Over-Helpful Washroom Attendant

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Brian:   Please, can someone explain what a "washroom" attendant is?

Are you just making them up or are there really toilets with men whose job it is to do 'jobs' for you? Lend you a hand as it were.

And money changes hands?

Just what kind of toilets do you Londoners have?

leading a sheltered life...........thank fuck


I must admit I have only ever encountered these in London but like most "new" things I have found since living in London they tend to drift up north (at least to Leeds anyway) after a couple of years. Because they've been around for a while I assumed that other places have them now.

You don't get them in ordinary pubs, just the "trendy" sort of City bars or West End bars/clubs though I was recently dismayed to find one in Shoreditch (God bless Shoreditch). Anyway, what happens is this...

You've had a few beers and it's time to go for a piss, but when you get to the bogs there's this young bloke (usually black) who's "set up stall" around the washbasins, that is he's got loads of bottles of toiletries and gawd knows what. So you go to the urinal and have your piss - this bit's OK 'cos he doesn't interfere with you doing that - but then when you go to wash your hands, before you've had time to switch the tap on he's already done it for you. Then you attempt to press the soap dispenser thingy - too late he's beaten you to that. You're allowed to wash your hands yourself but if you got any ideas of getting a paper towel out of the machine forget it. He hands you a paper towel.

And while he's doing that he's doing exactly the same thing to two or three other people. Honest, he's manic! I've never seen anyone perform their job so enthusiastically. There's actually nothing dodgy about it at all but I find it sooooo infuriating. And to add insult to injury he wants you to give him money for it. He has a little pot with pound coins and 50 pees in it and people actually do tip him, I just don't get it. He must make a bleedin' fortune.

Kate, do you get over-helpful washroom attendants in the gents in Leeds?



Funny you should say that Mike. I was down the Royally the other night, as it happens, having a piss in the Gents, when someone offered me 10 quid to give them a wipe! Fucking cheek! Anyway, I'd run out of money and I wanted another pint so I wiped him and got completely pissed. I'm jacking in my job tomorrow - apparently you can make a fortune in oral bidetry.

furry tongued

Jim:   I've not run into one in Oxford, but then again you don't find me wasting my hard-earned in "trendy" places, which never, ever, ever have decent beer in 'em anyway.

If you're going to go to these 'ere sort of places, you've already admitted to yourself that you're happy to throw your money around like so much confetti. Chuck some at the poor bastard whose employment opportunities are more limited than yours, and just relax if he feels happier acting like he's earning it. Just feel relieved he doesn't think it part of his job to shake the drops off as well.

Look, just because you're 40 now doesn't mean you have to turn into a Meldrew overnight. Man alive, next you'll be drooling on about how many chips you could buy for sixpence when you were a boy.


Mike:   No, no, you don't understand. It's a totally pointless job. Nearly as pointless as mine. Why doesn't he go on the dole and smoke crack like any other decent guy with poor employment opportunities? And just because he looks happy doesn't mean he is. I reckon he'd be much happier if he were tripping his brains out.

Chips for sixpence? Get real, Jim. You couldn't buy sixpen'rth of chips in my day. For sixpence you'd get a haddock in it, mushy peas and a bottle of Dandelion & Burdock (Coca Cola? [spits to floor]) and still have yer bus fare home.

Did you really say "Man alive" earlier on?

Colin:   Mike, you can avoid all this embarrassment if you do what real men do. Take a piss and walk straight out the door without washing your hands.


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