To the editor:
The other day I walked into the tourist information centre/public washroom to use the washroom, and three employees at once shouted greetings to me. One asked if there was anything he could help me with.
I rushed to the washroom, feeling somewhat embarrassed. I’m not very comfortable with that kind of fanfare when my intention is to use a toilet. I’m on the waterfront almost every day, so I’ve used the washroom many times since the tourist office opened. This had never happened before.
As I was leaving, the same employee thanked me for coming in. There could be no mistake: the employee understood that I had finished using the toilet and was on my way out. No one but no one has ever thanked me in the past for using a washroom.
I later contacted the director of visitor experience to explain this experience and to suggest that staff discern whether a person is a tourist, a tourist-washroom user, or strictly a washroom user before they commence their new information centre protocols. I told him I thought there had to be a protocol for washroom users to be left alone to use the washroom and leave.
His answer was that despite any discomfort, even washroom users would be welcomed and thanked. My answer was that unwelcome attention would reap unwelcome attention.