Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Restroom gig: A process of elimination

This is part two of a two-part series
Part One is "The black gentlewoman in the marble dungeon."
 It's "potty time" at the disco, y'all!"

    (8/23/13) "Do you think I'd be doing this crap job if I could find anything else?" the young lady at a local dance club exclaimed. She was pretty, with magenta streaks in her glossy dark hair. The vest of her neon pink uniform had the unconvincing motto, "Flushed with Pride," embroidered in silver above her breast. She was the present-day incarnation of the "powder room" attendant. Unlike her predecessors from a more refined era, who gracefully presided over elegant accommodations and served "the upper crust," today's "loo" lieutenants must cope with drunkenness, drug use, vomit, sex in the toilet stalls, feces in the urinals, and disdainful patrons, as they attempt to eke out a living in the nation's hip, jam-packed bars, trendy eateries, and throbbing, rowdy dance clubs.

An "untouchable," cleaning India's communal toilets.
A restroom attendant scrubbing a urinal. The pink gloves are a nice touch.

    What hasn't changed since the more formal and luxurious past is the fundamental status of the attendants: They are essentially beggars -- in general relying entirely on the kindness of strangers for their pay, in the form of tips -- and they clean up people's grossest messes, like those in India's "untouchable" caste. The caste system in India was supposed to have been abolished decades ago, but it's alive and well -- and we have our own version.
    Our own version doesn't get to enjoy some fettuccine and Asti, or respond to Earth, Wind and Fire's musical entreaty, "Let's Groove Tonight."
They don't get to groove. That's sad.
    These young men and women are confined to the bathroom, to attend to the party people -- very much in the mode of old-time "servants" -- and to protect their establishments from all sorts of disasters. 
   "In a lot of these places, there are drunk girls throwing up everywhere," a concessionaire says. "Somebody's got to be there with a mop."
    But when people walk into a restroom and see an attendant, they generally experience either dismay or resentment, some of it truly hateful. I understand that, as I will discuss later. But my sympathies lie with the attendants.
Oh no -- what a bloody bore!
    Maybe you'll gain more respect for their "lowly" and "irritating" role if you read their job description at the end of this post. Seriously -- it's almost laughably complicated. They have more responsibilities, and are expected to exercise more judgment and discretion, and are required to multitask in more ways, than a typical corporate executive. It's a tough job. I wish nobody had to do it.

When these amped-up kids need to pee, they don't want to deal with some pitiable "nobody" who needs a "handout."
     Many nightspots explode with throbbing, colored lights and relentlessly aggressive sound. Kids are there to blow their minds, rock out, get their freak on, bust a move and in general be transported into an alternative reality of good old fashioned sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. When it comes to adult behavior, let's just say they "gave at the office." It's time for release. It's time for primal scream. Scream!
   Imagine the plight of the restroom attendant, who aspires to be a sort of welcoming hostess, but instead is a janitor and police officer in this highly-charged, inhibition-optional environment. People come into his or her little enclave, which was intended to provide an interlude of peace, primping and comfort, and use it for everything but. They are hyped up, man! And they don't want anyone being a buzz-kill when it's booze-and-boogie time.
    But if there were no attendant, this place would be trashed in no time:   
       The way in which public restrooms are used has evolved, as night life has come to embody more than a smoke, a drink and a nice little dinner. They have become the dark corner that provides cover for illicit, unseemly or gross behavior. Like the worst nursing homes, they tend to overflow with poop and vomit. Enter the restroom attendant, and thank goodness he or she is there.


     In today's advanced culture, many night-lifers employ la salle de bain for sloppy and slithery liaisons: 

    Or they puke instead, which feels even better:

    They might do a little blow, despite the written request not to:

    Or they just screw around like 13-year-olds, further degrading the atmosphere:

    Then they primp, using the attendant's thoughtfully arranged trays of cosmetics and colognes ("ooh, sparkly gloss!"):

