Monday, 20 August 2012


I ain’t happy.  Tomorrow I have to go back to work.  This is bad for two reasons.  Firstly; I will need to tackle a four-day weekend worth of emails as well as an already groaning to-do list.  Secondly; I will be forced to use the office toilets. 
I don’t understand it.  I work in a seven-storey building and share the third floor with a handful of teams including HR.  However, some of the women I have to share WCs with have some shocking habits. I’m not just talking toilet roll and hand towels strewn over the floor, the occasional un-flushed toilet and taps left running either.  I am talking urine on the floor – and, once a month, worse.  They stink all the time, and the cubicles have warped to the point that the doors won’t lock.  To summarise, they make your average portaloo at Glastonbury look luxurious.
Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not exactly anal when it comes to housekeeping, but I have standards and appreciate a nicely kept bathroom.  That does not make it okay to expect people to pay for the convenience of, well, using your conveniences.  In London, this is a bit of a problem.  Public loos are few and far between and quite often when you do find one, you have to pay.  And then there are those pubs and clubs who employ someone to sit in the bogs with a face like a slapped arse who expect you to tip them for squeezing the soap. 
It goes without saying that the nicest restrooms I’ve sampled are ones that I haven’t had to pay to use either.  It is a well kept secret that there are some clean, well stocked and – wait for it – FREE toilets in St Pancras station – putting the ones next door in Kings Cross to shame.  And then there are the pubs that not only trust you to wash your own hands and keep their loos smelling sweet, but equip their rest rooms with comfortable seating, provide hand cream as well as posh soap and decorate their facilities to a standard Phil and Kirstie would be proud of.
So, come about ten-o’clock tomorrow when my first coffee of the day has hit my bladder, please think of me as I attempt to hold my nose whilst keeping the broken cubicle door closed in the ladies.  Or, if they are particularly nasty, you might just see me hopping across the road to St Pancras station.

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