Open Letter to the Bathroom Attendant
May 15, 2008

I know you’re there. I’m pretending that I don’t notice you, but I do. You there, with all your fancy colognes, mints, hair products.

I’m not going to tip you.

The bathroom is a private place. A place of contemplation and insight. A place of isolation and rest from the wicked world waiting on the other side of the door. The bathroom is a place where you are vulnerable and exposed, literally. But you, you there, on your little stool, with your little candies and toothpicks, you destroy this sanctuary.

Why are you even here? Who needs any of this stuff that you’ve gathered here? Who needs the guilt of you sitting here with a mostly empty tip jar? Not me? I don’t need anything from you, especially those mints because I hate that kind mint.

I’m not going to tip you.

Why have you taken all the towels? This is obviously a ploy to get me to acknowledge you but now you’ve crossed the line. You’ve taken all the towels and now I have to talk to you. I have to talk to you in order to dry my hands. I’ve thought about not washing my hands but that’s just gross and let’s face it, there’s really no way to tell where my penis has been. I’ve also thought about drying my hands on your shirt, but again, there’s really no way to tell where your shirt has been.

Now that you are forcing me to talk to you, to look at you, I’m definitely not going to tip you.

So here we are. I’ve done what I came here to do, washed my hands and now I stand in front of you, confused, dripping and in need of a towel. It’s like prom night all over again. You sit there on your stool and you look me right in the eye. Don’t even think for a second that I don’t realize that smile you have on your face means you secretly hate me. Guess what my friend? It’s reciprocal. I hate you too.

I hate you and I’m not going to tip you.

You’ve already got your hand out, offering me a towel. A towel from the roll of towels that you stole to make sure I had to acknowledge you. You motion to your supply of… whatever your supply is of, and you make sure your motion includes a slight wave towards the jar right next to you. Of course I see it. The damn tip jar is right next to you. There is no way I can get away without tipping you and you not knowing about it. Damn you for that.

I take the towel, shake my head indicating I don’t want anything else and I leave. I leave and try to forget that any of this ever happened. But I can’t. You’ve won because now I feel guilty for not tipping you.

I hate you for that. I hate you for making me go back into the bathroom, when I didn’t really have to, and giving you a tip you don’t deserve. Giving you a tip for stealing all the towels and forcing me to interact with you.

Damn it. And damn you too. Next time I’m definitely not tipping you.