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How do folks feel about restaurant restroom attendants?

ipsedixit Jun 19, 2013 07:23 AM

Do you tip? If so, how much? Does it vary if it's No.1 or No. 2?

Do you partake of all their goodies (e.g. mouthwash, cologne, personal toiletries, etc.)?

Do you *ever* feel comfortable with them just sort of standing there? Even with a stall separating the two of you? Like, are you OK passing gas like the Hindenburg just popped?

Personally, I don't like them.

I know why they're there, at least for certain restaurants/venues it is a necessity. But still ...

  1. c
    chileheadmike Jun 19, 2013 07:31 AM

    I've never seen one. Would make me uncomfortable. I would not partake in any of the goodies and have no idea how much to tip.

    1. hotoynoodle Jun 19, 2013 07:34 AM

      it's been decades since i've seen one.

      i have "shyness" issues in public restrooms, so am not a fan.

      if personal care products are offered it's either not something i want, or not something i want to share, so i pass.

      1. s
        small h Jun 19, 2013 07:41 AM

        I hate them. I'm capable of drying my hands without assistance, and if I needed to spray my hair with Aquanet, I'd carry my own giant can around. I especially hate signs that say the attendants aren't paid by the venue, and tips are their only source of income. Do not try to guilt me into paying you for a service I don't even want.

        But I don't think I've ever seen an attendant in a restaurant, only in places that were primarily bars or clubs and also served some food.

        6 Replies
        1. re: small h
          thimes Jun 20, 2013 05:53 AM

          this one - hate them

          1. re: small h
            ttoommyy Jun 20, 2013 06:22 AM

            "I hate them. I'm capable of drying my hands without assistance,"

            You're also capable of seating yourself at a restaurant but I'm sure you let the host or hostess pull out your chair. In fact, why go to a restaurant at all? Aren't you capable of making and serving your own meal at home? I know this is extreme comparison, but if it is a service that the restaurant either provides or allows, why not just let it be. If you do not want to partake of the amenities offered by the restroom attendant, a polite no thank you is all it takes. I've done it many times when I did not feel like the service was needed and there were no adverse reactions from the attendant.

            "Do not try to guilt me into paying you for a service I don't even want."

            That "guilt" is all in your mind.

            1. re: ttoommyy
              small h Jun 20, 2013 08:00 AM

              I'm not sure what part of my post led you believe I do anything but "just let it be." Do you imagine that I knock the bowl of mints to the floor, or pepper spray the bathroom attendant? I don't.

              And your comment about being able to cook my own food is not an apples-to-apples comparison. I've chosen to go out and have my food prepared for me and served to me. But I have not chosen to have someone hand me a paper towel and expect to be compensated for it - that doesn't happen in department store bathrooms, or movie theater bathrooms, so why is it acceptable in a restaurant bathroom? A better comparison would be going out to a restaurant and having someone come to the table and try to sell me roses or gum. I don't like that, either.

              1. re: small h
                ttoommyy Jun 20, 2013 08:16 AM

                When I said to "let it be" I did not think you physically did anything. I meant "don't even give it a second thought." Your use of the phrase "I hate them," and especially the use of the word "hate" led me to believe you are somewhat emotional about this subject. Sorry if I misinterpreted this.

                "And your comment about being able to cook my own food is not an apples-to-apples comparison. I've chosen to go out and have my food prepared for me and served to me. But I have not chosen to have someone hand me a paper towel and expect to be compensated for it"

                In my defense, I did say I was making an "extreme comparison." If the restaurant has a bathroom that offers this service, you have signed on for the whole experience when you decided to go to that restaurant. As for the tipping, does giving up a buck really bother you that much? Especially if it is a high end, total experience kind of restaurant?

                1. re: ttoommyy
                  small h Jun 20, 2013 04:45 PM

                  I feel strongly about a lot of things, but don't you worry about me; I've got plenty of energy for my white-hot passions.

                  There are many instances when I don't mind tipping at all. I once gave a guy $20 and four Marlboros for letting me follow his pickup back to town when I was lost in the fog on a peninsula in Baja. I would've given him more, but that was all I had (okay, I might've had a few more Marlboros, but that's between us). I just don't like the constant outstretched palms, in places they ought not to be. Ever have someone wash your windshield when you're stuck in traffic? Or wrestle your groceries away from you, when you'd prefer to bag them yourself? That's the category I put bathroom attendants in.

                  And I don't think I've ever seen a bathroom attendant in a high end restaurant, although I certainly might have and forgotten about it. I think it would detract from, rather than add to, the experience for me. Because I wouldn't feel pleasantly fussed over. I'd feel uncomfortable.

                2. re: small h
                  MelMM Jun 20, 2013 04:52 PM

                  If you see my post above, you'll note that in my local airport, which is a big one, there are attendants in the restrooms. So it is not limited to restaurants by any means. While this is becoming less common, the fact is, you can run into a restroom attendant in almost any venue. If you ever fly through Charlotte, I hope you are carrying some small bills or change. I don't need to be handed a towel, but I recognize that the attendants are keeping the restroom in better shape than it would be if there was just someone checking on it every couple hours.

