smell of vomit linger?

A one point a possibly mentally handicapped woman came down and complained that she couldn't get any reception on her cell phone. I had to kindly tell the woman that she was in a basement.

"But I always make my phone calls from the bathroom," she complained.


By the time the party started I had had enough. I was not about to take shit from anybody. At first, it looked like the party was going to be bunk. Then the storm hit and I was in chaotic mode for about ten minutes. In my mind, I was threatening my manager and telling him that I wanted to quit. Thankfully, I regained control of the restroom.

The usual problems popped up. More than one person wanted to use a stall together. It all started when three woman wanted to use a handicapped stall together. I straight up told them "no" and kicked two of the women out of the stall. They did not like me.

Then, my enemy for the evening showed up. Let's call him Mr. Blue Shirt... simply because he was wearing a blue shirt. All caught up? Good...

Mr. Blue Shirt tried unsuccessfully to go into a stall with a female companion once. I deflected him. I was kind to him and told him I could only allow one per stall and yada, yada, yada. (I'm hoping you know my shpiel by now.)

The second time he tried to go into a stall with this woman I pulled him out. He quickly retreated and complained. I let him know that if we needed to talk to a manager I could arrange that. I also hinted to the fact that he could possibly be kicked out of the restaurant. He believed my bluff! How do you like that?

The third time he tried it, I kind of aggressively pulled him out and said, "Sir, I've told you several times. You need to listen to me. I cannot allow more than one person per stall." This put the fear of God in him. He retreated into a stall with his tail between his legs.

A woman overseeing the whole thing took offense to what I did. She complained to me. I found myself trying to defend what I do. Then, I realized, why should I do that? She has no right to tell me how to do my job. I kindly suggested that she talk to my manager if she has any problems with what I do.

It turns out that both Mr. Blue Shirt and his female companion apologized to me for their actions. That was cool for me, you know? I let him know that I did not want to ruin his evening, but I have to do my job. He understood. In fact, he said that if he talked to my manager he was sure that my manager would back me up.

It's true, too. I spoke to my manager and told him the whole story. I let him know that I may have been a little too aggressive. All his response was, "Good! I trust your judgment."

Huzzah! For once I have a job where being aggressive to people at times is justified.

Of course, I had to stop other people, including two men. They ended up separating into two stalls, but one had to use the stall again after he had finished. They did the ol' switcheroo where one handed the other something while entering a stall. They looked around to make sure I wasn't watching. Gee, I wonder what they were doing? You would think that there were better things to spend your money on.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Jackass Week continues...

A man walked up to me last night and said, "This is the most fucked up bathroom I've ever been in."

My response: "Sorry you feel that way."

How else am I to respond? Should I have joined in with the idiot and talk shit about my workplace? Perhaps I should have said, "Yeah, verily 'tis true this place of rest is rather confusing. 'Tis rather unfortunate that your mechanical skills are limited when one imbibes copious amounts of fermented bread. How odd it is to share a restroom with members of the opposite sex! Alas! Egads! Oh I have seen it all! Shall we depart from whence we came? Your rock or mine?"

That would have been too confusing for him, huh? Maybe I should have cursed, farted, and then spit on the ground. He would have had a good laugh then. Maybe if I fit the word "boobie" into the conversation and showed him something shiny he would have given me a tip! Oh, if I only could turn back time like Superman!

Oh, fair readers, that's not the end of the story.

An hour or so later a man walked into the restroom. He seemed a bit confused as to which stall he could use. Like a moth, he was immediately drawn to the ones with the light on. As he started to push on the door to the occupied stall I let him know that the light means it is occupied. Oh, but that did not stop our druken idiot of a guest. He still pushed.

Let me tell you a secret about myself. I hate it when people don't listen to me.

So, I sternfully let him know, once again, that the light meant that it was occupied and then directed him to an open stall. Perhaps he felt that he was being treated like a child, because when he came out of the stall all he could do was complain. Like a child. And who did he complain to? That's right! The man from the beginning of this story. It turns out they were friends and they happened to be in the restroom at the same time.

Birds of a feather flock together! It's unfortunate to think that this particular adage has negative connotations as well.

As the night was winding down I was talking to the bartenders. They said that those particular men complained to them about me. To the bartenders no less. I guess they did not like me because they thought I was an asshole. Boo hoo. I've been called worse by more intelligent and sober people.

Their friend -- let's call him Idiot #3 -- complained that I did not know anything about the menu. Everyone on the staff seemed a bit confused about that one. Why would a restroom attendant have to know about the cuisine? I know enough to get by, but don't ask me what my favorite dish is. Do you think I want to hang out at work on my days off?

