Today I was putting a new delivery away in the kids clothing room when I noticed. A really bad smell. Coming from the back rooms. And at first I thought, well, it's a warm day. And this side of the building isn't air conditioned, so its musty. But it was bad. Really bad. I turned a fan on.
An hour later I was preparing for some volunteers to price items in the stockroom. Where the fan was. And it still smelled. Like an outhouse. And so I got a pine scented votive to try to cut it down. It wasn't enough.
Twenty minutes later my brain finally connected the dots. It smelled like an outhouse. It's been a while since I've been camping. I started sniffing around. It is, after all, a thrift store, and I assume that sometimes little kids have accidents and get embarrassed. But it wasn't in any display rooms. Next, the employee areas. There is an out of service men's bathroom back by the stock room leftover from when that half of the mission was the men's dormitory or something. Not there.
Then I thought. If there's a men's bathroom there must be a corresponding women's bathroom somewhere. But I'd never seen it. Wait. There's a closed door at the corner of the stock room that we piled boxes near when our delivery came in. Smelling my way back there, indeed, the stench was coming from the out of service women's room. Surely someone didn't use that bathroom. There's no plumbing. Just fixtures.
I opened the door, and to stop overdramatizing at the wrong moment, indeed someone had used the bathroom to the fullest extent. And there was no water to turn on to flush it.
And so, after several frantic phone calls to mission staff we learned that the plumbing was good. All we had to do was haul water in there, fill the bowl, fill the tank, flush and repeat until everything was gone. So, from 3-3:45 that's what I was doing. Filling and flushing. Once everything was clear, I poured bleach, but the quart, into the water and let it sit. Thank God for bleach is all I can say. All I had to actually clean was some residue on the seat. Everything else was eaten away by the magical powers of clorox. Then, after the last of the bleach water was flushed out, I doused the entire toilet with more clorox and closed the door. We'll be locking them with big signs saying "bathroom out of service" tomorrow. To prevent anyone else using them. And even worse, we have reason to believe that it wasn't a customer who did it.
It's days like this that being assistant manager stinks.