I used to work nights at a gas station

Because I worked alone and because the manager opened most mornings, it was my responsibility to make sure everything was clean and ready to start the new day. In theory, everyone cleaned whenever they got a chance in their shift, but in practice it was rare.

Our public bathrooms were outside, and even though the doors had keys, by the end of the day, especially, the bathrooms were as gross as you’d expect. Transients and carnies seemed to use it to take showers (both men’s and women’s just had a sink, toilet and mirror). In a way that’s anatomically impossible to happen on accident, feces, urine and used toilet paper could be just about anywhere. And for hygienic specifics that need no elaboration, on occasion the women’s bathroom would be far worse than the men’s ever could.

All of this was in addition to the expected grime and trash from the traffic of dozens of people who knew they didn’t have to clean up after themselves.

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