Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Accountability and maintenance

I am so fed up of the lack of maintenance in everything I encounter. Taxis that smell bad and rattle, buses that are peeling at corners and the hand rail inside being held up with wires. This is an experience I had at the public toilet in KLCC. This is KLCC, the pride of the nation, once-upon-a-time tallest building in the world.

It rained that afternoon so all hopes of going to the park with my kids were dashed. I am trying hard to prevent my kids from growing up to be mall rats. Not much choice seeing that the parks aren't well maintained. Also, the weather wasn't on our side. Since I'd promised my children I would take them out, the closest would be the KLCC for us.

My son needed to use the toilet. When we went into the toilet, there was a queue. Actually, there were several queues. This is what I don't understand how it works. I've always thought that whoever who needed to use the toilet which is full will form ONE line. Then whichever cubicle opens, the first in line goes into that cubicle. Apparently not! The last person to go into the toilet finds the shortest queue in front of the stall and hope that your children don't need to pee that desperately 'coz the stall you chose may have someone who is constipated!

When we were waiting for our turn, a lady peeked out of her toilet door and PSST! her friend to bring some hand towels for her 'coz the toilet paper had run out. Most bizarre since the janitor was in the toilet the whole time we were there. Alright, give the janitor the benefit that the roll of paper had probably just finished before she checked. Now, if hand paper towel is flushed into the toilet, doesn't it cause the toilet to clog up?

Since there wasn't much to do when waiting in line, I looked around. The janitor was cleaning the stalls one by one as people were coming out. She used the mop to wipe down the toilet and the entire time I was there, she hadn't rinsed the mop once! Did I mention that this janitor moved as quickly as a glacier in winter? Then I looked behind me and saw a sign which says Mother and Child toilet. I asked the janitor if I could use that toilet. She mumbled something like, "Dah kunci" (it's locked) The lock and handle on the door looked like they've been shot! Puncture holes around the handle. Then the lady in the stall where we were waiting came out. I saw the roll of toilet paper was empty, so I told the kids in a loud voice (for the benefit of the janitor of course) to wait for another stall with toilet paper. So the janitor "quickly" went to the stall to do something about that. Now "quickly" for this janitor meant glacier moving in the spring. She used the sanitary napkin disposal unit to jam the door open, took out the set of keys she had with her (which probably had the key to open the mother and child toilet door), opened the toilet roll unit, took out the core from the old roll, sauntered to the make-shift janitor cubicle which was once upon a time another toilet stall, took out a roll of new toilet paper,... You get the picture. Fortunately, we all didn't need to pee that badly or we would have had an accident. I think I know why the kids have a change of clothes in their backpack now. For emergency moments like this!

We all used the toilet, washed our hands and got some paper towel from the dispenser to wipe our hands. All this time, the janitor hadn't washed her mop yet and she had already cleaned the whole toilet! As we were leaving, I saw a pile of paper towels on the floor in the toilet inside the janitor's cubicle. On top of the paper towels was a sanitary napkin disposal unit! EEWWWWWW!!!! Needless to say, we all washed and soap our hands again before leaving the toilet!



Blogger Big Pumpkin said...

I would email this to the mall management. Just call Suria KLCC 03-23822828 and they should be able to direct you to the person in charge of TOILETS. After possibly giving you a merry-go-round adventure, of course.

11:56 pm  
Blogger babe_kl said...

btw i saw them rinsing the mop in the WC by flushing it!!!! then they use the same mop and wipe the seat!!! so there is no way i will sit on the public toilet WC!!! and this is yes in that very same mall.

next time, go to the toilets inside Isetan on level C and 2nd I think where the children department is located. there is hardly any queue there but again dun have high expectations ok

10:08 am  
Blogger Cuddly Family said...

I so can relate, ughhhhhh. no more civic consciousness leh..

Another reason I dont like going there.. (other than I feel like the country cousin HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAA)

its so typical of our country's attitudes nowadays.

4:54 pm  
Blogger Min said...

EEEWWWW! However, I must add I had a pleasant experience at the KLCC toilet today. Ramlee Mall 1st Floor. The cleaner was using the paper towel to wipe dry the sink as soon as someone finished using the sink. Not very environmentally friendly but at least she's not using the mop!

8:19 pm  
Blogger La Cucaracha said...

There's nothing more stressful in Malaysia than when you really need to use the toilets. It's a bit like testing your luck at the card table!

Not to mention the availability or more accurately the inavailability of toilet rolls. While on the subject of toilet rolls, remember that letter complaining about a certain private school which refuses to provide them but have come up with unbelievable excuses. Come on, for charging school fees, how difficult is it to provide paper for the derrier?

8:59 am  
Blogger Min said...

Private school which charges a lot but don't provide toilet paper? Aiyooo! How can?

5:46 pm  
Anonymous twin said...

yucks totally disgusting .... eewwww. totally unacceptable!

4:13 pm  
Anonymous housekeeping said...

i'm a malaysian govt sponsored student studying overseas and am working part time as a cleaner at a backpackers hostel - housekeeping crew la. what i have learnt is that management doesnt listen to cleaners but has ridiculous expectations. i'm glad to tell you that where i work, we try our best to make the place as clean as possible (and we do change and clean the mop thingies)but management doesnt really care about the storage, how clean or well ventilated storage is etc etc...

basically, management expects spotless work. there's industrial strength detergents, but i dont want to know how the old/new those sponges/cleaning cloths/mops are. hence, it really is better to clean mirrors and sinks with paper towels. i am SO glad i wear gloves to work. i cant say the same for cleaners back home.

if this is the condition in nz, i hate to imagine how poorly the cleaners are treated back home.

the problem may not be so much what or how the cleaners are doing their jobs, but how management is managing the behind-the-scenes for cleaning. are they providing enough tools, and providing ways to maintain them, for the cleaning jobs?

now if they are taking as good care of their cleaning tools (mops, vacuums, sponges etc) then it really is the cleaner to blame. but if the tools for the job are not provided for, there's only so much the cleaners can do.

this is of course, not counting the issue of whether the cleaners themselves are a load of slackers.

7:32 pm  
Blogger Min said...

Well said, housekeeping. I do agree that the management plays a big part too. So many times we've seen (in Malaysia) janitors using household mops, household buckets and "Good Morning" towels to do their job with Not exactly the proper equipment for high traffic toilets. Also, they were probably not given proper training.

8:29 pm  

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