I just kicked a woman and her two young children out of the men’s bathroom at the Fred Meyer’s Department Store in downtown Portland. Only… it wasn’t the men’s bathroom.
Because I can’t blame myself, I’ll blame the store for its poor bathroom labeling practices. (I should sue them.)
Here’s how the whole thing went down.
I walk into the Fred Meyers with my wife and promptly announce to her that I need to go hit the can.
I march upstairs to where the bathrooms are, and I see the “Men” sign. I hit a hard right and push through the door.
There, standing smack dab in the middle of the bathroom is this short Latino woman with a young child right next to her. Another small child is just emerging from one of the stalls.
Needless to say, she sees me and looks shocked.
I’m a little startled myself.
I say to her something to the effect of, “Hey, this is the men’s bathroom.”
She quickly gathers up her kids and marches for the door.
Because I’m a super sensitive guy, and I feel sorry for her embarrassing error, I say to her, “It’s no big deal. Don’t worry about it.”
This whole thing would have gone unnoticed, but just then, my wife comes marching into the room, sees me and says, “What are you doing in here?”
(I feel compelled to note that I didn’t appreciate her accusatory tone, but I decided not to make an issue of it.)
I reply to her, “This is the men’s room.” (Although, at this point, my confidence is beginning to wane.)
We all walk out, and to my great disappointment – Yes, as unbelievable as it was, someone had switched the bathroom signs in the mere moments I was in the bathroom.
What are the odds?