Paying for the use of bathrooms

Monday, February 04, 2013

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Dear Editor,

Denying people use of bathrooms unless they buy something. Really?

Of course this would happen. This is Jamaica afterall. People charge you to park on land they don't own for crying out loud. Everybody has to maximise earnings, even if it means charging a parent for a soda they didn't even need to let a two-year-old relieve himself in the right place as opposed to in the car.

I'm disgusted!

I was in a popular patty restaurant in New Kingston that will remain nameless, on Wednesday, January 30, 2013. As is customary, you know, seeing that I am human after all, I needed to tinkle. I proceeded to head for the restroom, which was locked. I asked the security guard to open the door, to which he replied, "you haffi buy sum'n fi use the bathroom". I told him I planned to buy something after but needed to relieve myself, and he obliged, after muttering that I was supposed to buy something first. Oh sure, let me eat my patties while urinating.

Anyway, while consuming my patties an odd looking man came in, also desirous of using the freshly bolted restroom facility. Of course, the security gave him the same line (and added a demeaning look, because of said appearance I guess): "you haffi buy sum'n fi use the bathroom". Poor man looked like he could've left some kind of bonus work for the cleaning crew right there in the middle of the place! Of course he had to buy something; maybe a straw, I'm not certain what it was, but after swearing at the guard perhaps and maybe the high cost of living (literally) he was able to go.

The Big Question is, why do they think that this is necessary?

Why should they lock the bathrooms and insist on people spending there before being able to use them? Yes there are places of business, where the aim is to make as much money as possible, but is $10 for perhaps a packet of ketchup so necessary to deny people the use of the restroom? Are they so inhumane that they just want money and don't care about persons relieving themselves? Clearly the heads of these businesses are robots. That must be it. What's worse, the security guards too are so vigilant to enforce this unnecessary evil. Yes I understand that they don't want any hobo (aka Madman in J'can terms) to just come off the street and take residence in there, but is not like there's a sign at the front saying "FREE BATHROOM HERE!"

Most likely, most people who go to any establishment of business, go for whatever business is offered there, not to just do number one or two. I don't have any statistics (perhaps I should do a survey for no reason at all) on how many people go to businesses just to use the restroom. It could be one out of 10 or less, or more. I don't know.

All I'm saying is that it is unnecessary. I understand that whomever (business heads) nuh want no hobo "bung up dem toilet", but you just watch that over sized CEO eat three patties and drink a Tropicana and think he's gonna leave flowers in your bathroom.

Alwayne Allen

Northern Caribbean University




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