Thursday, March 18, 2010
RESTROOMS AT WORK
# 1 STORY
One of my employees, a young black man, came to me and said, "I want you to go into the men's restroom with me because I need you to see something." I assumed it was a safety issue and I responded, "Check to see if it's empty and put the sign up that it's closed." When we went into the restroom, he pointed out graffiti which was anti-black, anti-female, anti-Hispanic, anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and there were Aryan Nation signatures proudly accepting responsibility. I was as upset as he was and I told him that I would have it painted as soon as I could. He said, "You know they'll just do it again!" I told him I would try to think of a deterrent. I was talking about the graffiti to one of my Team Leaders, Dave, and he said, "I hear that BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL--maybe you should paint it black!" I told Dave that I wished that I had thought of it. At that time, the employees worked four 10-hour days and I arranged for the painting to be done on Friday. The walls were painted glossy black up to six feet of the wall and then off-white the remainder of the wall.
On Monday, several men approached me about the restroom being dark because of the walls being black; I responded that I would add more wattage to the lights. Someone complained to my boss, and he came to look at the restroom and asked me why I'd done it and I told him about the graffiti and then I said, "BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL". At that moment, the man who had complained, approached us and he said, "Thank you, Sue and thank you Mr. Wood for bringing Sue here." I told him that it had been Dave's great idea about the black paint.
It took a long time for the walls to be defaced but someone came up with white markers and knives scratching into the paint. Each time I would just add more black paint. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!
My boss, Mr. Schubert, was walking through the Department with me at the beginning of the shift and he said, "Suzy, I must tell you something, because I know you will hear about it eventually, but I don't want you to be upset." He proceeded to tell me that there was some graffiti in the men's restroom about me. I laughed and asked, "Did they say I do it well?" He looked astounded and said, "I thought you would be upset." I asked, "Then WHY didn't you have it painted over?" He said, "I just thought you would want to know." I was angry with him and I answered, "What I WANT is to see it!" He said, "I don't think that's a good idea." I told him that I was going to the restroom and yell that I was going in or he could go over and clear out the restroom. Everyone left the restroom and I went in and walked up to the graffiti, took out my pen and wrote, "Just remember--I DO IT WELL! xxxooo Sue R."
As my friend John said, "You're not doing your job unless you make the bathroom walls!"
# 3 STORY
I was a Junior Achievement advisor and we held our meetings at a manufacturing facility. Several of the girls in the group were together outside the women's restroom and they were giggling. I asked what was funny and they told me about something written in one of the stalls. I went in and on the wall was written "For an ADEQUATE time, call Bill" and a phone number was written below it. When I went outside, one of the girls said, "Mrs. Raypole, I think we need to leave right away." When I asked why, she said that she and the other girls thought it would be fun to call Bill. I asked what happened and she said, "I told him I saw his name in the restroom and that I heard he could show a girl an adequate time and this number showed on his caller ID and he said he was coming over here right away and he's really mad!" I told the girls to leave and go home. I waited for the man to arrive. He was very irate and I apologized for the girls' behavior and he said that he was going in the restroom to see it. He went into the restroom and marked over the message.
The following day, I was advised that I needed to find another facility as our meeting place.
My colleague Jim told me that there was a wonderful drawing of me in the men's restroom. We waited until the shift was over and he and I went in to view the "artwork". The drawing was of me and another female in an amorous depiction. It had my name written under one of the females and Margie's name under the other. I said, "Oh, Margie has to see this!" I was upset because my name was misspelled. I wrote under it, "I don't care what you do, just spell my name right and say I do it well!" The next day, I told Margie about it by saying, "You've ARRIVED--you made the bathroom wall!" She wanted to see the drawing also. She wasn't as amused as I was. She asked, "You actually wrote that?" I said, "Yes, and I'm going to leave it up there for a few days and then I'll have it painted." She said, "Well, you know my Dad works here and I wouldn't want him to see it." I put in a work order to have the wall painted immediately. The next day Margie said, "I told my Dad about the drawing and you know what he said?" I asked, "Was he upset?" She said, "No, he laughed and said that he knew I was doing my job if I made the bathroom wall!"