One of the unfortunate things about Crohn’s disease is it can make you need to use the bathroom pretty much immediately, without warning or fanfare. Of course, there’s plenty of fanfare afterward if you can’t find a bathroom, as one longtime customer of Plaid Pantry found out yesterday when she shat her pants in the parking lot after being denied emergency access to their employee toilet.
Someone named “plaidpantryshitter” posted this to reddit yesterday:
Today, September 07, Labor Day, I was driving home from my job and had a bit of a problem. You see, I have Crohn’s disease. It is an inflammatory bowel disease, that along with many other things, can cause you to have to use the bathroom rather immediately.
Such an incident occurred on my way home from work unfortunately. Usually in this situation, I would have gone to one of several restaurants along the way offering public bathrooms, however it was labor day and most things were closed. The Plaid Pantry was the only thing in immediate site that was open, and trust me when I say the situation was immediate. Wrongly assuming they would be understaning, I drove into the lot, parked, and ran as fast as I could inside. I quickly asked the manager where the bathroom was. He rudely told me they had none. I asked him if the employees had a bathroom they used. He stated that they did, but he would get fired if they let me use it. Having no time to delay, I gave him as descriptive and immediate of an explanation as I could, stressing the fact that I had a disease, this was an emergency, and I doubted very highly he would get fired for letting me use his bathroom. I explained that I would call his owner, explain the situation personally and see that he was not fired. I also specifically told him that I would, without a doubt, have an accident in my pants if he did not let me use his bathroom. He laughed at me.
Horrified, I left the store, attempted to walk to my car, and had an accident in my pants, right there in front of your store, in broad daylight, on a crowded street.
The rest of this story requires no detail. Said accident occurred and I drove home in that condition. I walked to my apartment past neighbors in that condition. Never have a been so degraded and embarrassed. Thirty years of my life I have lived with this disease; never once has a public place of business refused to allow me to use their restrooms in such an emergency, rare as they are. Needless to say, myself or my family will not be shopping in your stores again. I will also be posting this story on the consumerist.com and reddit.com, a social networking site, in hope that your change your policies so this event never again occurs in the future.
PlaidPantryShitter responds in her comments to questions from other reddit readers, so we’ll recap the biggest ones here:
- Why wasn’t she wearing a diaper?
Because this is the first time in 30 years that something like this has happened to her, as she usually finds cooperative or public bathrooms.
- Why didn’t she have an in-car emergency poop solution—like, say, a plastic bag?
She did, but she thought, based on how other businesses have responded, that the Plaid Pantry would understand. By the time she was laughed out of the store and heading back to her car for the bag, it was too late. And really, wouldn’t you rather crap in a bathroom than a plastic bag if given the option?
There are a handful of states that have passed a law requiring businesses to provide access to an on-site bathroom for Crohn’s sufferers, and a handful more that are considering it. The majority of the country, however, remains sort of clueless about the situation. You can see where your state falls on this map, in case you want to write a letter or something.
If you don’t live in a state with the law, we suggest maybe you carry one of those Crohn’s cards with you anyway, and try to bluff your way into a bathroom in an emergency. If the employee doesn’t know anything about Crohn’s, and the business doesn’t know enough to train their employees, then flashing the card and explaining that businesses are required to let you use the bathroom might work even in states with no law on the books.
“I have crohn’s disease. I shat my pants outside of “Plaid Pantry” because they wouldn’t let me use the employee bathroom.” [reddit.com] (Thanks to Tom!)