I LOVE London. Not in a “let’s run off and get married and spend the rest of our lives together” kind of way. No, my love for the city stems from its ability to constantly surprise me and provide me with experiences I might not get otherwise. For the most part, these are usually pleasant, enjoyable and interesting happenings.
But there is one London experience that doesn’t sit well with me. Awkward, unnerving, discomforting and pressuring, this experience sits like the bathroom attendant of my London memories, uncomfortably shifting in the corner of my mind. The experience I write about is in fact – Bathroom Attendants. WHY DOES THIS JOB EVEN EXIST? I understand that there are a couple of youngsters struggling to find a job in the UK at the moment but let’s not create roles for the sake of it. The bathroom attendant job seems about as necessary as Nick Clegg’s (“a valiant yet misguided attempt at political satire by a silly colonial journalist” the critics will say).
For the life of me I can’t understand why some London bars and clubs decide that a Bathroom Attendant is a necessary member of staff.
“I wonder what we can do to make sure our punters really enjoy themselves at our venue..? I know, let’s employ somebody in a relatively small space that will awkwardly stand in the corner and offer towels and eau de toilet and make our customers feel self conscious about something they’ve managed to do hassle free all of their lives!”
If my parents had known that Bathroom Attendants were going to be so readily available in my future bathroom visits, I’m not sure they would’ve put as much effort into making me the fully toilet trained man that I am today. Ok, so I know that the attendants role isn’t so much to ensure I point Percy at the porcelain as it is to offer me a towel to dry my hands or recommend me a cologne which will drive the women folk crazy upon my return. But if the attendants provided a bill of fare actually displaying their services and a suggested tip for said services, I think my dislike for them would be far less intense.
What angers me is the guilt inducing look I’m given by attendants as I depart the bathroom, having successfully answered natures call without any of their assistance, having neither used the towel on offer nor “scented up” and consequently having not left a coin on their plate. The guilt is eating me up and I can’t seem to convince myself that I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve now developed such a complex that even at home I spend 10 minutes post bathroom visit asking myself why I’m such a tight-arse.
But with necessity being the mother of invention, I’ve come up with a solution to my problem: The Wait & Run. This technique, if executed correctly, can result in a guilt inducing stare-free exit from any bathroom. It’s as simple as it is brilliant – wait until some other poor schmuck becomes the focus of the attendant’s attention… then run. For those of you thinking, but when do you wash your hands? Do yourself a favour and Google “hands free peeing”.
So with the Wait & Run at my disposal I will continue to pee for free and to quote legendary electro pop outfit Unique II: “Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride, nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh no, I got to keep on moving.” And if you’re reading this thinking that Bathroom Attendants aren’t unique to London, don’t let the truth get in the way of a moderately average story.
Read more of Liam’s Look On Life:
Rules to Doss By
Rolling the visa dice
Comparing the AFL to English football
London High Streets: A man’s shopping safe haven