     From the attendant's corner commissary, stocked using her own money, they grab some gum, Chupa Chups lollipops (a favorite, for some reason), a pack of Salems, and temporary tattoo stickers, and stagger out, laughing hysterically. She's got everything, neatly displayed: mints, gum, hair spray, loads of cosmetics, deodorant, pads, tampons, bobbypins, pain relievers, energy drinks, foot cushions and even condoms. Did those bimbos give the poor girl a tip? What do you think? 
    And they leave a huge mess behind, including pee on the toilet seats ( Women need to do squats, at home, as a great butt-building exercise -- NOT over a toilet, where they splash everywhere. And they think they're superior to the girl who is stuck  in there all night, cleaning up after them):
    Just ask your friendly neighborhood restroom attendant what she goes through, and maybe she'll feel comfortable talking about it. Or read this:
     "I have helped in all kinds of clothing disasters including rips, lost buttons, torn bra straps, spills, etc.," one attendant says. "Some girls are really grateful, others not so much. One girl grabbed some cherry Chapstick on her way out, and when I asked for a little tip, she spit in my face."

   Dance clubs didn't look like the one below when I was a dance clubber. Did we just need less spectacle back then? The pounding music was plenty. No sparkles, frantically moving neon shafts of lights, no explosions of fireworks or confetti. Maybe video games created a thirst for greater stimulation? Maybe Ecstasy did it? Or maybe a sort of arms race developed between venues as technology made ever-more-dazzling effects possible.    
"May I have your attention please? I need to borrow five bucks to tip that poor girl who is imprisoned in the bathroom."
    The wild-and-craziness, the loosie-goosiness, the thrashing sexiness and hot breathlessness of the scene looks like fun to me. I don't think I'd be the ideal powder-room patron, though, being in such a state of arousal. I'd be rushing to get back out to the action. I certainly wouldn't be carrying a purse, and unless I had thought things through beforehand -- unlikely after a few shots of Wild Turkey -- I wouldn't have scrounged up a dollar to put in the tip jar. I think that happens quite often. 

  If I were an attendant, I wouldn't really want these ladies to use my bathroom -- they look like the mean girls from high school:
"No, you can't sit with us at lunch! You're ugly, and so are your clothes!"
       Or her either -- she'd get the toilet seat wet:

A "voyeur girl" at the Tao nightclub in Las Vegas.

    Probably not them, either. They'd use up all the bronze-shimmer body lotion, and steal some fruit-flavored e-cigarettes:
"Ha, ha -- we have the most shimmery boobs!"
     It takes all the attendant's wits and energy to keep the facilities from becoming a disaster area or a crime scene:

    To quote the 1978 disco tune by Alicia Bridges, "I Love the Nightlife:"
Please don't talk about love tonight.
Please don't talk about sweet love.
Please don't talk about being true
and all the trouble we've been through.
I want to go where the people dance.
I want some action ... I want to live!

Action ... I got so much to give.
I want to give it. I want to get some too.

Oh, I ... Ohhh I ... I love the nightlife,
I got to boogie on the disco 'round, oh yea.
Oh, I love the night life,
I got to boogie on the disco 'round, oh yea
They want to give it. They want to get some, too. Oh yea. Boogie!

    The whole dynamic of tipping -- in the powder room or anywhere else -- is cruel and fraught with anxiety. It should end. Attendants should get a salary -- a solid living wage. So should everyone else who currently relies upon tips.
     The life of the restroom attendant is stressful and demeaning in several ways, but it is the issue of tipping that seems to create the greatest consternation. Most attendants rely entirely upon tips, and some have to share their "take" with the establishment or a concessionaire. It's an outrage.
    Most people are infuriated that they are expected to "pay to piss," no matter how hard the attendant has worked to make their little pit stop worth paying for. People hate being put in this position, which is understandable. I hate it too. But imagine being in the attendant's position. She's just coping with the hand she was dealt, like the rest of us.
      Jay Porter, writing in Slate magazine's August 14, 2013, issue, remarks, "I got rid of gratuities at my (San Diego) restaurant, and our service only got better. I can hear your objection now: How could servers be motivated to do a good job without tips? This is a common question, but it is also a silly question. Servers are motivated to do a good job in the same ways that everyone else is. Servers want to keep their jobs; servers want to get a raise; servers want to be successful and see themselves as professionals and take pride in their work. In any workplace, everyone is required to perform well, and tips have nothing to do with it. The next time you see your doctor, ask her if she wouldn’t do better-quality work if she made minimum wage, with the rest of her income from her patients’ tips."
    Ditto for restroom attendants.
    Porter continues, with great persuasiveness: "Creating a non-tipping culture in restaurants is possible. And, as Slate’s Brian Palmer has shown, there’s plenty of research to back up my observations. Studies have shown that tipping is not an effective incentive for performance in servers. It also creates an environment in which people of color, young people, old people, women, and foreigners tend to get worse service than white males. In a tip-based system, nonwhite servers make less than their white peers for equal work."
Anna and her colleagues shouldn't have to remind us that they are people.
     The same dynamic applies to restroom attendants. People such as Anna shouldn't have to place themselves at our mercy for their livelihoods. The establishments that benefit by their hard work should pay them.

