A-m (umopapisdn) wrote,

So the rumours are true. I did spend over an hour Saturday afternoon ... locked in a McDonald's bathroom on Elgin St in Ottawa. The only really funny part about the incident was that I wasn't even a customer. I just walked by, had to pee and figured "The bathrooms are usually clean" so I went in to pee. Leaving was the part that was difficult. The door would not open from the inside. So I banged and kicked on it and yelled until someone (a patron) finally noticed. I asked to get assistance and 5 min later she comes back and tells me: "I talked to the girl at the cash but I don't think she's doing anything!" So I told her that I really didn't want to stay there forever and asked if she could find the manager.

The manager was a 17 year old (if that) kid. He tells me he doesn't have a manual to tell him what to do. I suggest trying to unlock it. He tries every key he has and none of them work. So I suggest calling a locksmith. He tells me that he needs to call someone to see if thats okay.

He comes back a few minutes later and pushes a pairing knife under the door. Its flimsy and not a all anything I can jimmy the lock with. And anyhow, from my side, there is not a lot I can do. I ask if he has a No. 1 Phillip's screw driver because maybe then I could undo the screws and remove the whole door handle. He slides under a little head from a flat blade screwdriver. So I ask if its one of those that has all different heads in the handle, and he says yes. So I ask again for a Phillip's head (telling him its the one that looks like a star) and he gives me all seven heads and tells me to figure it out.

I remove the two screws but they don't give me access to anything else. So he suggests I try to do something with the hinges. I ask if he thinks he can fit a hammer under the door and he gets pissed off. I ask if he's called someone yet and he says he's going to try again. I've now been in the bathroom for over 30 mins.

Also, I was in Ottawa with my whole group. So one of my participants had to go back to where all my group was set to meet and tell them I was locked in the bathroom. Of course, they'd been waiting about 20 mins and were cranky. And they didn't at first believe him. Finally they show back up at the scene and laugh at me from the other side of the door.

I think one of the McD staff gave them some free drinks.

Anyhow, finally I hear someone messing with the door again. So I ask, "What are you doing?" and a voice (which I think is the same 17 year old kid) says: "Here, try using this on your side" and slides the flimsy knife back under the door. So I say rather stiffly "It didn't work the other ten minutes I wasted trying, why don't we call the fire department or something?" (It's been about 50 min now! and I am getting rather impatient) The guy says harshly, "Just give me a minute here, lady!" and so I say back harshly "I've already given you 50 minutes!"

Then he starts using a drill on the door. No warning, no "Please step back." Of course, I've common sense enough to step back on my own, but I was standing exactly where the drill head broke through the door.

So I wait and he gets the door open. I look at the time, exactly an hour from when I first walked in. The guy is obviously the locksmith. No one who works from McDonald's is present. So I ask the guy "Is there some incident report I need to fill out or something?" and he says I should talk to the manager. So I go to the front counter. There's a line. I don't get in it. I say to the girl (interrupting an order, but politely enough) "Is there an incident report that needs to be filled out about the washroom or something?" I am seriously just asking so that I can leave, not trying to give her a hard time, I just figure the owner is going to want to know why his washroom door is all drilled and busted up. She calls the manager over, and he looks at me and I repeat my question. He says: "Oh, is the person out?" and I say "I'm that person." and he turns and whispers (not too quietly) in the ear of the cashier, "Give her a free cheeseburger or something for her troubles." And walks away without looking in my direction.

The cashier says something like: "Just wait there" and then turns back to serving her customer. So I say something like:"I've already waited an hour, I'm not going to wait longer for some lame apology" and turn, gather the group, and walk out.

I kept my cool the whole time I was locked in the bathroom. Didn't freak out, didn't escalate things by calling the fire department on my cell, didn't complain, I was really pretty calm. But walking away I just got so pissed off. Nobody could even just say "Sorry." Fuck, I didn't want a free burger, I don't really even eat there anyway. I just wanted someone to acknowledge that due to their lack of proper maintenance, I got trapped in their bathroom for an hour, and they were sorry.

Anyhow, I was talking on the phone to a friend while killing time in the washroom and she asked me if there was any positive aspect of the experience. And I would have to say, that the gift I've been given in all this, is that I have no desire to ever set foot in a McDonald's again, even if its just to use the bathroom.
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