Starbucks’ bogs

I spent four years as a janitor in the down times. This is no time to discuss the reason I fell, she’s gone now. Before that I was a successful microbiologist, working as a lecturer, researcher and consultant and I still am, really. The ‘doctor’ title is one I earned. It’s not linked to the job. Sometimes the spectre of microbiology work resurfaces but I’m not sure I care any more. Science is so thoroughly ruined by all the well publicised fakery out there I’d rather not be one. So now I’m a publisher. Fledgeling but getting the hang of it.

I worked as a janitor in a shop. The bottom of the pile, the Dalit of the retail world, despite being slightly better paid than most of the shelf stackers and till bleepers. It took them a year to find out I was a doctor. It took one of them two years to find out my name wasn’t Alan because I kept answering to it.

I learned a lot. I learned why shop-based food poisoning occurs. I learned how the very structure of a food shop makes such outbreaks close to inevitable. I’m not parting with that for free. I might drop bits here and there to get the right people interested but if you ever want a full report it’s going to cost. I also, subsequently, found out that nobody gives a shit. So I’ll probably never write that report.

Anyway. The shop had a small cafe and also a small toilet block. I wasn’t happy with the arrangement, the toilets should have been attached to the cafe not off into the food aisles but they rented the premises so couldn’t really do much about it.  Management at least had the sense to surround the toilet entrance with greetings cards, wrapping paper and household goods like paper towels. So you didn’t come out with shitty hands and immediately paw the precooked meats. Management, in some areas, weren’t total idiots.

We Secret Ninja Cleaners cleaned those toilets once an hour. Does that sound excessive? Someone shitted up one of those toilets five minutes after I cleaned it. Once, at the end of a shift, I had refilled the paper towel holders and when Mopman took over, he said the paper towels in the gents had run out. Impossible. I put three packs in the dispenser only an hour earlier.

It turned out an OCD sufferer with handwashing problems had used all the paper towels and flushed them. The resulting blockage backed up all the toilets and required expert plumbing assistance to sort out – at massive cost.

There was a time when someone’s arse exploded in the disabled toilet. The consequence was indescribable. As someone who has spent his life dealing with intestinal contents I was the most qualified person within 30 miles to deal with this situation – but not on janitor pay. I refused.

They had to get in a professional shit-stirrer in a hazmat suit who demanded a signature for disposing of hazardous waste. I was right – and so was the assistant manager who would not let his staff touch this. If someone’s arse exploded like that then the spatter (pebbledash, there was a hell of a lot of it) might well be infected with something horrible and staff handling food for sale should never be anywhere near it.

The overall manager disagreed. He thought that if the (doctor of microbiology) janitor won’t touch it, his (largely school kids on pocketmoney) staff could easily deal with it. Fortunately he wasn’t on that time.

The toilets were not technically open to the public but the buggers used them anyway. You couldn’t stop them. How can you prove they weren’t planning to go to the cafe or load a trolley after they had a dump? There was one suited shit who’d come in, pick up a basket, and leave a few minutes later placing the empty basket back in the stack. He probably still does it. Not my problem now.

We didn’t have an entry code for the bogs. You didn’t have to buy anything to use them. So we got all kinds of weirdoes in there. I once found a drunk asleep in there and throught I had found my first Bog Body. Unforunately the chavvy cunt was alive. He was picked up by the police (they used to care about real offline crimes) a few shops away where he was being extra cunty.

Starbucks, after a single incident where a non-customer was refused the pee code, now have their bogs open to all and sundry. So they are full of junkies and dirty protestors. Who would expect that?

Now… Starbucks are virulently antismoking so I don’t go there anyway. This whole story has no relevance to me personally. I have no reason (apart from a bit of gloating) to delight in this news.

I see it more as a warning to other businesses who are planning to capitulate to the New Puritans.

They want to destroy capitalism and that’s you. Yeah. That’s you, that is.

And you silly fuckers are agreeing to it.

Lucozade, Ribena, Starbucks, bye bye you capitalist self righteous suicides.

We know a song about that, don’t we?

8 thoughts on “Starbucks’ bogs

  1. “…Now… Starbucks are virulently antismoking so I don’t go there anyway. This whole story has no relevance to me personally. I have no reason (apart from a bit of gloating) to delight in this news….”

    Yes. My first response to Starbucks in the news recently also. I gloat and they can go bankrupt for all I care. They deserve it for being so hatefully anti-smoker. Now they get their just rewards. Bankruptcy is just too easy. I prefer something with a little blood as well to match what their smoker intolerance has resulted in doing to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I see it more as a warning to other businesses who are planning to capitulate to the New Puritans.”

    Sadly, you’re wasting your breath. They all do it, even if they’ve seen the consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Leggy, do you give any credence to the “Hygiene Hypothesis”?
    I find it very plausible, but that may be just because I’m a bit of a slob and also lucky enough to enjoy robust health.

    It probably worked better in the days before we became so globally mobile.

    But no other animal washes its hands, (or even wipes its bottom!)

    As the nemesis of gut bugs everywhere, do you countenance any compromise?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was sure, a long time ago, that the ultraclean world left kids with a bored immune system. It was designed to be busy and it had little to do, so it found things to do.

      Most infections have an infective dose. Some, like E. coli O157, have a very low infective dose. About 10 cells. Some, like Cryptosporidium, just needs one. Most need tens of thousands at once to get an infection going. If you swallow 100 Salmonella you won’t get infected and your immune system gets a chance to see it and get ready for the day when you swallow ten thousand at once.

      So letting kids play in dirt is a good thing. It’s a lot of fun too.

      I can be slobby, living way out of town, because I’m unlikely to get infected by anything that isn’t already in me. In town, especially in any public cafe/pub/restaurant, I am a hygiene nightmare. Everything must be spotless and I’ll wash my hands to the bone after using the bathroom.

      As you say, people travel globally in a few hours now. An infection in Marseille could be in Aberdeen before Marseille shows symptoms.

      Animals travel too. Nomadic herds roam Africa… at walking pace. Birds migrate… a lot slower than a jet. They have time to adapt to gradual changes in the microflora of local food and water as it changes over distance.

      We can get from London to Beijing in about 20 hours. No gradual adaptation on the way. It’s as if you took a wildebeest from South Africa and dropped it in Kent in under a day. I’m certain it would get the shits. Not because it gets infected as such, but because its body has not had time to the changes in local bacterial populations. The gut is going to try to adapt all at once and it does that by hitting ‘flush’.

      Small exposures to dangerous infections (mostly) lets the immune system practice. Some infections just go roaring in with just a few cells and you can’t stop them but most need to go in mob-handed to get established. Some use quorum sensing – they won’t try to infect until there are enough of them to stand a chance of winning. Erwinia does this with potatoes. It just grows benignly in the soil until their chemical signals tell them they have an army, and bam – spud down.

      I let my kids play in the dirt. Hell, I played in it with them. Making roads for toy cars in the dirt was part of my childhood. None of us are anywhere near ‘sickly’.

      The biggest risk of infection for any species is always contact with other members of that species. There are quite a few infections that cross species boundaries – toxoplasma, rotaviruses etc – and others that are harmless in one species but deadly in another. But mostly, if you are going to catch an infection, you’ll catch it from another human.

      So cleanliness is important in public, especially in eating places. Not such a big deal at home.

      Although spending four years as a cleaner does sort of tip you into a more than usually scrupulous cleaning routine 😉

      Liked by 2 people

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