Yesterday, I found myself shocked.
I needed a few bits from the supermarket. (How can ‘a few bits’ come to 54 Euro’s?) We pulled up at one on the way home and, as usual, four-year-old Akasha needed to nip to the loo. (Perhaps you can feel my exasperation, we hadn’t even grabbed a trolley yet.)
I found the toilet door in record time (I am becoming a pro).
I saw a notice on the door, but I ignored it, (being in German and that requiring effort on my part, and it being evening and me trying to remember which few bits were actually required). I pulled on the door but it didn’t open, leaving me looking like a
complete fool person with an enquiring mind.
I read the note. OK, if I’m honest, I picked out the most important looking words and got the gist that I had to go to the cashier and ask for the key.
We walked, well, I walked normally and the little one did a John Cleese impression in an attempt at holding together her four-year-old bladder.
Feeling some urgency tugging at my arm, I interrupted the checkout assistant and asked her politely for the key. She informed me that I would need to give her a deposit.
I opened my bag, a little surprised, thinking a Euro should do.
Only to hear her say, “Your car keys or your mobile phone will suffice.”
She repeated her request.
I repeated her request back again. Just to make sure I’d understood. The little one squirmed.
You may or may not be proud of me:
I did not call trading standards.
I did not squeal and laugh hysterically and look for Candid Camera.
I did not start a rational debate on why I should trust her with my phone/contact details/sim card or my car keys when she/her boss evidently, did not trust me with a roll of toilet paper.
I did not ask to see the manager.
I did not give her my keys.
I did not give her my mobile phone.
I did shake my head a lot in disbelief.
I did inform her (and anyone else listening) that I would prefer to shop elsewhere.
I did leave the shop with a husband and four children in tow. One doing some weird-looking yoga positions.
I did whip down the pants of my four-year-old right in front of the shop and ordered her to pee “there, right there.”
And she did let loose onto the stones.
Would you trust your car keys/mobile phone to a stranger in order to use the toilet?