    Like the clubs and restaurants that house them, the restrooms are often striking, quirky, and luxurious. One might expect that these surroundings would elicit respectful behavior among patrons, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Maybe some psychologists should study what environmental cues are most effective at encouraging decorum in the powder room. Aren't these nice?:

   Some men's restrooms seem designed to encourage bad behavior, as if they needed any encouraging:


    Increasingly, food and entertainment establishments are relying on concessionaires, who supply the attendants for about $50 a night. These middlemen not only keep the fee, but also pocket part of "their ladies'" tips.
     Why don't the establishments just give the money to the attendant? Many of them are lucky to earn $50 in tips during an exhausting and nerve-wracking shift. But it's easier for the establishments to have someone else take over the hassle of interviewing and training prospects. That's lazy and cruel!
    These entrepreneurial ventures aspire to bring an aura of class and professionalism to the job, and it's easy to understand why some enterprising person would devise this business plan. I just don't approve. The attendants make way too little as it is. It would be unnecessary to have a middleman if the venues would do their own due diligence.
Club Pamper attendants pride themselves on service and congeniality.
    Club Pamper, whose attendants are pictured above, "has been serving the elite and upscale club goers since 1989," according to its web site. "We started at 'Little J's downtown Los Angeles. We now service 13 of the hottest night clubs and restaurants in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.Our attendants are well trained to perform a courteous and friendly service to your clientele. We offer quality restroom attendant service to enhance the satisfaction of your patrons at Nightclubs/Restaurants/Lounges/Private Parties/Hotels."
    Here are two other firms, which have slick logos and status appeal:


