Men's Room Attendent: Really?!!?

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    Jun 10, 2010 7:39 PM GMT
    I don't go out a lot, but over the last few weeks I've been going to a lot of birthday parties at various bats and clubs. At several I was a little shocked to find an attendent in the men's room. Is this a growing trend? Honestly, I'm uncomfortable with someone hovering over me while at the sink, squirting soap into my hands and retrieving paper towels for me. For one, I don't need that much service, and two I don't carry cash so I feel bad for being unable to tip. What do you guys think?
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    Jun 10, 2010 8:13 PM GMT
    It's very common in many upscale [and wannabe upscale] establishments.
    A bit of a culture shock for some, but it's very common in many places I've been.
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    Jun 10, 2010 8:15 PM GMT
    Also some airports...I suppose it keeps down the 'Larry Craig'-ish behavior!icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 10, 2010 8:27 PM GMT
    RudeMech saidIs this a growing trend?

    Perhaps more of a dying trend in many places in the US. It's not uncommon in finer restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, and a few other exclusive places. And sometimes in high-use public restrooms, essentially performing a continuous janitorial role, and not really there to serve anyone. I appreciate the overall cleanliness it ensures, with all necessities kept in fresh supply, but neither do I feel I need such individual attention to my own person.

    A few years ago I took a friend to Tavern on the Green in Central Park, NYC, before it closed down. The men's room attendant handed you a cloth towel at the sink, not paper, and warmed as I recall. My friend went in a little while after I had, and upon exiting claimed the attendant had actually dried his hands for him.

    I was a bit incredulous, since that wasn't the treatment I had gotten earlier, nor would have accepted. But then my friend was certainly more attractive than me, and with more of the "I've got money" look about him than I do. And though he insisted no one ever suspected he was a closeted gay, in truth he practically had it tattooed on his forehand, so perhaps the attendant was hitting on him.

    In any case, the rule when going to a venue that might be a bit upscale, especially where a coat & tie are typical, is to have some loose bills at the ready, most conveniently in a money clip so you don't have to drag out and open your wallet or billfold in public. (I have several money clips that match my cuff link & stud sets for the most formal occasions, and I forego a wallet altogether)

    You must anticipate the need to tip parking valets, bartenders, maitre d's, room captains, a whole legion of people, to include men's room attendants. And of course if you are escorting a lady, you will politely ask if she needs "change" when she excuses herself for the ladies room. Most well-bred women will not, but you must be prepared if she answers yes, or realizing her own oversight, prompts you for it herself.
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    Jun 10, 2010 8:38 PM GMT
    I can see that it might be more common in upscale venues, but one of the places I was at was just a plain ol pub. Weird.
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    Jun 10, 2010 8:42 PM GMT
    the homeless do it in the bars I go to
  • aznmtl

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    Jun 10, 2010 8:51 PM GMT
    I've seen washroom attendants in many bars including one's in Mexico, NYC and Vancouver...I think they're there to watch for sex or drugs in the stalls...
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    Jun 10, 2010 8:56 PM GMT
    It's not a growing trend. back during the 40's and 50's rest room attendants were quite common place. You could get a warm towle and shoe shine and they would even have prerfume for women and after shave for men. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Muscmasmat

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    Jun 10, 2010 9:03 PM GMT
    Not so common where I am, but I have seen this in Europe. The explanation for Europe was that the attendants work for tips and in turn keep the restroom clean and supplied. At the Amsterdam McDonald's they had one, I believe.
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    Jun 10, 2010 9:13 PM GMT
    Ducky46 saidIt's not a growing trend. back during the 40's and 50's rest room attendants were quite common place. You could get a warm towle and shoe shine and they would even have prerfume for women and after shave for men. icon_biggrin.gif

    Yes, I do remember shoeshine chairs in mens restrooms. I have no idea what services the women received in theirs, but the female attendants were sometimes dressed in classic maids outfits. And their restrooms often had an outer lounge area with settees and armchairs.

