I don't work 9-to-5. That's not the way I make my livin'. Nope, I clean public park bathrooms & empty 42 garbage cans whenever they need it. It's much like mothering. You can't help it if your baby's diaper needs changing at 2 AM. You just power through it. So it is with backed up toilets and vandalism. It doesn't matter if I'm wearing my best high heels and shiny red lipstick to go out on the town with my man. If the bathroom is in trouble, I must come to the rescue. It's sort of hilarious, because I do have a decent head on my shoulders and yet I REALLY, really like this nasty, manual labor stuff. I could have been a doctor... or a lawyer... or a, well anything I set my mind to. I'm scrubbing toilets though. And most days, it suits me.
Of course, there are the occasional times that I really, really, REALLY hate my job. For the first two weeks straight after we opened up the bathrooms for the season (they're locked during the months that freeze to prevent busted pipes) someone was "decorating" the bathrooms with their feces. Yes, feces. They started off small by wiping it all over the toilet seat and wiping with a pair of thermal wool socks then shoving those socks down into the toilet so that it flooded over on to the floor when flushed. That was pretty. Stuff like that happens though, so I just put on some rubber boots and latex gloves and cleaned it up. No big. The next day, they skipped the toilet and left a steaming pile on the floor in front of the toilet though. I was not impressed. Keep in mind that this was back when I had just discovered that I was pregnant.
As the days went on, there were more piles. Always in the same spot. My ten year old son commented, "Whoa! What? Are they taking the All-Bran 10 day challenge or something?!" Unfortunately, it went on like this. Until one day, this person had written "Hi" with their stool sample on the bathroom wall. It totally creeped me out that they were leaving these "presents" for us and now "communicating". Later that night, we went to lock the bathrooms up for the night and there was a 5 gallon bucket in the same spot that the piles had been in filled with a toxic mix of vomit and poop. Poor Dustin had to carry it. We had to figure out what in the heck to even do with it. If it weren't so late at night, I probably would have called the health department for advice on how to dispose of toxic waste. My hubby & I laughed at the absurdity of the things that we have had conversations about since taking this job.
When I found yet another present the next day, I called the Sheriff's department to see what could be done. I was desperately wishing real life played out like CSI and they could just DNA test it. He was intrigued, but he didn't really have a whole lot of advice. He basically said that if it were him, he would just lock the bathrooms up and put a sign on the door saying, "Closed due to ongoing vandalism." We wavered between doing that and leaving them open so that we could finally catch who was doing it. My kids would ask me (eyes sparkling), "Mom? If you walked in on him doing it, would you beat him up?!" They REALLY loved the idea of me (total non-fighter) opening a can on the "bad guy". I told them that I wasn't going to start a fight with a guy who was in the middle of a BM, but that I would totally lock the bathroom gate so that he couldn't get out and call 911. They didn't think that sounded nearly as exciting.
Fortunately, it just stopped as suddenly as it started. I'm not sure why, but I'm thankful. I'm not going to pretend that aside from that issue the job is pretty. Believe me, you don't want to empty 42 garbage cans that have been fermenting in the heat. When I'm done with this job, I may be ready to become some sort of Maggot Specialist (they have those, right?) I bet you that I could qualify as an expert on maggot life stages. Don't get me started on how many people that I have witnessed in the throws of extra marital affairs. I've lived in this SMALL town my entire life. WHY on earth do these people insist on coming to my backyard for this? And why is the average time of day for cheating in a car without tinted windows right when the school bus drives by? I've lost count of how many used condoms and hypodermic needles I've had to pick up & dispose of. And they call parks family places. Ha!
So, why do I do it you ask? Simple. We get paid to live in our house and it allows me to be a stay at home mom a little longer. Not to mention, what would I have had to blog about today and gross you out with otherwise?