 TLC's ad features a poised, attractive model in classy surroundings.
    The ad below, on the other hand, has a bit of an "ick" factor to it, in my opinion, anyway. It looks a bit like a pimp-whore relationship. He's the procurer, who acquired the "john" for her -- literally the john, as in restroom -- and she's sultrily slipping his "take" from her many hours of difficult labor, into his pocket. Adorable! He refers to himself as "The Bathroom Guy" on his Facebook page. He's probably very nice. But who is his ad supposed to appeal to? Not to a woman, I wouldn't think, unless she really does want to be prostitute, in which case she could get a real "john," instead of the marble-and-porcelain variety, and make a nice income to boot. If he's trying to attract classy venues as clients, I think he might need a different ad agency.
    It's obvious why there has been a resurgence in the use of restroom attendants: The economy (people desperate for any kind of work) and popular culture, which has loosened the bonds of etiquette, including bathroom etiquette.
    "Like an endangered species that suddenly appears in every backyard, restroom attendants are showing up in restaurants where you least expect to find them, and in greater numbers than you might imagine," the New York Times reported back in 2002. The explosion in new hires has grown exponentially in the decade since. Some people disapprove:
    "Today, the bathroom attendant is a relic of the past, needlessly helpful at best and completely unnecessary at worst," says Hollywood writer Jason Kessler in Bon Appetit magazine. "They're as superfluous as steamboat captains and telegraph operators."
    "It represents one more daily chore that for some people has been transformed into an emotionally fraught experience: a visit to the restroom," another frequent patron complains.
    New York Times writer Frank Bruni refers to the efforts of attendants as the "infantilization" of customers.
    Their sentiments may be accurate with respect to some establishments, but certainly not to most of them.
    "Once, restroom attendants were found only in the oldest of old-line places, like the '21' Club or the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal," the Times adds, recalling an era "when restroom attendants stood at the ready with a needle and thread and were skilled at solving hair and stocking issues...., Dressed in a white coat (for the men's) or in a dark suit (for the ladies'). Anxiety was not an issue; habitu├ęs were well-practiced in dealing with household help."
    What was once a nicety -- and yet another opportunity for rich people to be pampered, usually by delightfully subservient black people -- has become a necessity, according to many restaurant and club owners. 
    "We could not get by without them," said Richard Wolf, the Tao Group's restaurant and entertainment magnate, who is often referred to as the "king of clubs." His Tao restaurant in New York serves 1,000 dinners each night.
    His Marquee dayclub/nightclub in Las Vegas has a striking lobby:
    But the dance floor is a reminder that bathroom maintenance and traffic control are a significant issue (a female patron can easily wait in a long line of rowdy, sullen, tipsy girls for 30 minutes to get in):
So many bladders. So few toilet stalls.
Even at small clubs, attendants have long lines to manage.
     Restroom attendants today aren't formal, reassuring sources of serene aid and comfort. They can't afford to be: They are required to work their asses off, keeping things clean and keeping people moving. 
    "At Dos Caminos (Las Vegas), an attendant in surgical gloves wields a constant washcloth in a seemingly losing battle to achieve the next best thing to godliness. But today, younger people may well be inexperienced and uncomfortable with such attention," according to the Times article.  
    They're certainly inexperienced and uncomfortable, but their bathroom shenanigans have has left club owners little choice but to use the attendants. 
    Even so, it seems that the clientele still hasn't become accustomed to "doing their thing" -- whatever that might be -- in a supervised lavatory, staffed by someone who needs them (to survive), whether the patron need the attendant or not.
    ''For the combination of pity, compassion and guilt to have to go into the simple act of using a bathroom is just horrible,'' said Judith Newman, a writer quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times. ''Why do I have to go through an emotional roller coaster every time I open the door?''     
    The takeaway from this post is my deep admiration for the people who show up and do this job night after night, despite the abuse they experience -- some of it truly grotesque.
     The aspect of this whole story -- this whole phenomenon -- that affects me the most is that these young people, who are desperate for work, who must have preferred to do practically anything else, who are are often ignored and insulted -- and rarely if ever thanked for their efforts ... these people, with their beautiful resiliency and determination to support themselves, express pride in their work, and humility, and hope for the future. Most of them struggle quite heroically to make the best of their jobs, and they express gratitude that they have a job. They focus on the people who are kind to them, who ask about their lives, and who put a dollar in the tip jar. Each brings his or her own strengths to this effort.
A lovely young woman represents the pride of an attendant's job well done.
     We need to have some compassion about this. Put yourself in their place! They could be whoring, selling drugs, purse-snatching, or on welfare. They are trying to earn an honest living. You might characterize it as "make work," but it is work, with a long tradition behind it. 
    "This is not an easy job so I won't sugar coat it," one attendant writes. "I deal with mean women, cheap women who want to use up all my stuff without tipping, drunk angry women and funky women. I deal with drunken men who think it's o.k. to harass a woman because he is attracted to her. I deal with people who look down on me because of my job. I'm not some servant or beggar. I'm on my feet doing customer service. At the end of the night I smell like smoke, my feet hurt, my head hurts, I've heard the same songs about a million times but I'm satisfied. I did the best I could."
    That's what I call a good attitude.
    Another equally thoughtful attendant writes: "There are women who go out alone to relax but have no one to talk to or need to talk to someone about man problems. I'm there to keep the party going, and when women feel uncomfortable at the club they use the restroom I work in, and they leave looking refreshed. A little rapport goes a long way. When people talk to me they see me as a person. I'm just like you. I work for my money."
     On message boards, based both in the U.S. and the U.K., they share their feelings of gratification at doing good, honest, competent work, even if no one else sees it that way. 
    Despite these sentiments, many attendants admit that they lie to others about what they do for a living. They feel ashamed and embarrassed. Several expressed the fear that people they know might come in and see them doing this "lowest of the low" work. The women almost universally refuse to have their pictures taken (in fact I couldn't find any actual attendants through exhaustive Google searches, just a couple of stock photos that used models). The male attendants are somewhat less self-conscious.  But I admire them all for taking the card they were handed and trying to make the best of it. I couldn't do it.
    Millions of Americans work in the service sector and are (or feel they are) in a subservient role. They are required to cater to the needs -- reasonable or unreasonable -- of customers, clients, patients or guests. 
Have a nice day!
    They are often treated with disrespect and impatience, blamed for errors, policies and delays that are not their fault. If they want to keep their jobs, they maintain their composure and keep their mouths shut, wearing a mask of pleasantness and forbearance that obscures the humiliation and anger they sometimes feel. In general, they say they're ignored by those they serve, treated as invisible nonentities, regarded as cogs in a machine. 
    Restroom attendants must envy that invisibility: They are required to preside over, service and monitor their domains, and it's hard to ignore their presence. They are constantly treated with disdain. 

