For a change of pace on this Fourth of July, here is an essay from Politically Incorrect about an occupation that is under-appreciated in Germany, that of the lavatory lady. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:
Just a Lavatory Lady
Last weekend, my family and I were in our favorite shopping center. We often came here when the children were small, and today it is a much-loved tradition.
We always set up our base camp at our favorite Italian restaurant in the shopping passage. This is the central meeting place for eating, drinking, talking, telephoning. Girls are constantly walking through swiftly, sometimes boys, mother and daughter or — so it doesn’t get too expensive with soccer jerseys and other soccer paraphernalia — sometimes also mother and son. Shopping bags pile up around the table and everyone is content, if you just don’t think about the dwindling bank account.
In the entrance area to the shopping center is the public toilet. For years the cleanest public toilet in the whole area. For years kept up and cared for by the lavatory lady, whose small table and plate for tips as well as her chair stand between the two toilet doors. The anteroom is completely visible to all passersby, set off only by a transparent glass panel. Last weekend, I was waiting near there for my son. The attendant was just coming out of one of the lavatories with her cleaning materials and, breathing heavily, sat on her chair. She is, pardon me for saying so, no longer young and, pardon again, quite corpulent. Even without a medical degree, it is impossible to escape the feeling that her health is not the best.
As I waited and watched the heavily breathing lavatory lady, I thought of the news reports on the car radio on the way to the shopping center. Some new ideas from the Bleeding-Heart Industry on the subject of Islam and social policy.
Dear lavatory lady, the “blessings” of the Bleeding-Heart Industry have never reached you. They will never reach you.
Never will some ethics commission, a social commission or a Do-Gooder commission take an interest in you. Never would a commission on the dignity of the human being come upon the idea of investigating whether your workplace — between two toilet doors and completely visible to thousands of people all day long — is compatible with human dignity. Never would some leftist, addled nutcase start a vigil or a demonstration for the legitimate rights of lavatory ladies.
Never would representatives of the Protestant Church call for prayers for or with lavatory ladies. Never would anyone get the idea of setting up a prayer room near the toilets for you (as is happening now at my daughter’s university at the cost of the taxpayer) because no one is interested in whether, when, where and to whom you pray. For you, no one would even build a small room near the toilets where you could eat during your break, away from the smells and the glances of thousands of passersby.
Never would the central council of lavatory ladies intervene for you, because there is none.
Since you neither make demands nor are you violent, neither live at public expense nor have problems with our social values, you would never be invited to a lavatory lady conference by the distinguished minister of the interior. Never would a president of the federal republic cry out on the national holiday: Lavatory ladies belong in Germany.
Dear lavatory lady, the Do-Gooder industry is not interested in people like you, because they cannot gain anything from you. You work and earn your own money. From morning to night, you do the dirty work, in the truest sense of the word. At a hard workplace, with no social reputation, with no prospect of advancement, and surely with no great salary.
You earn you money by honest, ostensibly lowly work. You are a brave, plucky, honorable woman. You can look at yourself in the mirror every morning with a good conscience. You are free.
Dear lavatory lady, in my thoughts, I salute you. God bless you.