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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it my imagination, or are there fewer and fewer bathrooms available in public places? Yesterday, I went for a blood test at a medical clinic. While waiting my turn, naturally, I started feeling a D attack coming on. And all the bathrooms were locked! The lab was short-staffed, and I couldn't summon anyone to the front desk, and the cramps kept getting worse. So I left the clinic and drove several miles to a nearby large hospital where I had been told I could also get my test done. The bathrooms were locked there, too! Fortunately, the woman at the front desk let me use their private bathroom. (Just in time, too!)Last week, my husband and I ate at a Mexican restaurant that told me (at a most inconvenient time) that they had no bathrooms at all! And they're feeding people beans and jalapenos--talk about playing with fire! We bundled up the food "to go" and headed for the Jack in the Box down the street. There, I had to wait in line to get the manager to "buzz me in" to the restroom. In addition, the pharmacy I go to has had an "out of order" sign on both Ladies and Men's rooms for weeks now. I recently noticed that my favorite craft store has done the same thing.What's going on here? None of these places are in bad neighborhoods where you might expect junkies to be shooting up or hookers to be turning tricks in the restrooms. It seems as if society is sending a message to those of us with bowel urgency problems that we should just stay home. I wonder if it's because of the ADA--faced with remodeling their facilities to conform to access laws, many places just close their restrooms to everyone. I wish there was some way to get a law passed--if you're open to the public, you're obligated to provide for the comfort of same.
 

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Hi zigmissus,You know, I was wondering the same thing.Recently I went to a local store that has had some major expansion , it is twice the size as it was before. I was in there about 10 minutes , when I got the urge to use the ladies room. I asked an employee where it was, and he said that he was sorry but the restrooms were not open to the public, and that I would have to drive several miles away for the nearest one. Needless to say I was totally disgusted, since , when the store was much smaller, using the restroom was never an issue. Anyway I will not go back to that store again , and am no longer a faithful customer. Surely if they have expanded in size, they must realize that they will have more customers, and that some of these customers will certainly , at one time or another , have to use the restroom. I can't help but wonder what will happen to the mother , who is in the middle of her shopping , and has a young child along who has to "go". Guess she will be expected to drop everything and make that 7 mile trip to the nearest one..This store is certainly not customer friendly.Anyway, the point I am trying to make , is that I agree with you.. there seem to be a shortage of public restrooms, or of places that are willing to let you use theirs.Take care,Jeanne
 

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Hi zigmissus,You know, I was wondering the same thing.Recently I went to a local store that has had some major expansion , it is twice the size as it was before. I was in there about 10 minutes , when I got the urge to use the ladies room. I asked an employee where it was, and he said that he was sorry but the restrooms were not open to the public, and that I would have to drive several miles away for the nearest one. Needless to say I was totally disgusted, since , when the store was much smaller, using the restroom was never an issue. Anyway I will not go back to that store again , and am no longer a faithful customer. Surely if they have expanded in size, they must realize that they will have more customers, and that some of these customers will certainly , at one time or another , have to use the restroom. I can't help but wonder what will happen to the mother , who is in the middle of her shopping , and has a young child along who has to "go". Guess she will be expected to drop everything and make that 7 mile trip to the nearest one..This store is certainly not customer friendly.Anyway, the point I am trying to make , is that I agree with you.. there seem to be a shortage of public restrooms, or of places that are willing to let you use theirs.Take care,Jeanne
 
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Without making this a hot button issue, I can provide one reason there may be fewer facilities available. Much of it is sort of a backlash from the Americans with disabilities act (ADA). This well intentioned act has been so distorted from its original intent that merchants, builders, contractors, etc now have to lay out huge bucks to provide facilities they once did not have to provide. Basically, if you provide facilities at all, it must be accessible to everyone. Plus, it really is a drag for businesses to have a restroom that stays crammed with people that have no interest whatever in patronizing the business, they just want to use the can. As a retail store owner, I can tell you a lot of stories of how abusive people have become thanks to the ADA. Afterall, just because you own a store doesnt mean you should have to clean up after people's nastiness. There needs to be provisions for the truly disabled, but we have activisim to the extreme now, and the pendulum has swung too far...I am sure there are other reasons for what you are seeing, but this just might be a contributing factor.
 
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Without making this a hot button issue, I can provide one reason there may be fewer facilities available. Much of it is sort of a backlash from the Americans with disabilities act (ADA). This well intentioned act has been so distorted from its original intent that merchants, builders, contractors, etc now have to lay out huge bucks to provide facilities they once did not have to provide. Basically, if you provide facilities at all, it must be accessible to everyone. Plus, it really is a drag for businesses to have a restroom that stays crammed with people that have no interest whatever in patronizing the business, they just want to use the can. As a retail store owner, I can tell you a lot of stories of how abusive people have become thanks to the ADA. Afterall, just because you own a store doesnt mean you should have to clean up after people's nastiness. There needs to be provisions for the truly disabled, but we have activisim to the extreme now, and the pendulum has swung too far...I am sure there are other reasons for what you are seeing, but this just might be a contributing factor.
 

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Actually, I've been noticing more public restrooms in grocery stores around here. Which is nice - in the past, I've always had to go through the stockroom, down the hall, and up the stairs. And thank goodness for Starbucks which often have bathrooms to use.But I have noticed more offices that lock them like my dentist. But they must be used to me by now getting the key!!nancy
 

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Actually, I've been noticing more public restrooms in grocery stores around here. Which is nice - in the past, I've always had to go through the stockroom, down the hall, and up the stairs. And thank goodness for Starbucks which often have bathrooms to use.But I have noticed more offices that lock them like my dentist. But they must be used to me by now getting the key!!nancy
 

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4willieC,Hi. I guess if you look at things from a store owners perspective, what you said makes sense. I can certainly understand some of the reasons now that you explained them. If there is a real emergency though, and they won't let you use the restroom, and well , you mess on their floor, wouldn't that be much worse, than having to clean up a bathroom after people ? That may happen one day. What do you think ?
 