            2. mrbigshotno.1 Jun 19, 2013 07:50 AM

              I've only seen them back east, they never bothered me. I went into a strip joint in NJ (this was 30 years ago) and they had a woman attendant in the mens room in a skimpy bikini.

              4 Replies
              1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                hotoynoodle Jun 19, 2013 07:52 AM




                1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                  DeppityDawg Jun 19, 2013 10:16 AM

                  I trust you tipped her appropriately for the service(s) provided.

                  1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                    Isolda Jun 19, 2013 12:56 PM

                    Hope they paid her well for enduring a biologically hazardous situation.

                    1. re: Isolda
                      mrbigshotno.1 Jun 20, 2013 07:38 AM

                      I never thought of that but you are probably right on that.

                  2. Gio Jun 19, 2013 08:00 AM

                    For someone in a wheelchair an attendant can be a godsend... opening the door, making sure you can turn the wheelie around, helping to get the wheelie out of the stall, making sure faucets can be reached, etc. Very helpful. I tip but do not use any of the amenities.

                    I first encountered a rest room attendant in a restaurant in DC when I was young. She was dressed in maid's uniform, armed with fresh and ironed linen hand towels. No paper towels to be seen. Sliver plate for the tip. And yes, I had one ready..

                    1. m
                      MelMM Jun 19, 2013 08:05 AM

                      I'm fine with them, if it means I get a clean restroom with TP stocked, soap dispenser full, and hand towels. I usually tip a buck, and I generally do not use any of the extras that the attendant has available.

                      The Charlotte airport has attendants in the bathrooms. The only time I ever minded was one time when my flight was delayed and I spent all day in the airport. It got old having to tip each time I needed to relieve myself.

                      1. jrvedivici Jun 19, 2013 08:54 AM

                        I've got no problem with them at all. Another salute to a fine dining standard that has gone by the way side. I would par-take in mouth wash and or mints if individually wrapped. Back in the day perhaps a splash of cologne, but only if they had what I was already wearing.

                        For those of you who feel odd having someone stand there while you "go"I offer you my favorite bathroom joke.

                        (****WARNING***** is is best to try this out with a friend first, to avoid the risk of getting punched)

                        While standing at a stall/urinal with another individual standing next to you, with the divider between. While you are just standing there staring at the wall just say, "Wow...that's a nice watch man"..........and wait for the reaction.

                        1. t
                          treb Jun 19, 2013 09:01 AM

                          I had my best experience downtown NYC, never touched a door handle, only used the fresh towels, wouldn't use any liquids. I tipped.

                          1. h
                            Harters Jun 19, 2013 09:05 AM

                            I don't believe I've ever come across attendants in a restaurant toilet area.

                            Once, years ago, there was a guy selling personal care products in a bar's toilet area. It felt creepy. Almost put me off having a pee.

                            1. a
                              albinoni Jun 19, 2013 09:12 AM

                              As it's generally done in the US (guy at a folding table by the door who may hand you a paper towel when you're done), I can't stand it.

                              However, back in the late '70's we were in Vienna, and we went to use the public restrooms underground in one of the historic areas. Down a flight of stairs was the most ornate men's room I have ever seen in my life! Polished woodwork, acid-etched frosted glass, ornate porcelain tiles, sinks and toilets, and spotlessly clean. Standing in command over all of this splendor was an elderly lady who projected pride and authority. She opened the sliding wood and glass door for me when I went in to the WC, and opened it when I was done. She well deserved the tips and the position she held.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: albinoni
                                Gio Jun 19, 2013 10:23 AM

                                Something similar was experienced in Salzburg Austria some years ago. A little restaurant opposite the Mozart Museum. The uniformed attendant wiped down the elaborate commode with antiseptic and clean cloths before anyone entered. No tip was expected, though I did as did others.

                                1. re: albinoni
                                  ttoommyy Jun 19, 2013 12:21 PM

                                  "As it's generally done in the US (guy at a folding table by the door who may hand you a paper towel when you're done), I can't stand it."

                                  Funny, but I've only seen this setup in Europe. Here in the US (NYC metro area) I've only experienced the "in-house" attendant with his array of colognes, paper towels, mouthwash, etc. Like some others have said, it's a genteel touch and in a high end restaurant, I am comfortable with it. I usually tip a buck or two, even if I don't partake of the amenities he has on offer.

                                2. inaplasticcup Jun 19, 2013 09:13 AM

                                  I've only ever seen them at clubs, and even though some of the restroom attendants I've met seem like really decent people, the concept itself still creeps me out.

                                  1. l
                                    LeoLioness Jun 19, 2013 09:46 AM

                                    The only time I ever see it is at clubs, never restaurants. In addition to handing you a towel they usually also have mints, cigarettes, condoms and perfume for purchase.

                                    Personally, I hate it. I tip them because it seems like a really terrible job and I feel bad for them.

