Skip

Confessions of a Vegas Bathroom Attendant
August 10, 2007 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Ever wonder much about those anonymous men and women who pass out towels, soap and toiletries in upscale restrooms? Me either, until I read this. But apparently some people do. Well, one man sees it as a creative outlet, and another sees it as his road to stardom! "just wash your hands for god’s sake"
posted by janetplanet (42 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes Ricardo, we do get what you are saying when you say hide the salami
posted by Wonderwoman at 3:29 PM on August 10, 2007


They aren't so anonymous if you strike up a conversation with them and remember it when you come back. Is this going to be like the portabello thread?
posted by 2sheets at 3:29 PM on August 10, 2007


I actually had one of these guys deliberately "fluff up" his tip basket once after waving his hand in front of the paper towel machine and handing me the towel.

Now I just wipe my hands on my pants.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:31 PM on August 10, 2007


Always seemed like a weird anachronism to me. Like the door to the men's room was a portal to the 60's.
posted by smackfu at 3:33 PM on August 10, 2007


I used to think that it was ridiculous to have them there, and for the most part I still do, but go to a restroom at a busy club without one and wade through the piss and paper towels and you'll realize why they're there. A couple in particular I remember were regular fixtures at clubs I used to go to. Back when I would bother to do that sort of thing.
posted by 2sheets at 3:38 PM on August 10, 2007


The black ones always make me uncomfortable, like maybe they are going to assault me or something. Eventually I end up offering them a blowjob just to get out of the bathroom safely.
posted by jonson at 3:40 PM on August 10, 2007 [16 favorites]


I thought that men's bathroom attendants were like kissing booths- inventions on TV shows that didn't exist in the real world. I'm 43 and I've never seen one. Ever.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:42 PM on August 10, 2007


That interview from "thebachelorguy.com" is fake. He either interviewed himself or a college sophomore in a creative writing class.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:43 PM on August 10, 2007


I hate bathroom attendants. I never, ever have cash on me, and I feel like I am kind of being held hostage for going pee.
posted by mckenney at 3:44 PM on August 10, 2007


There was a pretty good article in the Washington Post not long ago about the bathroom attendant in the ladies room at Club Five downtown, but I can't find it now.
posted by empath at 3:46 PM on August 10, 2007


I thought that men's bathroom attendants were like kissing booths- inventions on TV shows that didn't exist in the real world. I'm 43 and I've never seen one. Ever.

That's a world of moderation you live in. I've been on both ends-- fancy restaurants with designated washroom attendants that I patronized only to impress girls, and terrible dive bars with unauthorized attendants who were really loitering homeless guys.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:49 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


terrible dive bars with unauthorized attendants who were really loitering homeless guys.

Really? Like the atm dudes who hold the door for you? Awesome! I mean Horrible! But awesome, you know?

I don't really care for the bathroom attendant, it seems very Louis XIV Hey you listen to me take a piss peasant. Also I don't like being fined a dollar for having to take a wizz.
posted by Divine_Wino at 3:53 PM on August 10, 2007


Ricardo: "Listen my man, most of the gals in Vegas I wouldn't touch with your dick. If I wanted to I could grab anyone of these half-passed-out chicks visiting from Wichita who have been sucking on a bottle of Grey Goose all night, and make them believe I was Steve Wynn. But that ain't my style. And with most of the girls who live here, unless you are paying, or you really are Steve Wynn, or have a bank account to match, they ain't interested. I have a steady lady who doesn't have a problem with what I do if that answers your question."

This is exactly why I cant find a woman in Las Vegas. This town is a shithole but the money is too good to leave. I need to just save the dough and move to Portland already.
posted by SirOmega at 3:54 PM on August 10, 2007


bathroom attendants have begun to appear into mainstream society (from Wikipedia)

Well, then I must be wayyyy out of the mainstream, cuz I aint nevah seen an attendant at Perkins, amirite?
posted by The Deej at 3:57 PM on August 10, 2007


I actually had one of these guys deliberately "fluff up" his tip [...]

God am I glad the next word was "basket".
posted by YoBananaBoy at 3:57 PM on August 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


In Morocco, they have attendants in a lot of the public bathrooms, but you only have to tip them 1-2 Dh. (About 12-24 cents.) It was weird at first, but I was glad to see them after realizing just how foul a Turkish toilet can get without constant attendance.