At least there were some really nice ladies from New Zealand who stopped by for a bit. They were very lively. I actually had intelligent conversations with them which did not involve cursing or complaining. Is there something in the water down there?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Someone Needs to Punch this Guy

I usually direct people away from the handicapped stalls. It's mainly because I don't want to hear them complain that there isn't any soap or towels in said stalls. They're the only ones with sinks, but we don't stock anything because people flush the paper towels down the toilet. Why? No one knows. Each stall is equipped with a little thing called a trash can.

The problem with flushing said towels is that they clog our septic system. Or so I've been told. Whatever. I'm just doing my job.

The first thing people see when they walk in are the handicapped stalls. It mostly has to do with the design of the restroom. When I kindly direct them to the "normal" stalls, they are surprised to see them. Their next question is "What are these over here?" I let them know that they're the handicapped stalls and I prefer to keep them open just in case.

People are cool about that. Most people actually are sensitive other peoples' needs. It's a logical story. I don't spend time in the main dining area so I don't know who is eating when. For all I know there could be several wheelchair bound people enjoying our food. I've even concocted a story, just in case I need to use it, about how a man in a wheelchair needed to use a stall really bad and the only two stalls that were occupied when he came to the restroom were the handicapped stalls. It was quite embarassing for me.

My strategy has nothing to do with the fact that my tip plate is located near the communal sink and that people would not see it if they washed their hands in the handicapped stall. I promise.

The other evening I directed a woman to the "normal" stalls. A man washing his hands overheard me and said the following:

"What are those stalls for? In case a circus of retards come down here to use the bathroom"

I suddenly got flushed with anger and quickly replied, "no, that's for people are in wheelchairs."

"Yeah, I'm sure you get a lot of those people here," he stated.

He then walked away.

I really wanted to punch that guy.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Gather around, children! Listen to my story. You're gonna like this one.

The 300-600 people that were expected for Sunday evening ended up being something like 75-100 people. Apparently a major company was rolling out three products and wanted to throw a party for its employees. They chose to rent out our restaurant for the evening. We were all prepared to stay very, very late. I planned my Monday around sleeping in very late.

What went wrong?

Well... They rented out the restaurant from 8pm until 2am on a Sunday night, yet scheduled a major conference for 7:30 the next morning.

What this company spent on this party will astound you. I don't want to go into specifics, but let's just say that it's more than most people make in a year. They invested in martini glasses, fake ice cubes, and straws that lit up. Each of these things had the name of the product that was being launched. Additionally, they had a live karaoke band. They also had a searchlight set up in front of the restaurant.

Oh well, I'm sure they had to spend it anyway. If the money wasn't spent the promotions department probably would not have the same budget next fiscal year.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Aftermath pt. 5

I feel I should bring this one to an end.

The Friday of the 500 was one crazy night. As soon as last call came, the restaurant was officially closed. Everyone had to leave, including myself. I was not about to hang out any longer. After I clocked out I waiting in the main dining area because the crowd of people were funneling through the front door. I had no way of getting out until they left. As the crow was leaving, I surveyed the area. The place thrashed beyond belief. Swizzle sticks, limes, lemons, napkins, feathers from costumes, and who knows what littered the ground.

I spoke to one of the servers and asked him how late he was going to be there. He said that he would probably be there until 4am. Later, I found out my manager was there until 6:30 in the morning. I so do not want his job.

After successfully leaving the restaurant I walked several block so I could catch the late bus or possibly a taxi, whichever came first. The damned night bus took its sweet time to get there and I was getting a little anxious to get home. Finally, I found a taxi that was nice enough to take me home.

I love taxi drivers. Some of them are the most lively human beings in the world. I admire them for the jobs they do. The man that picked me up is no exception. He had been doing it for several years. He seemed to like his job despite the fact that he no longer lived in the city. He actually had about an hour drive home that night and I was probably one of his last fares. We had a great conversation the whole ride home, which was great for me because I was tired of telling people how to use the damned faucet.

At one point a group of young men in a car pulled up beside the cab as we were at a stoplight. They motioned to the driver to roll down his window. He didn't want to do it at first but curiosity got the best of him. They asked him where a certain club was.

"Oh," he said, "What you need to do is make a left here, go down two blocks, and make a right. It's right there."

I was quite impressed because I had not heard of the club. The guys waved at the cabbie and drove off.

"Fuck those guys," he said. "They weren't going to any club. They were just fucking with me. I don't know where that fucking club is. I just told them that to get off my case. They're not going to any club at 2:30 in the morning. Last call already happened."