                                    1. m
                                      mwhitmore Jun 19, 2013 09:54 AM

                                      About the same as I feel about Pullman porters.

                                      1. s
                                        stevenb30 Jun 19, 2013 10:36 AM

                                        I find it over the top pretentious and obnoxious. Major offender in NYC - the BR Guest restaurants (Ruby Foo's, Blue Water Grill, et al). The attendants' source of income is not my issue, and I find their presence to be intrusive.

                                        1. hyacinthgirl Jun 19, 2013 11:00 AM

                                          Do not like them but if they're there I do feel obligated to tip them. That said, I rarely have cash on hand, so my quick trip to the bathroom ends up with me feeling guilty and having to slink out not making eye contact with a mumbled "sorry."

                                          1. j
                                            josephnl Jun 19, 2013 11:17 AM

                                            Hate them. Never use their services. Never tip because I've received no service, and indeed feel uncomfortable if one is standing too close to me while I'm ...

                                            In Europe, it's not unusual to be charged to use a public WC. Fortunately this is very unusual in the US.

                                            1. j
                                              jaykayen Jun 19, 2013 11:42 AM

                                              I think I've only seen it once, at The Bazaar?

                                              1. r
                                                ricepad Jun 19, 2013 12:01 PM

                                                Every time I see one (maybe three times?), I think of Donna Summer's song, "She Works Hard For The Money", purportedly inspired by a restroom attendant that the songwriter found asleep at her post. Then I think of the SNL skit with Robert DeNiro (?), where the attendant followed him into the stall.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ricepad
                                                  Motosport Jun 19, 2013 01:51 PM

                                                  That was a funny skit. Personal service at it's best.

                                                2. i
                                                  Isolda Jun 19, 2013 12:54 PM

                                                  I haven't seen one in a restaurant in years, but they do have them at Symphony Hall in Boston. Really, they're there for crowd control (motioning to you when a stall is clean and open) during peak toilet hours (intermission) and making sure there's enough TP and that the counters aren't sopping wet. I like an attendant in this venue. In particular, I like Mary, the attendant in this venue.

                                                  But in a restaurant? No, thanks. All I expect is a reasonably clean bathroom. I don't need anyone to hand me mouthwash from a communal bottle (gross).

                                                  1. Motosport Jun 19, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                    I like it. The guy keeps the bathroom clean. There is always soap and towels. I give him a buck or whatever coins I have.
                                                    Then again, I'm not shy about "terlet" (Brooklynese) stuff.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: Motosport
                                                      josephnl Jun 19, 2013 01:40 PM

                                                      It's the restaurant's responsibility (and a legal requirement) to keep the restroom clean and properly stocked. I don't need or want anyone hanging around when I go to the toilet, and should not need to tip for something I don't want.

                                                      1. re: josephnl
                                                        Motosport Jun 19, 2013 01:50 PM

                                                        I guess we live in different worlds. Restaurant toilets get messy even if someone comes in every couple of hours to clean. It only takes one slob to splash water all over the counter, "bless" the seat or toss paper towels on the floor. Ever sit down and then realize there is no TP?
                                                        A tip is not required and when I did not have any $ handy I have never gotten an attitude other than helpful pleasantness.
                                                        Most times the attendants are in larger establishments with larger multi stall toilets. I've never felt that the attendant was intrusive.
                                                        Have you been in the military?

                                                        1. re: Motosport
                                                          josephnl Jun 19, 2013 02:35 PM

                                                          Yes, I've been in the military, and we're not talking latrines here! Aside from fast food joints that I'm forced to use when I'm on a road trip, the restaurants I frequent take care in keeping their restrooms clean and stocked (without an attendant standing around)!

                                                          1. re: josephnl
                                                            Motosport Jun 19, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                            The attendants are hard working people who are not just "standing around." I.M.H.O. they don't have the most glamorous job but I appreciate any hard working human being trying to make an honest buck.
                                                            How do the restaurants you "frequent" know when the last towel or roll of TP has been used? Cameras?
                                                            I have been in some fancy schmancy NYC restaurants where the paper towel dispenser was empty. It happens at the best places but not where there is an attendant.

                                                            1. re: Motosport
                                                              josephnl Jun 19, 2013 07:58 PM

                                                              I get along just fine thank you, at the 99.9% of restaurants I go to who do not have an attendant on duty. I'm not saying that restroom attendants are not good, hard working and ambitious people. What I am saying is that I have never seen the need for them, don't like anyone standing by when I'm in the restroom, do not desire or utilize any special services they might provide, and do not wish to tip for the basic services that the establishment should be providing. Sorry if I disagree with you!

                                                              1. re: josephnl
                                                                Motosport Jun 20, 2013 07:34 AM

                                                                Have you seen the Seinfeld episode where Elaine asks: "Can you spare a square?"

                                                    2. p
                                                      PotatoPuff Jun 19, 2013 01:44 PM

                                                      I hate it simply because unless I know in advance that there will be an attendant I don't have cash with me.