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4willieC,Hi. I guess if you look at things from a store owners perspective, what you said makes sense. I can certainly understand some of the reasons now that you explained them. If there is a real emergency though, and they won't let you use the restroom, and well , you mess on their floor, wouldn't that be much worse, than having to clean up a bathroom after people ? That may happen one day. What do you think ?
 
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Well, you kinda have to use judgement...something that is not expected of the public at large anymore. We have no desire for customers to be uncomfortable..why should we? We never lock any doors or any of that...in fact, we have no problem with accomodating our patrons...just not people off the street that have no business in our store other than using the facilities. They are more often than not the ones that will poop on the floors and urinate on the walls or otherwise not leave things as they found them. We do have a policy (posted sign) that asks the users to clean up after themselves...its worked for many years....
 
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Well, you kinda have to use judgement...something that is not expected of the public at large anymore. We have no desire for customers to be uncomfortable..why should we? We never lock any doors or any of that...in fact, we have no problem with accomodating our patrons...just not people off the street that have no business in our store other than using the facilities. They are more often than not the ones that will poop on the floors and urinate on the walls or otherwise not leave things as they found them. We do have a policy (posted sign) that asks the users to clean up after themselves...its worked for many years....
 

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That's odd as a while back (years) the stores had new laws that said they had to provide public bathrooms for their shoppers. A safeway worker told me they had to remodel and make the bathrooms avail for both employee and customers. So that's how it is, both use the same. Kind of sad for the employee...they have to use the same toilet as strangers off the street. My teen son works at Toys R Us and told me the same..they use the same bathroom as the public. It does help if you have a child w/ you as most merchants are sympathetic to a little kid who needs the bathroom.....
 

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That's odd as a while back (years) the stores had new laws that said they had to provide public bathrooms for their shoppers. A safeway worker told me they had to remodel and make the bathrooms avail for both employee and customers. So that's how it is, both use the same. Kind of sad for the employee...they have to use the same toilet as strangers off the street. My teen son works at Toys R Us and told me the same..they use the same bathroom as the public. It does help if you have a child w/ you as most merchants are sympathetic to a little kid who needs the bathroom.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do see your perspective, 4willie, but Jeanne's right--denying a desperate person the use of the restroom could result in a much bigger mess! Also, just because someone isn't a customer THIS time--maybe they're just there to take advantage of your bathroom--doesn't mean they won't be back. Don't stores run advertisements and promotions all the time for the purpose of building customer goodwill and enticing people into the store? Seems to me an "open door" policy for the restroom accomplishes the same thing. There have been numerous occasions when I've gone into an establishment for the sole purpose of using the restroom, only to have a display catch my eye, and I end up buying something--or coming back later when I feel better. And in fast food places, I almost always buy at least a soda (as I did in the Jack in the Box mentioned above), both to say thanks, and because IBS attacks tend to make me dehydrated. I wonder what happened to those laws, Tezbear? I hope this disturbing trend can be reversed by customers "voting with their feet," that is, not patronizing stores that restrict bathroom access. If you factor in at least 15 percent of the population with IBS, plus those with bladder disorders, plus the number with small children, plus the disabled, maybe this will have an impact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do see your perspective, 4willie, but Jeanne's right--denying a desperate person the use of the restroom could result in a much bigger mess! Also, just because someone isn't a customer THIS time--maybe they're just there to take advantage of your bathroom--doesn't mean they won't be back. Don't stores run advertisements and promotions all the time for the purpose of building customer goodwill and enticing people into the store? Seems to me an "open door" policy for the restroom accomplishes the same thing. There have been numerous occasions when I've gone into an establishment for the sole purpose of using the restroom, only to have a display catch my eye, and I end up buying something--or coming back later when I feel better. And in fast food places, I almost always buy at least a soda (as I did in the Jack in the Box mentioned above), both to say thanks, and because IBS attacks tend to make me dehydrated. I wonder what happened to those laws, Tezbear? I hope this disturbing trend can be reversed by customers "voting with their feet," that is, not patronizing stores that restrict bathroom access. If you factor in at least 15 percent of the population with IBS, plus those with bladder disorders, plus the number with small children, plus the disabled, maybe this will have an impact.
 
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Having had IBS for 40 years now, I understand the urgency thing...I would never refuse a "friend in need". But, our store is a specialty store...people generally don't just happen by..no window shoppers....and we don't share space with other retailers. So...generally all our visitors are partrons or potential patrons. When we had a store in a shopping center, we had a horrible problem with folks wanting to use the restrooms...and nothing else...wanting to use our phone..and nothing else...even wanting a drink of water..etc. Jeeze...we sell music stuff!
 
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Having had IBS for 40 years now, I understand the urgency thing...I would never refuse a "friend in need". But, our store is a specialty store...people generally don't just happen by..no window shoppers....and we don't share space with other retailers. So...generally all our visitors are partrons or potential patrons. When we had a store in a shopping center, we had a horrible problem with folks wanting to use the restrooms...and nothing else...wanting to use our phone..and nothing else...even wanting a drink of water..etc. Jeeze...we sell music stuff!
 
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