Friday, March 1, 2013

Ramon's Having a Party and You're Invited

It is March first, which means we are T-minus sixteen days away from America's favorite drinking holiday after Thanksgiving, Cinco de Mayo, Christmas, New Years, the Super Bowl, and Thirsty Thursday. I'm focusing on this, as opposed to the fact that the first is also when I pay all my bills and cry many hot, little tears into my pillow when no one's home to hear my antics. A year ago, at this time, I was working for a major retailer as a bridge job to fill hours and keep my head above water. I have no idea, seeing as they were one of the two to lay me off last month, if I need to maintain a sense of store loyalty and not use their name. So I will just leave some hints and say they sell clothes and are Macy's.

Saint Patrick's Day last year was a rare treat, as I was working that day. The store location I was at was advantageously positioned to have revelers from the parade wander in and out throughout the day. The store opens at 10 am and it was around 10:02 when I spotted my first drunk on the floor. The insanely mild weather, coupled with it being St. Pat's, meant that people were out in droves and going rather buck wild for this usually staid Midwestern hub.

You could predict the number of bodily fluids that were going to end up across the store. That seemed a given by lunch. There was even a certain expectation in terms of increased business on green items. There was one thing I was completely unprepared for.

The second floor men's room.

It would be generous to say that our cleaning crew was horrible at their jobs. I used to calculate if I could go a six hour shift without peeing. I knew past that I would eventually need to, but I could usually ride out that shorter shift. And that's the women's bathroom. Not to say that women are innately cleaner, but yes that's exactly what I'm trying to say. I spent four years at a (heavy emphasis on the first word) liberal arts college where we had co-ed bathrooms. Boys do some sick ass shit in the bathroom. Therefore, using my powers of deduction, I know if the women's room is a hover zone, then the men's room has to be a nightmare.

Its after my lunch break, I have a long haul till close, a man has already screamed threats at me, and I am trapped behind the register selling everything from ugly green t-shirts to ugly green pants. Suddenly, a woman shoots to my side and very furtively gestures for me to lean in close. I resist her suggestion. She whisper!yells that her son just tried to use the bathroom on my floor and she believes there are people having sex in there.

Now, when she said "people" my brain understood immediately this implied more than two. If it was two, she probably would have said, "There's a couple having sex in there." Either way, I'm not breaking that up, because I get paid minimum wage. I need a title and at least a three dollar increase before I start leading the charge on this situation. Having no other recourse, I smiled and thanked her for the information and told her security and a manager would be here immediately to deal with it. A word about our security guy: he was a fresh faced air-force drop out with some brassy red hair. You make him uncomfortable and he will blush.

Because I cannot be satisfied with simply the knowledge that a sex party is being broken up, I lurk my way over to the hall where the bathrooms are and lie in wait folding t-shirts. First, our reluctant security guy enters and breaks the whole thing up. There's a lot of cursing and shuffling noises. And then proceeds a conga line out in to the store. Three guys and two girls. Rowdy, drunk, and presumably unsatisfied. What they were doing must not have been too salacious, since no one called the police, but they were eventually shunted out of the building.

I was left in a daze trying to figure out who initially made the suggestion of "Hey, let's all hook up right now. And also, we should do it in the men's room of this store. Because everything in this hallway smells like dookies and I am into that." Also, the third guy...was he involved or like a spotter? Was he giving tips? Waiting for his opening? What is your purpose guy number three??? Finally, and most importantly, did neither of the two chicks go, "Hey, all women's restrooms in major department stores have fainting couches in them for some reason, we should go in there so as to not have to touch cheeks to any of these mysterious surfaces."

As I pondered these questions, out loud, my co-worker told me an even more insidious story. Or as she put it, "Gurl, that is not even the worst thing to happen in them stalls." She told me that a few months prior, staff would have to regularly check the men's room for flyers. These would be posted inside all the stalls and read, "RAMON'S HAVING A PARTY. TUESDAY 5-7." Along with pulling down the signs, they would then have to be aware that day of potential foot traffic into the men's room. As she tells me this, a second co-worker sweetly asks at this juncture, "What kind of party?"

I obviously can't say for certain the above picture is from one of Ramon's Parties, but I don't want to be told I'm wrong either.

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