Well, That Experience Has Gone Right Down The Toilet

, , , , , , | Working | May 14, 2018

(I am a manager of a kid’s play area, and during weekdays we have minimal staff in the afternoons, as it gets rather quiet. We each have our own specific closing duties like tills, cleaning kitchens, toilets, etc. but we have a great team and any of the workload we have that is non-managerial is shared so no one is left behind. We also have high school students join us for a week here and there for work experience, and they are mostly a pleasure to deal with. I am about to clean the toilets when the work experience girl says she is finished with her tasks and asks what she could do next.)

Me: “Well, I know [Coworker] is on time with her tasks, and I need to get a wriggle on with the tills, but I have to do the toilets first. I know they’re not everyone’s favourite task, and since you’re on work experience I’ll go easy on you; do you think it’s something you’d like to tackle?”

Work Experience Girl: “Yeah, I don’t mind at all. I haven’t done it before; can you show me what to do?”

Me: “No problem.”

(I explained what to do and where to find gloves, buckets, and other cleaning supplies. Just in case it isn’t super obvious, it only involves cleaning the bowls, basins, and mirrors, sweeping, and mopping. There are only seven toilets, and my coworker and I are on top of cleaning them throughout the day, so they’re pretty clean already and it usually takes ten minutes. Since she’d never done it before, I imagined it might take longer. She seemed cheerful enough and set to work. After ten minutes, she was done and asked me to check them. They were spotless and I was impressed. I told her so and she beamed. Since there were only my own managerial duties to go and I was nearly finished, I said she could take the last ten minutes as an early mark and gave her a lemonade on the house. I finished up the night’s tasks and I thought nothing of it. The next day, I got a call from the owner, who told me that the work experience girl was not coming back. Apparently, her father had called the school complaining that she was distraught. She was incredibly upset that we would lock her in the toilets and not let her out until they were spotless. She had to clean toilets with her bare hands and wasn’t allowed to wash her hands after. The school decided they would no longer offer our play area as an option for work experience kids. I was too shocked to reply.)

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