Thursday, 12 May 2011

You can always judge the integrity of an organisation by its loos!

My rather large family has, over many years, employed a quality assessment standard for pubs, restaurants, shops and, in fact, any organisation that allows members of the public access to its premises.
We believe, not unreasonably, that the level of cleanliness offered by the lavatories reflects on the efficiency and professionalism of the organisation. In fact, some of us even go so far as to grade such 'facilities' so that, upon arriving at a pub for a drink, someone might pop to the loo and return saying: "It's only a grade 3 I don't think we'll eat here". A quite sensible scheme I believe.

Let me now take you to Westminster Cathedral in London's Victoria. I arrived early last Saturday for the Guild of Catholic Bloggers meeting and was able to spend twenty minutes 'cooling off'' in the Holy Souls Chapel. Then, as the time for the meeting approached I made my way to the back where an information stand is located. Asking for the location of the nearest loos I was directed, via the Baptistry, to the Cafe in the basement (a strange world exists here, it was like being transported to another planet!) Entering the loos (which had all sorts of odd signs stating that, if queues for the loos extended out into the cafe area you were liable for instant excommunication, I found myself in a cubicle that was slightly more narrow than my body (no rude comments please). Furthermore, I had to execute a complicated manoeuvre (I think they call it a half veronica in bullfighting circles) which involved me limboing past the wash basin that protruded into the cubicle. I will spare the more sensitive among you any further detail except to say that, as one approached the pedestal, so the hand dryer machine on the wall unnervingly burst into action.
To a lesser mortal this would have been the final blow (literally) but I had a strong resolve and a weak bladder!

A closer inspection of this torture chamber revealed a large amount of dirt and grease in the corners, obviously, judging by the depth of aforesaid grime, it had been there some considerable time.

As a judge of some standing of such venues I can unequivocally award Archbishop Nichols a stunning deux points for this apology of a lavatory.
What it may say about Westminster Diocese, I leave to your own imagination!

Please note: No photographs were used in this post in the interests of mass hysteria and fainting avoidance


  1. HaHa.I didnt realise that men were so fastidious!Not my experience!

  2. You remind me of my husband who is phobic about public restrooms. He has a theory that the men's facilities are usually worse off than the women's. I think it's funny how you make the connection between the quality of the establishment and how much attention they give to their "loos". It is a very interesting hypothesis which sort of follows the principle "whatsoever you do to the least...that you unto me."