Retail Life Episode 11

Bodily Functions

                Everyone poops. We all know this, even if we don’t like to think about it. Sometimes the need hits you in public. Sometimes the need strikes you…when you’re walking down an aisle of a store. And sometimes…you can’t wait another second.

                One day I was in my office doing paperwork. My office is right next to the restrooms in my store. I hear a child’s voice yelling, “Gramma, I need to go too!” and then the response of “Just a second!” I don’t think much of it and continue my paperwork. Some time later, I hear both customers exit the hallway and a bit after that, I return to the salesfloor. My assistant spots me and waves me up to the front.

                “What’s that?” she points to the floor.

                Beginning at the end of the middle aisle and trailing all the way back to the bathroom are little brown piles on the floor.

                And it’s exactly what you think it is.

                I’m not sure how I didn’t notice it when I came out of the hallway, I must have been looking straight ahead or at my phone, or who knows.

                So, we begin to clean it up and try our best not to be sick in the process. Surely, the person responsible has already left the store. I know I personally wouldn’t want to continue shopping after I pooped in my pants. But no.

                There is an older woman and her grandson walking around the store. They pass by us as we continue cleaning and I notice…smears on her legs and what could only be toilet paper sticking up out of the back of her shorts. She sees us cleaning up her poop and says NOTHING.

                Now, I understand that as you get older it is harder for you to control these bodily functions. I’m not mad at the woman for having an accident. Shit happens (ha) But to not have apologized or offered to help clean it up? Come on. You know it was you. We know it was you. Your poor grandson knew it was you. It is definitely not part of our job description to clean up after you, and you could have at least said sorry.

Now on the other end of the spectrum…

One lovely summer, our restrooms were out of order for about two months. It was an ongoing struggle with the maintenance department and the landlord to decide who was “responsible” for fixing the issue. Corporate’s quick fix? A porta potty on the side of my store. I’m not sure if you know how Texas summers are but let me tell you right now that NO ONE wants to go into a porta potty when it’s 110 degrees outside.

Of course, over the course of these two months we had various unhappy customers because we didn’t have a restroom for them to use (because apparently, we’re the public restroom of our town for some reason). And it’s understandable. When you’re shopping and you suddenly have to pee, it’s so much easier to just go really quick and finish your shopping. If this option is taken away from you, you must cut the trip short and possibly not get everything you came in for. Or just leave without buying anything at all.

Or…. You find a bucket on the shelf, let yourself into the stockroom, and just pee in the bucket. But to make matters worse, you don’t just leave the bucket in the stockroom…you replace it on the shelf so that anyone could pick it up. Or, I can only hope you went into the stockroom to relieve yourself. I really wouldn’t like to think that someone just let it all out on my salesfloor where anyone could have seen. Including children….

Sometimes I just wonder about people’s common sense…and whether or not they have any. Because I just don’t feel like a sane person would make the decision to pee in a bucket…when you could just go to the store next to ours and use their restroom instead…