The problem here is that people who don't have cash (like poor McKenney) feel weird leaving change as a tip, because the attendants seem to expect bills, not a couple of quarters.
posted by Liosliath at 4:34 PM on August 10, 2007


Give the guy two bucks already. It's a special night for everyone.
posted by Slap Factory at 4:38 PM on August 10, 2007




a) tipping a homeless guy in a dive restroom....

(find another bar)

b) if you are in a nice place, then tip and be gracious. these ppl are making a living smelling farts. that alone is worth a buck if you think about it.

c) don't be so judgemental. i recall a story wher the absentee owner of a very high end NY club actually did this...as a hoot ...and to get the inside of his patons...
he is now a major operator (owner) of the some of USA's best casinos.

d) NEVER EVER begrudge a person trying to make a living.
posted by shockingbluamp at 5:07 PM on August 10, 2007


The only place I've ever encountered a rest room attendant was at a strip club. Well, he had a uniform and a stack of towels anyway.
posted by jonmc at 5:24 PM on August 10, 2007


We don't have them yet in Boston, at least in the places I hang out. It's not very well-perceived. I've seen them in Philly and in upscale places down south, especially crowded nightclubs where the horny gringos will usually tear the place apart if left unattended.

So I was out in Chicago this past week and saw nothing wrong with the attendant at Gibson's. Somewhat upscale, he had a TV and a radio in there, along with all the usual cheap ointments and sketchy paraphernalia. I was paying $40 for a steak, so I figured a couple of bucks for the toilet guy was just part of the deal.

However, the next day we went out to some dive bar before the Cubs game, the Sports Corner, and they too had a guy in there. One urinal and one stall, at a baseball tavern, and people had to tip this guy lest he follow you outside the john yelling about your hygiene.

All said, they creep me out.
posted by jsavimbi at 5:28 PM on August 10, 2007


The guys in the clubs around here are known as the "freshen up" men. One has a particular aptitude for slogans, one of many being:
"Freshen up, freshen up;
If you don't freshen up, you're never gonna fuck"

I remember a faculty member at my university getting thrown out of one of the clubs for failing to tip the guy after having used the services. It was in the student paper the next week. And people say journalistic standards are falling.
posted by djgh at 5:34 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


never run across one of these guys and hope never too, just seems odd as hell. just makes me think of oregon in a way, where gas stations have attendants to create jobs (at least that's how i understood it).
posted by andywolf at 5:53 PM on August 10, 2007


NEVER EVER begrudge a person trying to make a living.
Please. I begrudge pimps, hitmen, CIA torturers, Louis Farrakhan, Pat Robertson, Uri Gellar, George W. Bush, and lots of other people trying to make a living, and I think I am well-justified in doing so.

Now, I'm not saying bathroom attendants are as bad as a hitman or as our President, but they're pretty far down there on the scale.

And I don't really begrudge bathroom attendants so much as I begrudge restaurants for allowing bathroom attendants. There's one and only one way to stop this awful practice, and that's to make it unprofitable.
posted by Flunkie at 6:01 PM on August 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


Dude -- begrudging a hitman? Bad idea.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:07 PM on August 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see him try.
posted by Flunkie at 6:17 PM on August 10, 2007


My local radio station routinely has a member of their staff go into bathrooms in the absolute worst fast-food dives they can find and pretend to be a "freshen up" guy, while recording the whole situation live for the listening audience.

He generally makes a few bucks before he has to flee for his life.
posted by misha at 6:32 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


How the hell does he get away with releasing footage from inside a goddamned public bathroom? Shouldn't he be in jail?
posted by tehloki at 6:45 PM on August 10, 2007


I was in Vegas last weekend and my friends celebrated our final day hanging out there with a dinner at one of the fancier casino restaurants. I went to the bathroom and as I pretty much expected there was an attendant. He did the usual hold out the towels, offer a mint and cologne thing, but as I was leaving, it got a little weirder... holding another towel, so as not to smudge any part of this pristine, marble-and-brass shitbox of pure opulence, held the door open for me and extended his hand. At first I was amazed that after all this fancy stuff he's being so brazen in demanding a tip, but then I suddenly realized I was still holding the towel I used to dry my hands. There were no trash cans in the bathroom. The attendant, completely understanding, looked to me and simply said, "we prefer not to have them in here, sir." If you think that man doesn't deserve a fucking dollar, well then to hell with you.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:20 PM on August 10, 2007


We don't have them yet in Boston, at least in the places I hang out.