    I began my research for this article with a personal experience as my foundation. Based on that experience I wrote about my discomfort at unexpectedly finding myself face-to-face with an older black attendant in a 1970s New York powder room (http://kronstantinople.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-black-gentlewoman-in-marble-dungeon.html). I didn't know such a job existed. I felt embarrassed. I was ashamed to have someone waiting on me, particularly an African-American lady wearing an old-time domestic's uniform.    
    I was also upset that I was expected to pay for assistance that I neither wanted nor needed, although of course I remained mindful that it wasn't her fault she was in this position of subservience.
    Customers can't seem to let off enough putrid steam about this subject. If you scroll through the online message boards, and they are surprisingly numerous, you confront fuming, vulgar exasperation and ridicule among those who patronize restrooms that have attendants. Just as I did during my first encounter, they resent the implicit anticipation of payment for help doing things they've been doing, unaided, since they were about five years old. It's already costing a fortune to spend a night out on the town. All you need is someone else asking your for money. Sommeliers, valet parking dudes, maitre d's, coat-check personnel...and now the bathroom! I can relate to people's exasperation.
       "When I walk in and see an attendant, my heart sinks," a female real-estate agent in Phoenix says. "I wanted not just to use the toilet, but to have some relaxation and solitude before heading back to the craziness outside. But the attendant just makes me more tense."
    Both men and women patrons understandably gripe on the message boards about having someone hand them a paper towel, and implicitly expect to be compensated for this contrived "service." One woman was furious that while she was washing her hands, the attendant came up behind her and fluffed up her hair, complimenting the color and highlights.
    "She was sucking up, trying to do a guilt trip on me to get money," the patron said. "She told me my outfit was cool. It was gross. I refused to take the paper towel. I flipped the water in her face and left."
    Many patrons admit or brag that they don't tip attendants. Others say they "make out like bandits" by scooping up handsful of toiletries and cigarettes, and then leaving only a dollar or so, if anything.
    Others are more vulgar and ruthless about demonstrating their contempt for the attendants.
    One woman described wiping her wet hands over the chest of the attendant, rather than accepting a towel. Men are more gross, bragging that they smeared feces in the stall or defecated in the urinal.

    (A Miami party boy writes: "Don't clubs charge a cover? so why are we paying creepy guy in bathroom? it's somebody's job to be there.. fine but panhandling is annoying."  Another wrote: "What's next......are they going to try to hold it for me while I urinate; help me out and be sure it goes where it needs to go?") 
    It makes sense that we don't want to pay to use the bathroom (although I remember having to put two quarters in a slot just to enter some toilet stalls in New York 40 years ago), and we don't want someone standing there while we are doing our private business.
      There are patrons who appreciate the service. One message board participant wrote: "The attendants are very popular here in South Florida at all the nightclubs and also the strip clubs. Without them there'd be a lot of shit going on -- dudes snorting coke off the urinals, bringing in the ladies (or even another dude, god forbid). Guys constantly jerking off in there. The attendants keep it under control. They come with literally a SUITCASE filled with stuff and set up shop on the sink countertop. 20 different types of colognes, mints, gum, listerine, Visine for the red eyes....you name it, they have it. I like it. I feel like royalty. When I am done with my business, I simply walk up to the sink, the guy turns on the water for me, pumps some soap into my hands and I wash away. Once I am done, he throws a towel in my hands, I dry myself, tip him a buck or two and take whatever I need."