                                                      1. girloftheworld Jun 19, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                        The only time I have seen one is when I went to the racetrack with my grandfather. I was little so he walked me down and I went in I didnt know why he had handed me a dollar. Well I got my dress tucked up into my panties and this woman grabbed me and scared me to death! She laughed and explained it was her job. Helped me with my dress washed my hands. asked if the dollar was for her. I siad I guess so.
                                                        come to think of it with so many divorced people it might be good to have Restroom Moms and Dads?

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: girloftheworld
                                                          jrvedivici Jun 19, 2013 02:50 PM

                                                          Unfortunately in this litigious world we live in I think the potential liability of a rest room mom or dad world make the concept highly unlikely.

                                                          On a related story I was in a public bathroom using the urinal when I felt a tug on my pants I look down behind me is a 3/4 year old girl. Completely shocked I looked around for her father and I was alone in the men's room. I quickly finished my business and asked her where her father was, to which she responded with a blank stare and shrugged shoulders. Confused and a little unsettled by the situation I realizes there was no way I'm walking this child out of this men's room with an unknown potential of people outside looking for her.

                                                          I sat her on the counter told her to sit there and I would be right back. I left the rest room and to my shock, nobody looking or searching for her. I flagged down an employee and brought them back with me. This was at an amusement park. I left the girl in the employees custody.

                                                          I felt terrible but the reality is if I saw a man walking out of the men's room with my 3-4 year old missing child, I would swing first and ask questions later.

                                                          Then again I've never let my children wander from me in a public place either.

                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                                            girloftheworld Jun 19, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                            "Unfortunately in this litigious world we live in I think the potential liability of a rest room mom or dad world make the concept highly unlikely"

                                                            Sad but true.. Men get a bum wrap dont they..a lot of worst first thinking

                                                            1. re: girloftheworld
                                                              ratgirlagogo Jun 26, 2013 07:16 PM

                                                              On one of Bill Cosby's old records ( I mean REALLY old, from the sixties, when he was primarily a stand-up comedian) he tells a story of having to take his three-year old daughter into the men's room in some public space and be too uncomfortable to go into the stall with her. So he had her go into the stall by herself, which she did, closing the door without a problem, doing her business, and flushing the toilet - after which she then walked out carrying all of her clothes.

                                                              1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                                girloftheworld Jun 26, 2013 07:42 PM

                                                                LOL-I just pictured him telling that with his eyebrows going up and that little girl who plays Rudy form the Cosby reruns we watch on TV

                                                                1. re: girloftheworld
                                                                  ttoommyy Jun 27, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                  Rudy's parents were children when Cosby did that record! LOL

                                                        2. meatn3 Jun 19, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                          I'm generally not a fan. It just feels like you're being pressured to tip for services you don't want or need.

                                                          There are two spots where I have appreciated them. One is at my State Fair. There is one building with rest room attendants and it is the only rest room during the fair which is decent to use. The other is at a service center on one of the turnpikes in the North East. Again, it stays much cleaner than average in a hyper busy situation.

                                                          I could see it in a very busy club - plus the club might feel it keeps questionable activities at bay.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: meatn3
                                                            mpjmph Jun 19, 2013 06:35 PM

                                                            I was just about to post about the attendants at the NC state fair. They are stationed in most of the restrooms (I can only speak for ladies) and manage to keep the facilities quite clean. They also do a great job with crowd control. The local paper onc eran a piece about them - they are all free lance, sanctioned by the fair, but not paid. The fair provides soap and paper products. Anything else comes out of the attedants pockets. They obviously take pride in what they do, playing music and bringing in flowers/plants. I always tip - hate to think of what the facilities would be like without them.

                                                            1. re: mpjmph
                                                              Kajikit Jun 24, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                              In a high-traffic area like that, I'm sure the restroom attendants are doing an invaluable service. The more people go in and out of the facilities in a day, the harder it is to keep it sanitary. But in a small restaurant, I can't see it would be necessary.

                                                          2. h
                                                            HillJ Jun 19, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                            I haven't come across a restroom attendant in many years and the last one was in a broadway theater restroom. I didn't have any cash on me, just a pack of gum (Juicy Fruit) in my pocket, so I offered her a stick and she said, "can I have the pack?"...tip handled!

                                                            I have to add that I feel for the restroom attendants though, that cannot be a pleasant or easy job on any level. There aren't enough tips in the world to ease the burden of being privvy to the bathroom habits of strangers.

                                                            1. l
                                                              latindancer Jun 19, 2013 11:00 PM

                                                              I don't like them, personally.

                                                              When I enter a washroom I like it to be simple and clean.
                                                              I've entered too many washrooms where the attendant has her hairspray, lotions, soaps, mints, gum, mouthwash, cologne, tylenol, advil, etc....lined up along the sink. It looks messy and cluttered and, frankly, dirty.
                                                              I like a serene and quiet atmosphere where nobody's watching my every move. It's my time to walk away from the table and have a few moments alone. I don't want or need anyone asking me if they can be of assistance. The restaurants I frequent must have someone paying close attention because the washrooms are always immaculate and smell wonderful.
                                                              I'm a very generous tipper but not in the washroom. Leave me alone, thank you very much. I'll tip elsewhere.

