By Kirsty Topping
A PUB-GOER has claimed he felt “violated and embarrassed” after a female member of staff started cleaning the toilets while he was using them.
Norman Bailey, 50, said that the same situation would not have been allowed to happen in the female toilet.
Mr Bailey complained to the manager at the King’s Highway pub, part of the JD Wetherspoons chain, in Inverness and also contacted the police after the incident, but while officers took a statement they said no crime had been committed.
“I am not being prudish,” he insisted. “I went back down to the bar but couldn’t go up for a drink, I had to wait for the female employee in question to leave the bar area so I could be served by someone else.
“I just couldn’t – I have principles and my privacy was violated. I didn’t know if she had seen parts of me I prefer to keep private.
“If she had been sitting in a cubicle and a male employee walked in and started picking up litter around her feet – how would she have felt?
“At the time there were two guys working at the bar downstairs – it just needed one of the guys to come up.”
Mr Bailey also worried that having a woman clean the male toilets could easily lead to a situation which could be misconstrued.
The pub chain told Mr Bailey that training would be upgraded but he was left unsatisfied by the response and feels the complaint would have been handled differently had a woman complained.
“It is typical – not interested in one person’s genuine grievance, just acting for themselves,” he said.
He has also ruled out legal action as he feels it would be too expensive.
“I just want some acknowledgement,” he said.
A spokesperson for JD Wetherspoons said:
“We can confirm that the incident did occur at our pub in Inverness, The King’s Highway, several months ago. JD Wetherspoon has subsequently been in communication,with the customer concerned.
“Certainly, where possible, only staff of the same gender would carry out toilet checks e.g. men check the mens toilets etc., however, sometimes this is not possible and these checks may be undertaken by any member of staff.
“There are notices in the toilets to advise customers of this possible situation and staff are required to announce themselves as they enter the toilets. “