From the trenches -- Pressure-washing public restrooms at Walmart

(You don't have to read this, and our illustration is beside the point:) 

By Arne Adolfsen

Pressure-washing public restrooms at a Walmart is such an unpleasant task at best, but it's usually assigned to 2 or 3 people -- 1 to aim the pressure-washer wand at the stuck-on grime (mostly on the grout), the other 1 or 2 to squeegee the water towards the sole (and tiny) floor drain and to use an overgrown Shopvac type thingie to suck the water up. I was assigned to do this by myself on Sunday night. I got about a quarter of one men's room done in 4 hours, but in hour 5 the drain was overwhelmed (as was I) and the floodwaters spread out the door and on into the Electronics department, pooling an inch deep in places on the irregular floor. Two people helped me clean it up.

So last night I was assigned to finish, by myself, with an even more powerful pressure washer. This one gas-powered. So first I went into the restroom to sweep the floor and do a rudimentary cleaning. So what did I find in the handicapped stall, the one that has the floor drain?

Fresh shit. On the floor. A big globby pile the size of my palm and maybe an inch and a half thick. And next to it a thick turd maybe 6 inches long that looked like it had been sculpted to look like a penis. How do you clean that up? I sought out my supervisor and explained that someone took a dump and missed the toilet. "Splatters?" he asked. I made him come and look. (Answer: you take a stiff plastic "Clearance!" sign and scrape the shit onto a piece of cardboard and then dump it all into a held-open at floor level garbage bag. Then you mop the smears with the stuff we use to clean up potential biohazards like blood or vomit.)