                                                              19 Replies
                                                              1. re: latindancer
                                                                ttoommyy Jun 20, 2013 06:27 AM

                                                                "I like a serene and quiet atmosphere where nobody's watching my every move. It's my time to walk away from the table and have a few moments alone."

                                                                Wow. I just go to pee and leave. You make quite an experience out of it! lol

                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                  latindancer Jun 20, 2013 08:35 AM

                                                                  <I just pee and leave>

                                                                  That's nice. I'm not a man and I don't 'just go to pee and leave'. I wash my hands (do you?), use a bit of hand cream and check my makeup.
                                                                  My 'experience' is no different than every other woman I know who uses the washroom.

                                                                  1. re: latindancer
                                                                    Beach Chick Jun 20, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                                    Bonjour latindancer!
                                                                    Men go to pee and women go to pee and also, check makeup, apply lipgloss, check their teeth and a woman never goes #2 in a public restroom, unless it is absolutely life or death situation. ; )

                                                                    In regards to the attendants, I don't mind and always tip big and talk with them in their language and have enormous empathy for what they do.
                                                                    In Europe, I have found they are a bit more formal than at the finer restaurants in the US.

                                                                    Was just at the Del Mar Fair and spoke with a lovely Mexican woman who cleaned that bathroom like nobody's business..she was so sweet and she stated she has a good job that she loves and the monies helps her grandchildren out.
                                                                    We laughed that she couldn't believe a 'weta' was speaking slang and she thought that was so funny..

                                                                    Glad I could make her laugh!

                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick
                                                                      Motosport Jun 20, 2013 09:19 AM

                                                                      Outside many public (parks, zoos etc..) restrooms in Mexico there will be an attendant doling out toilet paper.
                                                                      In poorer countries a roll of TP in a public restroom is quickly "liberated" for home use. It's a sad reality.
                                                                      The peso or two for the TP is well worth it.

                                                                      1. re: Motosport
                                                                        Veggo Jun 20, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                                        TP in Mexico? I ALWAYS bring my own.

                                                                      2. re: Beach Chick
                                                                        latindancer Jun 20, 2013 09:52 AM

                                                                        Bonjour Beach Chick :).

                                                                        I agree with your assessment on European washroom assistants versus even 'finer' restaurants in the US.

                                                                        For me, if I had the lovely experience you're describing, I'd, most likely, invite the opportunity to lavish in their assistance. It's just no the case in the restaurants I've been in who hire them. I think it's the 'expectation' of a tip, from the ones I've experienced, that bothers me and I'm a very, very generous tipper. Nobody can fault me for that.
                                                                        If I went into a washroom and the woman was the way you describe her? Uh, yes. I'd tip just like you did and smile on the way out.

                                                                        Hasta Luego, Beach Chick....until we meet again :).

                                                                      3. re: latindancer
                                                                        ttoommyy Jun 20, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                        "That's nice. I'm not a man and I don't 'just go to pee and leave'. I wash my hands (do you?), "

                                                                        Nah. Then I ask for a tour of the kitchen and touch all the food. Where did you say you ate?

                                                                        Of course I wash my hands!

                                                                    2. re: latindancer
                                                                      Veggo Jun 20, 2013 06:35 AM

                                                                      "I like a serene and quiet atmosphere where nobody's watching my every move."
                                                                      As does a bear in a forest....

                                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                                        latindancer Jun 20, 2013 07:50 AM

                                                                        Yes, like a bear....
                                                                        I don't think a bear would enjoy those atttendants either.

                                                                        1. re: latindancer
                                                                          jrvedivici Jun 20, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                                          I new a bear once, I don't think he would have minded a rest room attendant as much as he did having to wear that tu-tu when he danced.

                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                            girloftheworld Jun 20, 2013 08:09 AM

                                                                            I dont think that bear who wears a tutu and dances goes back to the woods at the end of the day... She goes to her trailer and grabs a magazine.

                                                                      2. re: latindancer
                                                                        Motosport Jun 20, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                                        Back in the day, a former GF would turn on both faucets and pre-flush to mask any sounds she might make while doing whatever she was doing. Now that is "serene!"

                                                                        1. re: Motosport
                                                                          girloftheworld Jun 20, 2013 08:05 AM

                                                                          ya if you think about it why do we sit on a tiny ampatheater to take care of on of our most personal needs

                                                                          1. re: girloftheworld
                                                                            Motosport Jun 20, 2013 08:15 AM

                                                                            in my case a "Concerto!"

                                                                            1. re: Motosport
                                                                              Veggo Jun 20, 2013 08:21 AM

                                                                              Here's hoping your solo instrument is not a percussion.

                                                                              1. re: Veggo
                                                                                Motosport Jun 20, 2013 08:27 AM

                                                                                "Bohemian Rhapsody!" With 4 part harmony!