    I remember this, because when I was very young my mother or grandmother would have to take me into the ladies room, my father normally not accompanying us on shopping trips into New York City in the 1950s. And some ladies rooms had counters or tables with mirrors, in addition to sinks, where the women could reapply their makeup. And clothing bars with hangers, for their coats and stoles, that the attendants would take for them, and then assist putting back on. An elegant world I seldom see anymore.
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    Jun 10, 2010 9:14 PM GMT
    I guess it seems very weird to me because Austin is typically so laid back and chill. An attendent seems incongruous with the normal vibe here.
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    Jun 10, 2010 9:29 PM GMT
    aznmtl saidI've seen washroom attendants in many bars including one's in Mexico, NYC and Vancouver...I think they're there to watch for sex or drugs in the stalls...
    Remove the word "for" and it will be much more correct. icon_twisted.gif
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    Jun 10, 2010 9:49 PM GMT
    The classiest clubs have men's room attendant
  • Delivis

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    Jun 10, 2010 9:53 PM GMT
    Seems awefully silly to me.
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    Jun 10, 2010 9:54 PM GMT
    I've run into that much more overseas than in the US. Always makes me a bit uncomfortable, because I don't like the master/servant implications or the relationship. Keep a few small bills somewhere, they depend on tips.
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    Jun 10, 2010 10:09 PM GMT
    Wilton said
    Ducky46 saidIt's not a growing trend. back during the 40's and 50's rest room attendants were quite common place. You could get a warm towle and shoe shine and they would even have prerfume for women and after shave for men. icon_biggrin.gif

    Yes, I do remember shoeshine chairs in mens restrooms. I have no idea what services the women received in theirs, but the female attendants were sometimes dressed in classic maids outfits. And their restrooms often had an outer lounge area with settees and armchairs.

    I remember this, because when I was very young my mother or grandmother would have to take me into the ladies room, my father normally not accompanying us on shopping trips into New York City in the 1950s. And some ladies rooms had counters or tables with mirrors, in addition to sinks, where the women could reapply their makeup. And clothing bars with hangers, for their coats and stoles, that the attendants would take for them, and then assist putting back on. An elegant world I seldom see anymore.


    Man, I was definitely born in the wrong century. The City (SF) has a couple of these floating around. And although I don't usually frequent them, I understand the process and don't really feel that uncomfortable with it. Then again, I kinda grew up with it, so it's a matriculated feeling.

    A lot of people don't "feel right" with having someone hand them fresh amenities, but its the job of the person who's doing it to do so. As a patron of that establishment, it's expected that you are treated well with the hope that you will return.

    Unfortunately, the days of top hats and coat tails are long gone, something I find really sad. I would LOVE to see a man dressed in said attire - it brings a very debonaire feeling into the room, which is so sorely missed nowadays.

    And the shoe shines were FUN! I remember family functions where I would have my little size 6's addressed by the shoeshiners and thought it was really cool how they did it. The place we frequented always had the same guy and he was really nice. I miss him and sometimes wonder what happened to him icon_cry.gif
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    Jun 10, 2010 10:10 PM GMT
    antelope saidI've run into that much more overseas than in the US. Always makes me a bit uncomfortable, because I don't like the master/servant implications or the relationship. Keep a few small bills somewhere, they depend on tips.

    When I lived in Germany I encountered female attendants and cleaning staff in some mens rooms. Now THAT took some cultural adjustment on my part. icon_eek.gif
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    Jun 10, 2010 10:33 PM GMT
    SC_Rider saidAnd the shoe shines were FUN! I remember family functions where I would have my little size 6's addressed by the shoeshiners and thought it was really cool how they did it. The place we frequented always had the same guy and he was really nice. I miss him and sometimes wonder what happened to him icon_cry.gif

    I always felt self-conscious about getting them, sitting high up there like on a throne. And you run the risk your socks will get stained, even with a skilled bootblack. Far better not to leave the house with shoes needing a shine in the first place, my few shoeshine experiences a result of my shoes getting scuffed or dirty in the middle of the day.

