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The Job Application
by Judith Bradfield

In desperation I applied for a toilet cleaner's position. Imagine my surprise when I was faced with a council generic application form asking for 9 pages of information, including what my skills could bring to this position!  

The Job Description:

We are looking for a part time toilet cleaner to work in various locations around the Borough for an average of 20 hrs per 4 day shift. Shifts will be worked Monday to Sunday, 4 days on 4 days off, working both early mornings and early evening.

The job involves opening and closing toilets around the Borough and ensuring that a high standard of cleanliness is maintained at all times. You will have a full driving license and be able to work in a conscientious and flexible manner.

The Application Form - What can your skills bring to this position?

My skills regarding toilet cleaning: 

When I saw this advert I was flush with excitement and enthusiasm leaked from my soul.

With my finances sliding down the pan, I saw this position advertised and can now see everything falling into place.

How do my skills and personal attributes help with this wee position?

In my midwifery career I have witnessed all types of bodily excrement being deposited in the humble toilet: vomit, diarrhoea, blood, wee, bottles, syringes, and dreams, prior to the task of cleaning. There are no shocks or surprises left. Even babies have been born down the toilets I have cleaned, (not first without removing them and returning them to their mother, of course). Crap has been part of my job description since my career commenced. Yet still I have pride in my work and would seek to ensure a high standard of spit and polish every lavatory I clean.  

It is understandable that flexibility is essential, some cubicles so small one has to climb aboard before closing the door. I am fit, slim and flexible, able to reach the darkest of corners. Tight cubicles are not a problem, wielding the toilet brush like a dancer who loves to keep fit, I will be able to use your cleaning appliances in an agile and effective manner.  Pulling dangly bits, to cause a rush of fluid that gurgles away, will be music to my ears and enhance the orchestral movement, rhythm, and sensual contours as the toilets are sanitised. And should I get lost on my travels I can flush and observe the Coriolis effect in the basin, which will tell me which hemisphere I am in. 

The genius involved in the creation of these vessels cannot be understated. Marcel Duchamp knew of their conceptual beauty. While studying for a BA Hons, I spent many happy hours photographing the designs and colours of public toilets spaces, their support structures, surrounding ambiance and muted sounds. Mindful cleaning and touching each curve in a sensitive way, with a cleaning cloth, or brush is vital. 

The toilet space/ cubicle has been designed in a way to give privacy but yet not to isolate. It is important to respect that space when cleaning toilets and to be quietly unobtrusive so one does not disturb the tranquillity of the client’s contemplation/reading.  Listening to phone calls and other bodily noises would not be polite and I would respect users of these spaces.

Opening and closing the toilet premises would be undertaken with care, I have a great awareness of security and safety, and would ensure the premises have no clingons past closing time.  I must mention  P P, (personal protection), the closing facilities of toilet basins is sometimes missing and spray has been noted at six feet away, manual handling may be an issue if protection is not offered, anticipation of clogging issues may occur by excessive dumps therefore footwear protection would be expected.