‘I’ll quit right now if you insist‘, I said looking my co-worker straight in her ocean blue eyes which looked bigger behind her thick rimmed glasses. She knew I was serious and I was. My earliest memory of how a toilet should be was when I was in Nursery school. I had been escorted by one of the teachers to obey the call of nature and seated on a short stool beside the 4 toilet bowls that made our open-style school loo was the toilet cleaner eating a raw, over ripe plantain as though it was a banana.
My mother is a stickler for clean environments especially clean kitchens and toilets. It’s no surprise it rubbed off on us. I mean, it makes a lot of sense to ensure food that goes into you is prepared in a hygienic environment and in turn, be comfortable ridding the body of waste products in another clean environment. It makes the cycle of in and out seamless. When I got into the University in Nigeria, the loo situation was HORRENDOUS. Many resorted to the short-put style – obeying nature’s call in a plastic bag and flinging it over the hostel walls. My solution was simple. Get a clean boyfriend, who lived off campus/had his own apartment and use his bathroom when I wanted.
In moving to Canada, I got a part-time job working at a popular coffee shop franchise and I was always on the night shifts to enable me attend school during the day. Unfortunately, the night shifts were always understaffed and the two individuals had to do everything including cleaning the washrooms. Somehow, I always managed to avoid cleaning the washrooms until I worked a shift with Ms. Ocean blue eyes. She insisted that I clean the washrooms as she had already cleaned the kitchen, so off I went reluctantly to the men’s washroom first. Oh Lord, the horror of it all. No words can describe how I felt or what I saw. Some ‘un-gentleman’ had done his business in the toilet bowl and on the floor…and of course, did not flush. So, holding my breath, squeezing all the muscles in my face until it hurt and standing on my tip toes, I stretched my gloved hand and pushed the WC lever to flush. To my shock, rather than the business going down the drain, it was bubbling and rising out of the bowl and onto the floor. The drain was blocked.
I ran! I dropped all the cleaning products and ran out so fast. Ms. Ocean blue eyes sees me panting and asks what the matter is and I tell her. She tells me I had to finish the job and hands me a plunger. Haha! I leave her hand holding the plunger hanging in the air and let her know that nothing will ever make me go back in there. I was ready to walk out the door and never return. Seeing my seriousness, she scowls and goes into the bathroom and takes care of it. I have to applaud her. Wherever she is, she’s a wonder woman because I couldn’t and still cannot!
Clean loos/washrooms/bathrooms are everything. It can make or mar one’s opinion about an establishment or even a person. So, can I eat in your bathroom if I had to? Have you ever had a horrible toilet experience? Share along!
Photo Credit: Clou Store