Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Sunday | February 3, 2013
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LETTER OF THE DAY - Can't I pee in peace?
THE EDITOR, Sir:

Denying people use of bathrooms unless they buy something. Really? Of course, this would happen. This is Jamaica, after all.

People charge you to park on land they don't own, for crying out loud. Everybody has to maximise earnings, even if it means charging a parent for a soda she didn't even need to let a two-year-old relieve himself in the right place as opposed to in the car.

I'm disgusted.

I was in a popular patty restaurant in New Kingston on Wednesday, January 30, 2013. As is customary, I needed to tinkle. I proceeded towards the restroom, which was locked. I asked the security guard to open the door, to which he replied, "You haffi buy sum'n fi use the bathroom." I told him I planned to buy something after but needed to relieve myself, and he obliged, after muttering that I was supposed to buy something first. Oh, sure, let me eat my patties while urinating.

Anyway, while consuming my patties, an odd-looking man came in, also desirous of using the freshly bolted restroom facility. Of course, the security gave him the same line (and added a demeaning look - because of said appearance, I guess): "You haffi buy sum'n fi use the bathroom."

The poor man looked like he could've left some kind of bonus work for the cleaning crew right there in the middle of the place! Of course, he had to buy something; maybe a straw, I'm not certain what it was, but after swearing at the guard perhaps and maybe the high cost of living (literally), he was able to go.

WHY DO THEY THINK THIS IS NECESSARY?!

Why should they lock the bathrooms and insist on people spending there before being able to use them? Yes, they are places of business, where the aim is to make as much money as possible, but is $10 for perhaps a packet of ketchup so necessary to deny people of using the restroom? Are they so inhumane that they just want money and don't care about persons relieving themselves of necessary bodily functions?

Clearly, the heads of these businesses are robots. That must be it. What's worse, the security guards, too, are soooo vigilant to enforce this unnecessary evil. Yes, I understand that they don't want any hobo (a.k.a. mad man in Jamaican terms) to just come off the street and take residence in there, but it's not like there's a sign at the front saying, 'FREE BATHROOM HERE!'

Most likely, most people who go to any establishment of business go for whatever business is offered there, not to just do number 1 or 2.

ALWAYNE ALLEN

alwayne@stu.ncu.edu.jm

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