Y'know, he was right. I liked my cab driver. He did something that I've always wanted to do.

I have to say that I am fully recovered from my Party of 500 Night. It took me a few days. I honestly wasn't really back up to full speed until Tuesday. But, I'm okay now. Just in time for Sunday night's party of 300-600 people.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Aftermath pt. 4

My previous post must have some readers thinking that last Friday night was the most chaotic thing that I've ever seen. I'll let you in on a little secret: They're right. That's not to say that I didn't make the best of it. For one thing, my coworker and I passed the time by tossing a roll of toilet paper from one end of the restroom to the other. No one seemed to mind it. In fact, a few people joined in the fun while they were waiting.

Another thing that made the evening go by quicker is that it was a Halloween party, so most of the guests were wearing costumes. Many of the women wore the skimpiest things I've ever seen. From a male's pespective, I have to say that this made the evening more bearable as well. It just worries me that women would actually wear something like that. These women had no shame. I'm not complaining, yet I worry. Go figure.

One gentleman who was waiting for a stall struck up a conversation with me about the many attractive looking costumes that the women were wearing. I agreed with him. He then said, "Watch this!" He went over to a girl that was taking a picture of some friends and pulled up her ruffled skirt, exposing her to the world. She pushed her skirt down and ignored him. He did it again and she laughed at him. I'm pretty sure that she did not know this man. Again, I'm not complaining, yet I worry.

Where does this all lead to? Well, I've decided to compile a list of the most interesting costumes I saw on Friday night. Here goes nothing:

Funniest Costume: Legendary Blue Oyster Cult percussionist Gene Frenkle walked into the restroom at one point. I had heard him earlier in the evening but hadn't seen him. He told us that he really liked the place, but it really needed more cowbell. Then, he proceeded to bang the cowbell until he closed the stall door.

Funniest Couple Costume: There was a woman wearing boxing gloves, a donkey mask, and a wife beater with the words "DONKEY PUNCH" emblazoned on the back. I asked her to confirm what I saw and she said she was in fact Donkey Punch Girl. She asked me if I had seen her boyfriend. After she described him, I remembered him. He was wearing a giant sombrero, a whooly moustache, and a t-shirt with the words "DIRTY SANCHEZ" on the back. It was so much better that the lame shining knight/fair maiden couples I saw all night.

Most Tech-Savvy Costume: A man dressed fully in white from head to toe was wearing a big dial on his chest. It was a homemade dial with "fast-forward,""rewind," "stop," and "play" options on it. The best part was that the dial was hanging around his neck by a shoestring. I asked him if he was an iPod Shuffle. He was happy that I guessed right because everyone else thought he was an iPod. Well, he didn't have a screen. What else could he have been?

Best Group Costume: The cast from Napoleon Dynamite. The guy who played Kip was dead on. There were other groups who dressed as the Average Joe's team from Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story but they weren't that imaginative. They wrote the name of their team on their shirts with sharpies and it looked like crap. Plus, that movie was lame. I saw the last 15 minutes of it on HBO the other day. A sad waste of film.

Best Celebrity Outfit: There was woman wearing a black, sleeveless shirt and had her hair pulled back. She had two baby dolls attached to her side, one was Asian, the other black. I didn't get it. She showed me her "Billy Bob" tattoo and explained that she was Agelina Jolie.

The "My Idea Was Better Than His" Outfit : One man wore a hunting cap complete with earflaps. I asked him if he was Holden Caulfield. By his reaction I understood that he had no idea that there was a book called Catcher in the Rye. He explained that he was a hunter from Wedding Crashers. I liked my idea better.

The WTF outfit: A woman had a nice dress on, but was exposing one of her breasts. Okay, it was a fake boob that you get at the Halloween store, but it was sticking out. She went up to my coworker and screamed "Guess who I am!" She went into the stall and never told him. My best guess was that she was Tara Reid (NSFW). Come to think of it, after seeing those pictures I'm pretty sure that's what she was.

And finally...

The God Bless Wes Anderson Award: I saw several Steve Zissous that night. God bless Wes Anderson.

Until later,

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Aftermath pt.3

The first few hours I worked on Friday night were extremely calm. Since I usually start around 6pm, I had three hours before the party started. The restaurant was a bit slow because we couldn't accept reservations after a certain time. As I waited, I knew that this was the calm before the storm. The best thing I could do was just brace myself.

Then the people started to arrive at the restaurant. At first it was just a trickle. Then, all of a sudden, BAM! Everyone was there. That's not an overexaggeration either. One second there were a few people waiting to use a stall and then there were thirty.