                                                                          2. re: Motosport
                                                                            hotoynoodle Jun 20, 2013 06:47 PM

                                                                            just run the faucets, don't pre-flush, if at somebody else's home. :o

                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                              Veggo Jun 20, 2013 06:50 PM

                                                                              At someone else's home, there is something called a courtesy flush....

                                                                              1. re: Veggo
                                                                                hotoynoodle Jun 24, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                                                nice to know my neurosis has a name. :)

                                                                        2. b
                                                                          beevod Jun 20, 2013 08:26 AM

                                                                          They make me uncomfortable but, if one is present, I tip well. They aren't there because of the fun.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: beevod
                                                                            jrvedivici Jun 20, 2013 08:32 AM

                                                                            Hahahaha have you searched the internet lately? You would be very surprised just what some people call "fun"!

                                                                          2. al b. darned Jun 20, 2013 10:05 AM

                                                                            The only place I've seen restroom attendants is at the New York State Fair, and I assume their primary purpose is to make sure the kids don't try to flush all the paper towels down the toilet at once. (Ask me how I know kids do this.) Oh, and maybe replace the TP in the stalls.

                                                                            While I find it a bit creepy to see a guy hanging around in the men's room, I'm assuming it's not a whole lot of fun for him either. He's probably a guy who got laid off when one of the many factories around here closed and will take any job for the extra money, and all the good ones at the fair were already taken. I'll leave him a tip every time.

                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                            1. re: al b. darned
                                                                              Linda VH Jun 21, 2013 07:11 AM

                                                                              Not saying I hate them but it is disconcerting when you don't expect them. I don't usually take my purse into the rest room so have no money on me. Last night went to a Jazz club that is new to me - yep attendant in the restroom. Told her I'd catch her on the flip side but never made it back because of the show.

                                                                              1. re: Linda VH
                                                                                ttoommyy Jun 21, 2013 08:03 AM

                                                                                "Told her I'd catch her on the flip side but never made it back because of the show."

                                                                                This thread is also an interesting psychological study... of sorts.
                                                                                There are those who feel they should say something if they do not tip, as @Linda VH did. And then there are those like me who would say nothing. One is not obligated to tip. Neither is "correct" behavior. it just depends on the person. Interesting.

                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                  Motosport Jun 21, 2013 08:34 AM

                                                                                  Without a doubt the attendants live in the real world and know everyone will not give them a tip and some that would are not prepared with loose change or purse.
                                                                                  "Sorry or catch you later" is something they hear often.
                                                                                  I have never gotten a guilt trip from an attendant. If I know a place has an attendant I head into the "terlet" (Brooklynese) prepared otherwise I'll catch them on the second visit if I make one.
                                                                                  Anyone remember Holly Golightly and her "$50 for the attendant?"

                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                    latindancer Jun 21, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                                                    it's no different than coming into/out of a market here in LA (I'm assuming it happens everywhere else) where there's inevitably 2 people standing outside the market asking for donations for this or that or requests for signing petitions. I usually am not inclined to stop but I watch people bend over backwards apologizing for not stopping and talking or signing or paying.

                                                                                    The two 13 year old kids, standing outside the door of the market, selling candy bars from a cardboard box.
                                                                                    People will pay them $20 for a candy bar, no problem, and apologize if they don't have the cash and tell them they'll go back in the market to get it.
                                                                                    These kids make a killing.

                                                                                    Nobody's obligated to do anything, as you say, and I just use my intuition most of the time in order to make my own decisions.

                                                                                    1. re: latindancer
                                                                                      Motosport Jun 21, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                                                      .........and those men and women in capes ringing a bell and blowing their trumpets at Christmas time........
                                                                                      That was a joke!!

                                                                                      1. re: Motosport
                                                                                        latindancer Jun 21, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                                                        Sorry you feel that way.

                                                                                        I like them.

                                                                                        1. re: latindancer
                                                                                          ttoommyy Jun 22, 2013 04:33 AM

                                                                                          Me too.

                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                            Motosport Jun 22, 2013 07:26 AM

                                                                                            It was a joke!!! I have a great deal of respect for the Salvation Army.

                                                                                      2. re: latindancer
                                                                                        jrvedivici Jun 24, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                                        Ok, ok, ok, I'll come clean........I didn't turn in my Unicef box one year in about the 5th grade. I said I lost it and my parents had to pay a fine, but then all summer I was outside the A&P with my Unicef box!!

                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                          DeppityDawg Jun 24, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                          someone's going to H***

                                                                                          1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                            Motosport Jun 24, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                                                            Land shark for UNICEF!

                                                                                2. monavano Jun 21, 2013 09:00 AM

                                                                                  Yuck, can't stand them. They have no purpose. A person does not need to be attending the loo constantly.
                                                                                  If you're handicapped, talk to the host to arrange help. Send staff in to check paper levels and empty the trash.
                                                                                  I tip my servers well, but will never give a dime in the bathroom. Why would I pay someone for their unpleasant presence?

