Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ever Have to Use a Clogged Toilet in Public?

This is a situation I haven’t yet talked about on this webpage despite the fact that it has happened to me before. It was back when I was a manager at a restaurant, one that I hated working for because the owners kept cutting our staff down in hopes that it would increase profits even though they already were making profits higher than most restaurants in the area, which in turn meant the employees who were there were often yelled at by customers for taking so long with everything. They also refused to give me my raise once I became a manager even though they expected me to do all the extra work of a manager. At one point I even discovered that some of the new employees I had had trained were making more money than me. It was bad. Anyway, the place had two really small bathrooms that could barely accommodate a total of five people (men and women), the men’s room being the worst of the two since it had only one toilet. Adding to my frustration I had been told in no uncertain terms that I could no longer use the women’s room during an emergency because a customer had complained. No one seemed to care that I had a medical condition and that they were probably in violation of some law.

One day while working a ten to four shift I was told by an unhappy customer that the toilet in the men’s room was clogged. This was around eleven thirty I believe because when I told the General Manager he said he would worry about it after the lunch rush was through. Startled, I told him he could not leave a bathroom unusable during an entire lunch rush, especially not when it seemed like people were frequently using the toilet given how often I had to wait when in the middle of a diarrhea attack. Naturally he told me not to worry about it because it wasn’t my concern. I disagreed, but kept it to myself. Anyone with Crohn’s Disease will know that finding yourself working all day in a location without a bathroom is of the utmost concern. In fact, once such a situation is realized it is hard to think about anything else.

Several more people complained to me during the lunch rush and I apologized to them for the bathroom situation. Of course this wasn’t enough to make them happy and almost all called in complaints to the head office, and since I was the one talking to them, guess whose name they filed the complaints against.

By two o’clock the lunch rush was over yet the toilet situation had not been looked at so I mentioned it to the General Manager again. This time he told me he couldn’t do anything about it until one of the other senior managers came in because he was going to have to go out and get the tool needed to work out the clog (in the past they would have just called a plumber but due to the owners not wanting to spend much money such calls were no longer made when things like this happened and instead the place would rent a piece of machinery to use). Shaking my head I went back to work, and sure enough within about thirty minutes started to feel some rumbles of trouble in the intestinal track.

Hoping it was just pain and not really a sign I would be having diarrhea, I went about my job until about three fifteen, which was when I knew I was going to have diarrhea within the hour. By this time a senior manager had arrived, so the General Manager was off picking up the special plumbing tool they needed, one that I knew was a half hour away since I had been sent out to pick it up in the past when the toilet had been clogged. He would not be back in time. So, with only forty five minutes left to go and the place pretty much empty of customers given the midday time, I asked the senior manager if it was okay if I headed home, which was only five minutes away, and told him I was going to have stomach issues. He said no because he didn’t want to work the front of the restaurant by himself. I understood this since I had been working it by myself for two hours -- ringing up orders, plating them, and serving them, all while tending to the drive through as well (way too much for one person).

As you can probably guess, the diarrhea hit before my replacement was going to be coming in at four and before the General Manager was back with the plumbing tool. Given how empty the place was I probably could have used the women’s room without a customer complaining again, but I decided to teach the General Manager a lesson. It’s something I still feel a bit silly about, but hey, when in a situation like that thoughts and decisions aren’t always completely rational. Add in the B-12 deficiency I was suffering at the time and my mind was pretty much useless. To this day I have no idea what happened after I finished filling up that clogged toilet bowl. All I know is my time in the bathroom took me up until it was time for me to leave, the senior manager forced to work the front of the restaurant while I was in there, and that I clocked out and went home without really saying anything. No one ever confronted me about the situation, nor did anyone ever talk about it.

So, anyone else ever find themselves in a similar situation? If so what did you do?


  1. With a little practice, even a home repair rookie can get most clogged toilets back up and running in minutes, without flooding the bathroom and making the situation worse.

  2. I just don't believe that you faced such a problem, in such situation you should have left for the home. You manager seems much strict to you, he should have understood your problem.