The chaos that ensued was legendary. Thankfully I had someone in the restroom helping me. Otherwise I would have gone nuts. They would have found me in the corner, rolled up in ball, and sucking my thumb.

Our strategy was this: My cohort would replace the toilet paper and refill the paper towels while I talked to the people in line and let them know which stall was open. The whole idea was to keep the line moving as smoothly as possible. It really sucks to wait to go pee. Especially when you've been drinking.

Our strategy worked for the most part. Every so often a guy would cut in front of the line thinking that it was the line for the ladies room. We would have to let him know that it was unisex restroom and kick him to the end of the line. Of course we had to prevent more than one person from going into a stall at a time. This was something we had to do quite often that night. Even to the ladies who wanted to share a stall with their friends. The handicapped stalls are large and they can fit up to five people comfortably. This would have moved the line faster if we let groups of women go in, but rules is rules.

An interesting outcome of this is that many of men who tried to go in with their girlfriend/wife invoked the name of the owner when we stopped them. "But I know _________, " they would claim. We took no prisoners when it came down to that. We would have to let the person know that the orders came directly from the owner. One man claimed his relationship with the owner and further added that he could talk to him about this travesty. My cohort stated, "You can call him, you can e-mail him, or send him a letter but you're not going into the fucking stall with her."

As you probably know, waiting in line makes people cranky. Especially the men. One man yelled at my cohort when my co-worker went into an open stall to check the toilet paper. The man wanted my co-worker to know that it was his stall.

Another man was my nemesis for the evening. Although I only saw him once he will always be remembered in the annals of my life as a restroom attendant.

As you know from previous posts, a little light goes on when someone closes the stall door. Some of the doors are tricky. On occasion a person will leave the stall and the door will close in the right way that triggers the light. In order to keep the line moving on Friday, we would occasionally check the stall doors. If they were locked, then they were occupied. Simple as that, huh?

Men have trouble locking their stall doors sometimes. I'll often push a door open and door will be stopped by the man's back. Men seem to be okay with this. I apologize and life goes on. I've never had a man mad at me about this. Until Friday night.

I checked a stall door and a man was inside. He wasn't peeing, he was picking toilet paper up off the floor. I apologized and thought that this was the end of it. He came out with guns a blazin'.

"You saw me go in there a minute ago, why did you have open the door?" He yelled.

I feel I handled the situation in calm fashion. "I'm sorry, sir," I stated, "I hadn't realized you were in there. It's really busy and it's hard to keep track of who is in what stall. Just lock the door next time."

"You're right about that. But, I was in there cleaning up the stall. It's a mess and it's embarrassing."

"Sir, it's not necessary for you to clean up. We'll take care of it."

"It doesn't look like you're doing your job. It's embarrassing to see this mess."

At this point I was not happy with this man. Yes, I'll take the blame for not realizing that he was in the stall. My mistake. However, when anybody comments on my performance at my job I take offense to it. "Sir," I stated in a booming voice, "we're really busy tonight if you hadn't noticed. We're doing our best."

He stated something I don't remember and stormed out of the restroom.

I wasn't about to let it go. I've been accused several times in my life that I always have to have the last word. This was no exception. While he was still in earshot I shouted, "Have a nice night, sir!"

He stopped in the doorway and turned around.

"What?!" he screamed.

"Have a nice night!"

He then came charging back at me. I was ready. I knew he wasn't going to do anything. I sure as hell wasn't going to jeopardize my job by throwing a punch. However, I knew if he was going to throw a punch -- which I was positive he wasn't going to do -- it would be satisfactory to see him thrown out the restaurant. I'm not a violent person whatsoever. It's just fun to mess with people sometimes. Especially those that deserve it in my eyes.

"What?!" he screamed one last time.

"Have a nice night."

He really couldn't say anything to that. He just turned around and walked out. As he left I turned to my side and saw my co-worker standing there with his chest puffed up.

"Dude, I would have punched him," my co-worker said.

Like I said before, I'm partially at fault for the altercation. However, let me ask you this: How often do you go into a restaurant or club and start cleaning a bathroom? Most of us have used portable toilets in our lives. The stall was nowhere near as nasty as a portable toilet gets on a hot summer day. We really could have used his help later on in the evening when the restaurant closed. There were swizzle sticks, lime wedges, and feathers (from costumes) all over the floor. Perhaps if he had stuck around longer we could have paid him a few bucks to clean the floor.

In a situation such as Friday night it was impossible to police everything that happens. Someone was smoking in the restaurant -- which is illegal in this fine state -- and burnt a hole the size of a silver dollar in the upholstery of one of our sofas. You get that many people and it's bound to be messy no matter what you can do.

Until tomorrow....