Monday, July 04, 2011

Just a Lavatory Lady

The lavatory lady

For a change of pace on this Fourth of July, here is an essay from Politically Incorrect about an occupation that is under-appreciated in Germany, that of the lavatory lady. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

Just a Lavatory Lady

by Schnitzelhuber

Last weekend, my family and I were in our favorite shopping center. We often came here when the children were small, and today it is a much-loved tradition.

We always set up our base camp at our favorite Italian restaurant in the shopping passage. This is the central meeting place for eating, drinking, talking, telephoning. Girls are constantly walking through swiftly, sometimes boys, mother and daughter or — so it doesn’t get too expensive with soccer jerseys and other soccer paraphernalia — sometimes also mother and son. Shopping bags pile up around the table and everyone is content, if you just don’t think about the dwindling bank account.

In the entrance area to the shopping center is the public toilet. For years the cleanest public toilet in the whole area. For years kept up and cared for by the lavatory lady, whose small table and plate for tips as well as her chair stand between the two toilet doors. The anteroom is completely visible to all passersby, set off only by a transparent glass panel. Last weekend, I was waiting near there for my son. The attendant was just coming out of one of the lavatories with her cleaning materials and, breathing heavily, sat on her chair. She is, pardon me for saying so, no longer young and, pardon again, quite corpulent. Even without a medical degree, it is impossible to escape the feeling that her health is not the best.

As I waited and watched the heavily breathing lavatory lady, I thought of the news reports on the car radio on the way to the shopping center. Some new ideas from the Bleeding-Heart Industry on the subject of Islam and social policy.

Dear lavatory lady, the “blessings” of the Bleeding-Heart Industry have never reached you. They will never reach you.

Never will some ethics commission, a social commission or a Do-Gooder commission take an interest in you. Never would a commission on the dignity of the human being come upon the idea of investigating whether your workplace — between two toilet doors and completely visible to thousands of people all day long — is compatible with human dignity. Never would some leftist, addled nutcase start a vigil or a demonstration for the legitimate rights of lavatory ladies.

Never would representatives of the Protestant Church call for prayers for or with lavatory ladies. Never would anyone get the idea of setting up a prayer room near the toilets for you (as is happening now at my daughter’s university at the cost of the taxpayer) because no one is interested in whether, when, where and to whom you pray. For you, no one would even build a small room near the toilets where you could eat during your break, away from the smells and the glances of thousands of passersby.

Never would the central council of lavatory ladies intervene for you, because there is none.

Since you neither make demands nor are you violent, neither live at public expense nor have problems with our social values, you would never be invited to a lavatory lady conference by the distinguished minister of the interior. Never would a president of the federal republic cry out on the national holiday: Lavatory ladies belong in Germany.

Dear lavatory lady, the Do-Gooder industry is not interested in people like you, because they cannot gain anything from you. You work and earn your own money. From morning to night, you do the dirty work, in the truest sense of the word. At a hard workplace, with no social reputation, with no prospect of advancement, and surely with no great salary.

You earn you money by honest, ostensibly lowly work. You are a brave, plucky, honorable woman. You can look at yourself in the mirror every morning with a good conscience. You are free.

Dear lavatory lady, in my thoughts, I salute you. God bless you.


matism said...

And I especially salute her as well, even though that profession is exceedingly rare Stateside. And I salute the janitors, and garbage men, and all other such professions that carry low status, for WITHOUT people willing to do those and other similar jobs, our society would be FAR worse off.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You have my deepest respect.

Franklin said...

I remember a lavatory lady on the first time that I visit Germany...I did not offer marks at while shaking it out...I glance over, and there is the lavatory lady admiring my man hood...I tipped her on the way out.


Here in England we seem to import all of our garbage collectors from burma,who strew most of the rubbish all over the street,when challenged they get very mouthy,when confronted they hide behind the rubbish vehicle,and whitey jumps in to defend them,do they have no rubbish in burma?it seems not ,they send it all over here.

spackle said...

I remember when I went to Prague I was visiting the cemetery where Dvorak and other Czech luminaries are buried when I experienced my first "Lavatory Lady". The bathroom was opposite an ancient church and I went in to fill my empty water bottle. To my shock sitting between the mens section and the women's in a large open doorway was a little (portly) old lady who looked like a typical East European peasant you would see in a photo from yesteryear.

I motioned I just wanted to fill my water bottle and she just gave me a toothless grin. I felt so bad for this woman who was forced to work in this dank smelly barrack all day I gave her a healthy tip. You don't see bathroom attendants much anymore here. Unless it is a an upscale restaurant or hotel.

In Hoc Signo Vinces† said...

Oh yes, I recognise this!

In the U.K. that diligent and vigilant worker was replaced by the incompetent incomer and the indigenous subordinate bread beggar, the superior indigenous worker was then warehoused on welfare and criminalised as a benefit fraudster, it is a political pity that compatriots whom were sold the muscular liberal workshy narrative by the yellow press were only too willing to run with it and boy did they run with it.

The result of this social engineering project a once great engineering and industrial powerhouse of the West, Scotland can not now manage let alone engineer and build the trams or tramlines from one end of her capital city to the other.

Dear diligent and vigilant worker now on welfare, in my thoughts, I salute you. God bless you.

Hesperado said...

I don't know; it sounds like the job of "lavatory lady" is prime pickings for the Turkish Muslim immigrants who keep coming into Germany.

1389 said...

We don't have lavatory ladies in the US, as a rule. Public washrooms still need to be cleaned, and somebody has to do that. I work as a cashier at an office supply store, and, you guessed it, I end up cleaning the ladies' washroom every so often. After all, I have to use the same facility myself, and I want it looking and smelling presentable!

Zenster said...

Hesperado: I don't know; it sounds like the job of "lavatory lady" is prime pickings for the Turkish Muslim immigrants who keep coming into Germany.

Which was my exact impression of the lavatory lady I encountered at KaDeWe, no less.

Anyone traveling to Berlin who does not visit this store has missed one of the great spectacles of Western opulence. There are individual floors devoted to furs, silks jewelery and fine apparel, another for plasma screens and Bang & Olufsen stereo systems, another floor of Steiff Teddy bears and Märklin toy trains, another given over to Le Creuset cookware and Wüsthof kitchen knives, another to Godiva chocolates and every luxury candy that you can imagine.

Its top floor, which overlooks the bombed out ruins of Wilhelmskirche, is occupied by a "cafeteria" which would put a lot of one star Michelin restaurants to shame. The sixth floor delicatessen has everything from Spanish saffron to truffle oil.

The bottom floor gourmet food market is enough to give any foodie a case of the vapors:

The best wurst.

Fungi heaven.

A cheese shop that could run John Cleese out of appellations.

Each of those images is just one of ten different food counters with similar displays. The stone mushroom cured air dried Italian beef was one of the most sublime flavors I have ever tasted. Believe me, this is not just another traveler's yarn.

And there, among over one billion dollars worth of inventory within a single building, in the the top floor bathroom, is what was more than clearly a Turkish Muslim lavatory lady.

Moreover, group discussion revealed that she was probably not even an approved store employee but some sort of ersatz "squatter" (pun intended).

Go figure.