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....


Post a Comment

<< Home