I also have often wondered what the restroom attendants must be thinking. They have to deal with the scene all night. And while these hired paper-towel-hander-outers are quiet and complacent, I thought about what could possibly going through their heads while working that thankless job that always makes me feel uncomfortable and sorry for them. They are the "eyes and ears of this institution," like the janitor in the high school. (I can't ever seem to get away completely from Breakfast Club references.)
What if those women, underneath it all, are actually angry and bitter, despite acting so normal and friendly? Even if they really aren't, I thought it would be funny to explore their thinking as if they were. In that vein, here's a piece inspired by McSweeney's short imagined monologues based on what might be going through a bathroom attendant's mind while she works. While this is a work of fiction, I have observed most everything that's in it as a patron of a bar who just wants to pee. (The barfing scene is straight out of Vegas.)
Note: Language below is not safe for work:
The Washroom Attendant Has Fucking Had It with this Night Club
The Fuck. How did I end up sitting on this uncomfortable stool in this damp public restroom shelling out rough brown paper towels to drunk bimbos in stiletto heels all night?
Seriously? This is my life?
“Theenk yowww,” they slur as they reapply glossy red lips to their sweaty, distorted faces. They probably looked pretty a few hours ago. Before Jack Daniels and his little nautical pal Captain Morgan took hold of them. Amateurs.
That fancy make-up shit isn’t going to help you land that jackass on the dance floor¸ I want to say, but I don’t. I see the same thing, day in, day out, but I just smile and hand them another paper towel quietly. Because it’s my fucking job.
“Gum?” I offer. If you want to suck face with the chiseled cologne-infested sleazebag who won’t call you again after you fuck him, you’re gonna need to do something about that breath, chicky.
“No thanks,” they reply, staring into the steamy mirror, pick-pick-picking at their blond bangs with their lengthy manicured fingers, like rearranging a few hairs will make a fucking difference at last call.
The repetitive hip hop music is muffled with the door closed, but every time a skinny girl in a tight black dress swings that shit open, it’s deafening. I can’t take it. I hear that music in my sleep. Thump Thump Thump. That is, when I get sleep, at like 4:00 AM.
Some tipsy bitches leave tips. Most don’t. I grit my teeth at the verbal tips. Because it’s my job.
Fake. Real. Real. Fake. Fake. Fake. Real. Sometimes when I’m super bored, and there’s a line of ‘em, I play the boob game while they’re bitching about how there are only three stalls, and one of them is already clogged with toilet paper.
Every five minutes, one of them tries to use that forbidden stall. I smirk when she throws open the door and jumps two feet backward, like the soggy toilet paper monster is going to leap out at her.
“Ewwwww,” she says, slamming the door. I should put a sign up, but I don’t.
“That girl in there is taking forever. Come on, ladies! Let’s pee and get out!” another one in line demands to no one in particular.
I have to listen to these twenty-somethings gab, gab, gab. Mindless chitter chatter about horny boys who don’t deserve their energy. They should give my ass a PhD in psych after all the nonsense I have to put up with.
“Oh. My. God, Stacy. I’m in so much trouble right now!” one of them says.
Oh god, here we go again.
“Yeah, ya are!” this Stacy person says.
“When I went to the bathroom, he was like, ‘Tell them my name, you’ll get a good seat.’ Haha.”
“I think he likes you.”
“I know, right? I swear I won’t have sex with him tonight.”
“Yeah, sure. Ya whore!”
“I am not! Ugh, I’m so bloated right now. I should not be naked in front of anyone.”
“Seriously. Let’s go do a shot!”
“Seriously. Let’s go do a shot!”
Giggle, giggle, giggle.
And then they exit the bathroom, and I roll my eyes.
My favorite nights are when pukey-pukerton shows up. You know the one. She can’t even hold her liquor long enough to stumble home. She falls off the toilet when she’s peeing and upchucks on herself while lying on the grimy floor. It’s disgusting.
“Somebody call my husband!” she cries, her hair in her face, mopping up tears and vomit, her legs and arms all akimbo, her panties around her ankles, butt protruding from the stall.
“Just say no, people! Just. Say. No!” a random observer instructs the room, as if she’s more enlightened.
You think I’m kidding. I’ve actually seen this shit. And smelled it. The faint smell of sewage and sweat is sometimes unbearable.
It’s always the same thing, different ladies. Don’t kid yourselves, girls. You’re in this night club for the same damn reason they are: to get laid. If you think you can find a future husband here, you’ve got another thing comin’.
“Candy? Mint?” I ask.
“No, thanks,” they mumble, not even looking me in the eye, as if I’m the unused dryer mounted on the wall.
I stare at the spread of single-serving aspirins, tampons, and perfume like we’re on a fucking jet plane. These dollar items have no doubt been sitting on this wet, white tile since the dawn of time, way before I landed my ass in this thankless job. Because no one ever buys them.
I swear one of these days I’m going to get a real job, where I don’t have to deal with these intoxicated floozies. Fuck this. I’m out. On my last day, I’m going to tell them how I really feel: “He’s a juicer, puts on too much cologne, and buys you vodka tonics because he wants you to go home with him tonight. He doesn’t want a relationship later. That’s. Why. He’s. Here. Get over yourself. Oh, and do yourself a favor: wear a damn condom.”
In the meantime, I’m going to smile and keep offering bulk paper towels through clenched teeth. Because it’s my job.