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: monavano
                                                                                    Motosport Jun 21, 2013 09:14 AM

                                                                                    What is "unpleasant" about their presence? They are not begging. No "Alms for the poor!" They are just attending to the bathroom so that you have a clean place with paper towels and TP. If you drank a little too much scotch or had some garlic you may actually be thankful for that little bottle of mouthwash, stick of gum or breath mint.
                                                                                    Ever been in a bathroom where some slob before you splashed water all over the sink area and grabbed a huge wad of paper towels leaving none in the dispenser.
                                                                                    Watch the Seinfeld episode where Elaine asks: " Can you spare a square?" and you will be thankful for an attendant.

                                                                                    1. re: Motosport
                                                                                      monavano Jun 21, 2013 09:21 AM

                                                                                      You'll never convince me that attendants are necessary and I'll never find them pleasant.
                                                                                      How on EARTH do we go about shitting without them??
                                                                                      Oh, btw, anything I need is in my purse. i don't want your crappy perfume, i carry tampons and breath mints.
                                                                                      Yuck. Go. Away.

                                                                                      1. re: monavano
                                                                                        sedimental Jun 21, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                        Well, this guy thinks that you shouldn't shit without him......lol


                                                                                        1. re: monavano
                                                                                          Motosport Jun 21, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                          My question: "What is "unpleasant" about their presence?" was not answered.
                                                                                          I never said and don't believe they are "necessary".

                                                                                          1. re: Motosport
                                                                                            monavano Jun 21, 2013 10:19 AM

                                                                                            OK, let me see if I can shine some light on the obvious. They expect money. One feels a certain sense of being guilted into tipping them. It's UNPLEASANT.
                                                                                            I don't want someone standing 4 feet away listening to me pee. It's UNPLEASANT.

                                                                                            1. re: monavano
                                                                                              Motosport Jun 21, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                              What do you do if someone uses the stall next to yours? Only 2 feet away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

                                                                                    2. r
                                                                                      RedTop Jun 21, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                                                      A restaurant my wife and I frequent has attendants in the mens room. Two older gents (80s) who alternate evenings. Found out from the owner that both had "retired" from the restaurant after starting work with the owners Dad decades before. Was explained to me that both men were widowers and hated being alone all day and all night.

                                                                                      I always have tip money when using the facilities there.

                                                                                      1. m
                                                                                        merrua Jun 21, 2013 10:24 AM

                                                                                        they are weird, but rare in my country. id avoid places with them

                                                                                        1. rockandroller1 Jun 21, 2013 11:45 AM

                                                                                          I had to have a series of major GI surgeries many years ago that left me at the mercy of many a public toilet. I can't simply "wait until later" to go. I know a lot of other people with similar GI problems and the last thing we want is someone hanging around in the bathroom listening to what we're doing. It's not relaxing or enjoyable. I have never been interested in partaking of anything they have to offer, that's why I have a purse. I wish they would all completely disappear and I would never see one again.

                                                                                          1. r
                                                                                            RedTop Jun 21, 2013 01:55 PM

                                                                                            Until we were priced out of the market, my wife and me had a ticket package to Detroit Tigers home games. Where we parked, we had to run a gauntlet of panhandlers in the streets on our way to Comerica Park. I'd put, um, six to $10 dollar bills in my pocket to give to the panhandlers. When that was gone, it was gone. (one legless Viet Vet always got a donation).

                                                                                            One time, coming out of a game, I pushed past a panhandler asking for change...

                                                                                            Almost immediately, the verse from an old hymn popped into my head "all that you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto me."

                                                                                            I view these souls working in the facilities in the same way. Some are needy--but proud. Some are befuddled. Some have to supplement an outrageously low Social Security check. Some are just plain lonely and need to brush a shoulder off and give a smile, just hoping for a nod of recognition in return.

                                                                                            I don't think a one of them is a creep.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: RedTop
                                                                                              Leonardo Jun 21, 2013 09:01 PM

                                                                                              Reminds me of the SNL sketch with Harvey Keitel as a regular Joe dining uncomfortably out of his element at an uber-fancy restaurant. He doesn't like all the attention. Then he goes to the bathroom meant for one person, and Kevin Nealon is the attendent who insists on helping him off with his pants! So funny...

                                                                                              (Speaking as one who works as an addiction counselor with former panhandlers, I can assure you the majority of them are seeking money to support their addiction.)

                                                                                              1. re: Leonardo
                                                                                                ttoommyy Jun 22, 2013 04:40 AM

                                                                                                I think we are talking about two different types of attendants in this thread. The "addicts" you speak of are not the idea of attendants I have seen in restaurant restrooms I've been in.

                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                  monavano Jun 22, 2013 05:13 AM

                                                                                                  Agree, I never think of them as addicts, unless they're just posing as employees, but I've never got that feeling. I think they're legit.

                                                                                                2. re: Leonardo
                                                                                                  ricepad Jun 22, 2013 07:30 AM

                                                                                                  Yeah, that's right...it was Harvey! I attributed it to DeNiro (above). Thanks for jogging my failing memory!