    In fact, I generally dislike being fussed over, and prefer to be as independent as possible. Partly a legacy of my Army career, I suppose. And so I shine my own shoes, usually wash & iron my own clothes, even mend them on occasion. In fact, just before last night's cocktail party for my birthday, I gave myself a haircut. Been doing that for 45 years, since my mid-teens, don't even like a barber to mess with me. And having a manicure is totally incomprehensible to me. So naturally I don't need someone to hand me a towel, warmed or otherwise, in a restroom.

    I may give the impression of effete behavior in some things I post here, and in my remembrances of a bygone era, but in truth I subscribe to a strong insistence on masculine self-sufficiency. But then that was really also part of the male ethos generations ago, that a man could always take care of himself if needs be, not flounder around helplessly like a woman should his support structure disappear.

    Cultured & refined in town, you could maroon him in the woods and he'd still thrive. No doubt difficult to defend such attitudes and gender biases in today's world, but that was my reference point growing up as a boy.
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    Jun 10, 2010 10:40 PM GMT
    Ah, the staff. They should flow around seamlessly and anticipate your need.

    You must also learn to move a little more slowly or you will embarrass them if you reach the car before they have the door open. (Did that several weeks ago and I thought the poor guy was going to croak.)
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    Jun 10, 2010 11:50 PM GMT
    Ducky46 saidIt's not a growing trend. back during the 40's and 50's rest room attendants were quite common place. You could get a warm towle and shoe shine and they would even have prerfume for women and after shave for men. icon_biggrin.gif


    Hey even I don't go back to the 40's cool. You must have hit all the finest places where dress codes were also common!

    Hey BTW....have you told Wilton you have been around longer icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 10, 2010 11:58 PM GMT
    Roccoe said
    Ducky46 saidIt's not a growing trend. back during the 40's and 50's rest room attendants were quite common place. You could get a warm towle and shoe shine and they would even have prerfume for women and after shave for men. icon_biggrin.gif

    ...Hey BTW....have you told Wilton you have been around longer icon_lol.gif

    To be around longer than me would require more than dispensing aftershave in the mens room, more like embalming fluid. icon_razz.gif
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    Jun 11, 2010 12:00 AM GMT
    I like the bathroom attendants.... but then you have to pay for all sorts of silly things that you normally get for free. But the bathrooms are usually a bit cleaner. I wonder what it's like for them..... being in bathrooms full of drunk people... ugh.
  • bmw0

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    Jun 11, 2010 12:27 AM GMT
    Club Masque has them in Dayton, they clean the bathroom all night and keep people moving... I like it.. but i don't mind doing it all myself either.
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    Jun 11, 2010 12:36 AM GMT
    When we go to this one bar "straight bar". There is always this attendant dude waiting for you to wash your hands. Older gentlemen. It's awkward enough for me to be in a bathroom full of guys yet alone I have to deal with this guy. He always bugs me and asks me random questions. Thank god usually I'm so wasted to the point were I can actually carry on a freaking conversation with him. If I was sober I'd come off as the biggest weirdo. Anyways he always gives me the best soap and sprays me with yummy cologne. Givinchy!!! I heart him <3!!!
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    Jun 11, 2010 12:37 AM GMT
    Oooh I would NOT do well with a bathroom attendant. I HATE when others try to wait on me. I can pick up the towel myself thank you very much and I can also park my own car. Every place I've been to with a "mandatory" valet I've refused their service but gave a tip anyway - I'd hate to have them think it's because I'm cheap - it's because I REFUSE to be in that master/servant situation. I will NOT do it. (and usually giving them a tip after refusing to let them near my car throws them off, but shit I know what they go through out there, I wouldn't want to do it... plus it's always funny the confused look they give icon_razz.gif )