Yes, they are. Men's room at the Ritz (now Taj) at the corner of Comm and Arlington.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:21 PM on August 10, 2007


To hell with me? To hell with "fancy" restaurants that don't have wastebaskets in bathrooms.
posted by Flunkie at 7:29 PM on August 10, 2007


When I worked in the LA House of Blues in 1994 or so, some of my favorite fellow employees in the club were actually the bathroom attendants. They were the most real people in the whole place, and whenever I was in there alone with them, we would just dish the dirt about the crazy things each of us were seeing and dealing with that night. (I'm here to say it's amazing what some people will say and do in front of a bathroom attendant as though they're not actual people.) Once we bonded, those attendants often gave me the biggest laughs of the night. We totally entertained eachother, they were like my voice of sanity there sometimes. As opposed to a lot of the other employees in the club who thought they were going to get "discovered" by Steven Spielberg when serving him jambalaya or something, the attendants always knew they were only standing in that bathroom to pay their rent. They were generally older black ladies, and if they handed Meryl Streep a paper towel, all that mattered to them was if she was kind and if she tipped. They also used to tell me that they only worked on tips, which I still have a hard time believing... but I don't know. I don't know that I'd stand there in a bathroom all night just for tips.

There were a few attendants who were WAY too intense about the job though... each one had to invest in their own setup with lotions or whatever, but a few of them had flower arrangements and silver trays and they were just a bit too retentive about making sure every toiletry was lined up just so. Having pride in your work is one thing, but the attendants who made people afraid to touch the handsoap generally weren't the ones I usually bonded with. The rest were cool though.

Whenever I go to a House of Blues I still make a point to say hi to whoever's working in the bathroom, even though they don't know me. Old habits die hard.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:53 PM on August 10, 2007


In Morocco, they have attendants in a lot of the public bathrooms, but you only have to tip them 1-2 Dh. (About 12-24 cents.) It was weird at first, but I was glad to see them after realizing just how foul a Turkish toilet can get without constant attendance.

Same in Egypt. I was pretty thankful for those attendants. Without them I know a lot of the toilets would've totally grossed me out. It was clear that they worked really hard so I had no problem at ALL with tipping them.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:12 PM on August 10, 2007


Actually, same thing in Turkey too.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:12 PM on August 10, 2007


Yeah, no, I'm sayin' I always cough up a dollar when there is a dude in the john who has to hang out while nature calls, I'm just saying I wish that wasn't a deal for people, serving in the toilets, you know? I'm a fucking gentleman and if your ass is holding a basket because you supervised the affair and you are in charge of a basket of Drakkar and hand towels after I take a pee then I'm going to get up off a dollar for you, I just wish that we all could be gentlepeople together and not have to oversee the act of excretion. Everybody knows how to take a shit and deal with the aftermath, if you don't then you don't need to be in a fancy restaurant, you need to be in managed care facility and nobody gets tipped after they wipe up after you there. Peace to Egypt and everywhere else where it's a fucking infrastructural issue.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:43 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anyone here read The Stingray Shuffle? That's always the first think I think of when I hear "bathroom attendant" now.


Also, from the second link? "motion censored"?

*cringe*
posted by Many bubbles at 10:02 PM on August 10, 2007


Metafilter: Oversee the act of excretion.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:13 PM on August 10, 2007


Metafilter: excretion.
posted by nasreddin at 11:24 PM on August 10, 2007


I just wish to say the bathrooms in the spa floor of the tower suites of the Wynn Casino are the most incredible places in the fucking world. Thank you.
posted by jscott at 12:34 AM on August 11, 2007


Also, from the second link? "motion censored"?

That tripped me up, too, particularly because of the bathrooms-and-hookers context.

"Every john is motion censored"? Dudes who have sex with prostitutes aren't allowed to poo?
posted by dansdata at 2:18 AM on August 11, 2007


I just wish to say the bathrooms in the spa floor of the tower suites of the Wynn Casino are the most incredible places in the fucking world.

I bet they aren't as weird as the toilets in the House of Lords though. The piss trough has a nine inch high sheet of glass at a 45 degree angle, that runs the full length of the trough, so that the piss doesn't splash back and stain the ermine on your robes.

I mean, why glass? Is it because they like to inspect the colour of their urine, or is it so that they can see themselves as they try to make the urinal cake dance in the stream?

No flunkeys in there though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:21 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, definitely not weird. Then again, most bathrooms aren't 3000 sq. feet, have a tailor, juice bar, TV lounge, three jacuzzis, waterfall, and 3 steam rooms, either.
posted by jscott at 9:26 AM on August 11, 2007


« Older 21st century financial panic   |   Light Graffiti Video Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post