Friday, June 26, 2009

One of my pet hates

Most of the time I'm a pretty rational guy. I usually analyse situations with a cool head, make reasonable decisions, and generally behave in quite a sensible manner. None the less, I have a small number of pet hates which can produce an irrational response in me!

A couple of weeks ago on Saturday night, myself and T went to Floridita in London for a late meal. I'd never been before, but I'd had a good time in the original when I visited Cuba a few years ago, so I was interested to see what the London version was like.

We arrive around 11pm and when the waiter asks us what we want to drink, I can't help remembering a two line poem attributed to Ernest Hemingway which I'd seen up on the wall in the tiny Bodeguita bar in Havana:
My mojitos at La Bodeguita
My daiquiris at El Floridita
Although drinking cocktails can be a bit dangerous, it seems churlish not to drink daiquiris, so we ask the waiter to bring us a couple.

"But which ones sir?" replies the waiter, with a tone in his voice that seems to suggest that it was stupid of me to assume that there was only one type.

When I look at the cocktail list I realise that there are five daquiries available, imaginatively named "Daquiri No. 1", "Daquiri No. 2", and so on. So we start with Daquiri No. 1, and proceed through No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4, by which time I need to visit the toilets.

Having used the urinal, I go to the sink and start washing my hands when I notice a toilet attendant approaching. I can see that without asking me, the attendant intends to pour some liquid soap on my hands. I really hate that kind of behaviour because it's trying to force a service on me which I don't want, don't need, and which I'm perfectly capable of doing for myself! I could simply have said "No", but instead I get mildly abusive and tell him to "piss off" in quite an aggressive tone. Even though I didn't want his help, I know my behaviour was uncalled for. The amount of alcohol that I'd drunk probably had something to do with my reaction, coupled with the fact that toilet attendants are one of my pet hates! Am I the only person who gets wound up by this situation?

16 comments:

silverrrcloud said...

Nope. I am pretty sure that you are not the only one.

And shit does happen to all of us at times.

A good thing would be to learn a bit out of this.

Everyone has his pet hates and pet pevees. After all, we are all only human. Yet, you learn how to control them, and thus avoid both hurting other people, and embarassing yourself.

SC

gymtiger04 said...

nope, i hate that too. i usually try and dart in and out as fast as i can without letting him approach me.

John F said...

I'm completely with you.

I like to wash my hands after touching my genitals (call me weird) and I don't want to be pressured into giving money to someone who insists on helping me whether I want it or not - or worse, someone who verbally harrasses me when I refuse to give him money (which happens occasionally).

Anonymous said...

same here.i end up nOt washing hands becAuse of them.

Anonymous said...

that's really rude of you, GB! he was just trying to do his job. how would you like it if your job was to loiter all day in a tiny enclosed space breathing in other people's farts, and as a bonus, you have a wanker tell you to piss off? he probably would like to but he has 5 starving children at home to feed...

DBX said...

Yes I know the concept of toilet attendants is idiotic, but look at it this way; bankers make way more than they did 30 years ago and pay a lower tax rate than they did 30 years ago, but on the other hand there's massively more unemployment again, so there has to be SOME way for the wealth to trickle down.

Besides, the guy's just doing his job. Instead of railing on the poor toilet attendant when you're drunk, wait 'til you're sober and then rail on the idiot management that decided that toilet attendants were more important than, say, more and better table service. As I've only ever been in one place with toilet attendants where the table service was any good, I kind of suspect there's a connection.

psych said...

it's always hard to justify being rude, but I feel what you are saying. It annoys to me to no end when you are almost forced into tipping them for a service you don't want or need. And it should have anything to do with how much money you earn. I'm back in university and hence living on on tight budget and so the little that I do have, I'd rather not spend on paying someone to give me handwash! The most annoying thing however is the time I spend, playing in my head, a little speech for why I'm not going to tip the attendant.

close encounters said...

GB, i too get annoyed by establishments with toilet attendants - but there can be a valid reason to have them [stopping anti social behaviour!] ... although, the way the attendants sometimes monopolise the soap is seriously annoying !!

despite all this, there's not really much point getting annoyed with the attendant ...

Fuel Mix said...

They now have inside toilets in the UK ??!! Really ??!!

Wow...it must be a leading country.........

Do you also hate it when the waiter brings you your plate at the restaurant - or would you rather go to the kitchen, pick it up yourself and save the tip??

Your behaviour towards the attendant was uncouth.

Was Once said...

There is a real reason why not drinking alcohol or using drugs is one of the first 5 precepts of Buddhism. Scenes like this exemplify why. Thanks for sharing and being honest, perhaps someone will learn.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you gb. I am quite capable of sorting myself out in the washroom. This is a needless waste of rescourses of another human, and an infringement of ones personal ablutions and space.
Sx

Hedgie said...

Yeah I can remember the first time this happened to me years ago now, and I was shocked; apart from being unnecessary it just feels creepy. It still shocks me today. It seems the chain of which Floridita forms a part is a particularly bad offender in this regard and is a reason I would tend to avoid them.

Nine said...

I think privacy during abloutions is a basic human right.

I've had incidents where I've been harassed by toilet attendents in clubs and it's shocking behaviour. You go for a quick pee, there's no soap so you just use water, then you get pounced on by someone telling you how disgusting and unclean you are if you don't use the soap... that you have to pay them for.

Done right, it's fine. If they're offering an optional service then OK.

If they basically hold onto the soap and then verbally abuse you if you don't pay them for the privilege of using it then that's plain wrong.

It's rude of an establishment to force than on anyone. It's money gouging, not service provision.

John F said...

The only time I've ever seen when it can be justified to have toilet attendants is in venues where the management wants to prevent patrons from having sex in the toilets.

Other than that, it's completely unnecessary in my book.

Pesto Sauce said...

Poor guy

Gabriel Germanotta said...

Yeah I do get a bit peeved off also with such people in the toilet. We all sometimes react in a way, which we ultimately regret.

On one hand it is nice that the guy was willing to "help" but on the other hand, it is a tad intrusive to say the least.

But this is my opinion... :)

Had you not had those daquiris... :)