   This profile is taken in its entirety from the New York Times: Lorenzo Robinson, who has been standing sentry in the "21" Club's men's room for 15 years, says he could not imagine a better occupation. "To me, it's such a privilege to come to work," said Mr. Robinson, 62, who is better known as the Rev, and whose father, uncle and nephew stood in the same bathroom. "The next stop is heaven."
Lorenzo Robinson, left, is a gracious man with a heartwarming attitude.
    Mr. Robinson is effusively attentive, greeting each new arrival with a booming voice, a sense of purpose and lavish praise. ("Young man, are you playing hooky from boarding school?" he will ask an elderly man returning from the urinal.)
    As the banter continues, Mr. Robinson turns on the water, checks its temperature with a pinkie, dispenses a squidge of soap into open palm and pats a lint brush across the patron's shoulders in a series of motions so quick and discreet they are barely noticed. Even before the man can wet his hands, Mr. Robinson is ready with towel; cloth, not paper.
    An ordained Baptist minister who holds two divinity school degrees, Mr. Robinson wears a crisp white jacket, a monogrammed "21" Club stitched at the breast. He is an eager storyteller who accompanies his pampering with tales of world travel and wash-basin encounters with greatness.
    Mr. Robinson took the job after his uncle, Otis Cole, died in 1989 as he prepared to leave home for work. Mr. Cole was 80 and had first come to the washroom during the late 1940's. When Mr. Robinson called to report the death, the manager asked whether he might fill in for a few days. Mr. Robinson came and never left. "I consider it an honor to be here," he said. "It's outstanding, incredible, indescribable."  

Another attendant who works in an atmosphere of decorum.
     How many of us would be able and willing to take on all the duties outlined below, even for a decent salary?
(and not necessarily a very decent ambiance)

Job Summary/Essential Functions of the Restroom Attendant: 

Under general supervision, the Restroom Attendant is responsible for the proper cleaning and maintenance of restroom facilities in accordance with the establishment's policies and procedures.

Due to the nature of the establishment's business, the Restroom Attendant may be required to work for longer than normal work periods. The work schedule will vary from 0 to 50 hours per week. The Restroom Attendant must be willing and able to work flexible hours, five-six days a week to as late as 2:00 a.m. including holidays. The Restroom Attendant agrees to work as scheduled by the Company.

The Restroom Attendant must be willing to conform to the establishment's grooming and personal hygiene requirements and wear the proper issued uniform. A neat, clean, professional appearance is required at all times.

Unique Job Requirements:

  • The Restroom Attendant will clean and maintain assigned restroom facilities before during and after operational hours.  Cleaning duties including sweeping, mopping, wiping sinks and counters, cleaning mirrors, cleaning toilets, emptying trash receptacles, etc. The Restroom attendant will also restock restroom supplies as needed. The Restroom Attendant must faithfully and honestly perform restroom inspections.
  • The Restroom Attendant will be using brooms, mops, squeegees, cleaning brushes, various cleaners and sanitizers, etc. to accomplish various cleaning tasks and must be able to understand the proper use and care of such equipment and supplies. The Restroom Attendant must be able to read and understand information found in the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) binder.
  • The Restroom Attendant must monitor and respond to inappropriate guest behavior, including enforcing rules and restrictions, regulating guests’ actions, and requesting assistance from Security and the Restrooms Supervisors if necessary
  • The Restroom Attendant must exhibit a high degree of motivation toward ensuring guest satisfaction by displaying an aggressively friendly approach to guests.  In addition, the Restroom Attendant must be able to deal with many guests each day in a positive and friendly manner.
  • The Restroom Attendant will be working around high noise levels. The Restroom Attendant must be able to remain focused on the job while dealing with interruptions from guests and/or other employee contact.
  • All other duties as assigned by management, including confronting hostile and/or physically aggressive situations and enforcing rules of conduct for guests.