                                                                                              2. Kajikit Jun 24, 2013 10:29 AM

                                                                                                I haven't been to any place swanky enough to have a restroom attendant since I was a little girl. At the time I was VERY impressed (also by the marble bathroom, palm trees, etc.). Given the state people tend to leave public restrooms in, I can see the advantages of having a real live person there to guilt them into not being such incredible slobs.

                                                                                                1. b
                                                                                                  born2cook Jun 24, 2013 11:44 AM

                                                                                                  I see plenty of them in Vegas clubs and restaurants. Not a fan and feel obligated to tip every single time. If I am at a club, then I'm drinking both alcohol and water, so it's very normal for me to visit the men's room 3xs the night and not having the right change would make me feel bad to leave w/o a tip, but I don't want to leave $10 each time I go in either. So no, I don't like em.

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: born2cook
                                                                                                    girloftheworld Jun 24, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                                                    maybe they should give you a ticket stub like a movie theater you can show :)

                                                                                                    1. re: born2cook
                                                                                                      ttoommyy Jun 24, 2013 12:10 PM

                                                                                                      "I see plenty of them in Vegas clubs and restaurants. Not a fan and feel obligated to tip every single time."

                                                                                                      Why do you feel obligated?

                                                                                                      1. re: born2cook
                                                                                                        DeppityDawg Jun 24, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                                                        $10??? I thought Vegas toilets had a $50 minimum.

                                                                                                        1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                          Motosport Jun 24, 2013 01:02 PM

                                                                                                          I give $1 max. Holly Golightly said it cost $50.

                                                                                                          1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                            girloftheworld Jun 24, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                            but we allllll know Holly Golightly pocketed it anyway...she was just that kind of girl.

                                                                                                          2. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                                                            ttoommyy Jun 24, 2013 01:06 PM

                                                                                                            "10??? I thought Vegas toilets had a $50 minimum."


                                                                                                        2. Bill Hunt Jun 24, 2013 09:30 PM

                                                                                                          Some years ago, I was the golfing guest of a member at a very exclusive club.

                                                                                                          I went to the gentleman's room, and there was a man there, who handed me a towel, and even "shook me," when I was done. I gave him $2.00, and returned to our table in the club house. I commented on the attendant, only to be told - "what, we don't have any restroom attendants!"

                                                                                                          Little did I know.


                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                            Motosport Jun 25, 2013 08:26 AM

                                                                                                            I hope he wore white gloves!!

                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                              jrvedivici Jun 25, 2013 09:34 AM

                                                                                                              Mr. Hunt,

                                                                                                              With all due respect, if a man were to "shook me" when I was done, the end of this story would be with me in handcuff's.

                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                ttoommyy Jun 25, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                An ooooooold joke. Groan.

                                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                  jrvedivici Jun 25, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                  lol If so I preferred it better when it was told to me as a valet parker. A little less personal I guess.

                                                                                                                2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                  josephnl Jun 25, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                  Hunt...please confirm that the "shook me" is a joke?

                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                    ttoommyy Jun 25, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                    Does he really need to confirm this? Of course it was a joke!

                                                                                                                    1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                      Bill Hunt Jun 25, 2013 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                      Well... yes, it was a joke, and one that I played on my host at that club.


                                                                                                                    2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                      ricepad Jun 25, 2013 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                      My hands are shaky and my knees are weak
                                                                                                                      I can't seem to stand on my own two feet
                                                                                                                      Who do you thank when you have such luck?
                                                                                                                      I'm in love, I'm all shook up.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ricepad
                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt Jun 25, 2013 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                        Well, I was not to that point, at least not quite yet.


                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                          Motosport Jun 26, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                          Uh huh, huh!

                                                                                                                    3. r
                                                                                                                      ratgirlagogo Jun 26, 2013 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                      I actually don't remember ever encountering one in a high-end place. Not that I go to that many, but when I have, there haven't been attendants.
                                                                                                                      I remember fondly the one at Katz's, who didn't really attend on you much, at least not in the women's room. She just sat there in front of a big pegboard covered with plastic costume jewelry she was selling. I bought her jewelry more than once, but I never really tipped her.
                                                                                                                      The other one I remember most fondly was at the old Hollywood Bar in Coney Island, and you didn't even get inside the bathroom unless you gave the attendant a quarter. I would have happily given more just to have access to a bathroom back in the days (70's and 80's) where there were almost no public bathrooms in NYC, and I always wished more bars would do it, instead of just having the toilet be out of commission all the time. In more recent years they've had "toilet trailers" parked out in Coney where, again, you had to pay a quarter to get in. Quite a deal in context.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt Jun 26, 2013 08:08 PM

                                                                                                                        In London, Paris, Rome and Munich, my wife always makes sure that she has coins, both for the attendants and for the stalls.

                                                                                                                        Seems that for the guys, there are fewer of both attendants, and pay toilets?


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