Sunday, July 22, 2007

The World Owes Me A Restroom

A woman in Logansport (Indiana) experienced severe diarrhea while shopping in a Jo-Ann Fabrics store and asked an employee if she could use the restroom. When she was told that she could not because the facilities were for employees only, she stayed in the store and argued with the assistant manager about the policy even as she began to ooze fluid. The assistant manager remained firm and the woman eventually went to the restroom in the store next door with her "pants stained, dripping and smelling badly."

You can read the letter she wrote to the company about her experience here.

I don't think there's a reasonable excuse ever for publishing your diarrhea experience for the world to read, but if the point of her story had been that it would be nice for stores to provide public restrooms, I could accept her point of view. Instead, she told the story to castigate the company, a seller of fabrics, for not being prepared to accommodate their customers' potential lower digestive tract problems.

She wrote about the humiliation she felt while arguing in Jo-Ann Fabrics and during the walk next door, but how much humiliation can a person feel who, after being told no the first time, stays in the store to argue while starting to excrete. I know if this had happened to me, I would have grabbed a shopping bag to protect my seat upholstery and went immediately to my car. I certainly would have too much dignity to walk through another store with stained clothing.

I hate being around people who make a scene asking for exceptions to the rules. I have been in unpleasant situations that I could have avoided if I could have just broken the rules, but that's not the way the world works.


Shantanu said...

I agree with you completely. Given how easy it is to find public restrooms in the US (compared to a lot of other countries), I think she's expecting too much from the store. However, that said, in a special situation I would have expected the employee to have bent the rules to be courteous to their customer.