Required Relationships

  • Each Restroom Attendant will be in contact with a high volume of guests on a daily basis, which requires good guest service skills and ability.

Required Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Job Qualifications are stated in essential functions of the job description. Each Restroom Attendant must be able to accomplish the essential functions in order to be competent in the job.
Required Tasks/Knowledge/Skills/Abilities

  • Able to communicate effectively in a professional manner with co-workers, supervisors, vendors, and guests.
  • Able to learn and understand all policies and procedures pertinent to the department and the job.
  • Able to make quick and effective decisions.
  • Able to complete basic math calculations when filling out daily time cards.
  • Able to follow verbal and written directions.
  • Able to follow safety practices and be safety conscious.
  • Able to deal with guests in a friendly, but firm manner.
  • Able to work effectively independently as well as with a group.
  • Able to learn, comprehend, and enforce policies and procedures.
  • Able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Able to handle stressful situations in a calm, professional manner.
  • Able to respond quickly to unusual situations during normal operation, including power failure and fire alarms.
  • Able to handle minor complaints and suggestions from our guests in a calm and professional manner.

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Upon request, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Able to regularly use hands to finger, hands, and feel.
  • Must have full use of hands, arms and legs to operate cleaning equipment
  • Able to move equipment which would include pushing, pulling, bending, and lifting.
  • Able to stand and/or walk for up to (10) hours.
  • Must have good hearing and visual acuity to observe guest behavior, etc.
  • Able to communicate effectively with other employees and guests. 

    Ricardo, an attendant in Las Vegas, told The Bachelor Guy blogger: "Just last week I had this guy drag some tweaked-up girl in here wanting to take her into a stall. This ain’t too uncommon, but it’s a big no-no from management. The guy was at least smart enough to drop a couple bucks in my basket, so I felt inclined to look the other way.
    "I just assumed they were partaking in the indulgence of banned substances – and who’s to say they weren’t – but from what it sounded like, it led to a little game of hide-the-salami if you get what I am saying. To be honest I don’t mind it. Makes the night go by quicker. But you have to remember this is a bathroom in a nightclub. Most guys come in here after 12 martinis and have aim about as good as Dick Cheney’s. The floor ain’t ideal to do the nasty dance, especially for two uncoordinated dopers. So, between a few snorts and grunts I hear a SMACK! The nice little church girl lost her footing and did a face plant into the old john. Out cold."
"Door George"
    From a May 2013 article in the Cleveland Scene: Door George wipes down the black granite surface between the four bone-white sink bowls, hobbling perpetually fore and aft on medical boots and toeless feet, his reflection rising above his products like a hobbyist architect's. He's the lone sentinel and shark of Cleveland's Hustler  strip club washroom and damned if he isn't pouring himself a cold one.
    Door George is a taller guy in his sixties, "once-striking" more than "once-handsome." As he talks with his customers, he's got the big friendly face and graying hair of Eastern European uncles. But the most notable thing about his appearance are his injuries. His hands are gnarled by arthritis, his legs bloated by veins that won't circulate.   
    He was the doorman at The Circus—Caesar's Circus, before the layoffs. Door George was the gatekeeper. He was the man who made the rules and held the cards. He wore a tuxedo to work. His business card was printed on parchment.

Harry de Wildt
    "Celebrity" restroom attendant Harry de Wildt  has been dining at Le Central for 33 years. So dedicated in his efforts, the late, great Herb Caen dubbed him Sir Lunch-a-Lot for their many hours logged at Banquette No. 1.
    There’s even a Harry de Wildt salad on the menu: celery root remoulade, cucumber and red beets.


    After we've peed and primped, and we're headed back out to our wonderful evening, why don't we make a pleasant remark to the attendant, and leave her a tip? We won't miss the money. She needs it. All of us in this economy rely on everyone else for our jobs and income. We're all in this together. And even if you don't care about her feelings, wouldn't you feel better about yourself if you acknowledged her efforts and showed some generosity?


    On Labor Day, the post, "Thank You for Your Service," which expresses gratitude and respect to the real workers in our economy -- the powder-room girls, and all the others - will be reprinted. It's more relevant now than it was two years ago. Justice in this country requires a massive redistribution of the wealth.