An attorney visiting the District had a rude encounter with a power-tripping "bathroom bouncer" at a McDonald’s in Adams Morgan earlier this month.
The attorney, who blogs at La Acera under the name "Chele," detailed the strange experience. While her boyfriend was in line to order, she made her way to the bathroom, when a towering man a foot and a half taller than her boomed, "You, hey, what do you think you’re doing?" When Chele said she was on her way to the bathroom, the man said, "Well, you can’t. You got a receipt?" She said her boyfriend was paying as they spoke.
The potty cop didn’t care. “Well, you can’t go,” he said. “You don’t have a receipt yet. So you can’t!” At this point, the cashier intervened, telling the man to “let her go.” The bouncer swore, and shouted, “I’m not gonna let you go anywhere. And don’t you listen to anyone else -- I say what goes!”
Chele says he attempted to put his hands on her to block her way, and continued "to tell the near empty establishment that I can’t use the bathroom until I take the receipt and give it to him to inspect." She writes, "For no discernable reason, this man was shaming me in public for wanting to pee!"
Chele, who is Puerto Rican, wonders if there was a racial element to the incident. Though she said she speaks "with no discernable accent," she and her boyfriend were conversing in Spanish when they entered the McDonald’s. However, she told me that she thinks it was more likely just "a power trip with a dash of work ethic involved."
She said,"“While he may have been trying to do his job on that night, the way he did so was arguably not the best way."
I asked Chele, who attended The George Washington University but now lives in Puerto Rico, if she will take any action. She plan to send a letter to the restaurant, but she does not wish to see the man fired. Rather, she hopes he will be "made to understand that what he did and how he treated me and my companion that day was unwarranted and reprehensible."
She says McDonald’s "is a good company," but that this incident, however aberrational, merits attention. "What saddens me the most is this," she wrote: "that this man must lead a dismal life if this ego trip was the only way to feel good about himself."
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