Last night was our company Christmas party at some swanky club in Leicester Square.
I am not a great fan of such places and I only ever go to them for company parties.
One of the reasons for disliking them is that they insist of having a toilet gimp (or toilet gimpette in the ladies).
You know, someone who hangs around in the toilet handing you soap and paper towels and offering to spray you with some cheap aftershave.
It seems from talking to various people that not everyone is clear about the purpose of the toilet gimp.
A common question is “Why does this place insist on having a toilet gimp?”. And the answer of course is that they don’t.
The gimp pays them for the privilege of hanging around in their toilet. He is expecting to make the money back through tips and his continued presence indicates the profitability of the work.
There are many approaches to the gimp situation.
Some people pay out of guilt.
Some don’t wash their hands (the thinking being that if they don’t use the facilities they don’t need to pay).
Some cut down on their toilet breaks, such is their fear of the gimp.
I personally make the most of the gimp’s offering, I don’t tip and I feel no guilt. This is my attempt to drive them out of business of course.
A friend of mine talks to them, finds out where they are from and a little bit about them (you know, what do they do when they’re not hanging around in toilets etc). He even gives pep talks to gimps that aren’t trying very hard. Tells them to buck up their ideas if they want to earn good tips.
The last two gimps I have seen didn’t seem to be cut out for the job, their hearts really weren’t in it.
They both started well, but by the end of the evening just sat in the corner looking sad and just waving towards the paper towels instead of handing them out. It’s pretty sad to see but what can you say to motivate someone in those situations.
Asking them “What’s wrong?” might seem like a good idea, but remember, the guy hangs around toilets for a living, do you really need to ask him what’s wrong?
Best thing to do in that situation is to act like they don’t exist so as not to bring attention to their plight.
After all, it’s not like they wake up in the morning, look themselves in the mirror and say “I’m going to be the bestest toilet gimp ever!”.