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Do I detect a note of hostility in your hospitality?

December 1st, 2011 · 77 comments

As someone with a small bladder, Becky of Apostrophe Catastrophes says she’s peed in many a hotel lobby bathroom, but this was the first time she’s encountered a passive-aggressive note in the process.

“Ironically,” she says, on this occasion, “I actually was staying in one of the rooms they hint at in the note.”

There's [sic] 1,015 other bathrooms just waiting for you upstairs.

related: The best bathrooms in Fairbanks, Alaska

FILED UNDER: bathroom · motels & hostels · New York

77 responses so far ↓

  • #1   quat

    “Thanks. I’ll be sure to check them all out after I’m done with this one.”

    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:00 pm   rating: 46  small thumbs up

  • #2   caneup

    There ARE 1,015 other bathrooms waiting for you upstairs.

    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm   rating: 148  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   unsatisfied

      shouldn’t Grammar Nazi down in post #3 have picked this up first?

      Dec 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   GrammarNazi

      GrammarNazi is GrammarNazi, she has many sites to visit. Unlike Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and NetFlix, she cannot be in all places at all times…

      Dec 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm   rating: 39  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Hailey

      He/she did. That’s what their post was about.

      Dec 1, 2011 at 8:18 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   Estarianne

      Shouldn’t anti-grammar-nazis try to figure out what the grammar nazis are saying before they dis them?

      Dec 1, 2011 at 9:08 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   Nahhh bang

      This is one of my biggest language peeves. Plus, I also suffer peanut-bladder syndrome, so it doubly pee-ves me.

      Dec 1, 2011 at 9:54 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #2.6   unsatisfied

      um. grammar nazi’s comment was below this one…thus, coming after caneup’s comment.


      Dec 2, 2011 at 9:34 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #2.7   Dr. Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      Estarianne’s comment is aimed at you. Grammar Nazi pointed out the exact error that you said he/she should have pointed out. Who did it first is immaterial.

      Grammar Nazi’s comment was before yours.


      Dec 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #2.8   fray'm

      “Who did it first is immaterial.
      Grammar Nazi’s comment was before yours.”

      marvelous logic.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #2.9   unsatisfied

      touchy effers up in here.


      Dec 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #3   GrammarNazi

    Does each additional bathroom come with its own dose of incorrect-subject-verb-agreement and an erroneous apostrophe?

    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm   rating: 49  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Devil're Advocate

      What if they intended “1,015 other bathrooms” as a detailed singular concept? As in “Quit mooching the free lobby bathroom love and pay for a room – we have plenty and there’s an entire GROUP of them right above you.”

      Dec 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Nat

      English is not my first language, so could you please tell me how the sentence looks like with correct subject-verb-agreement? I would really appreciate it!

      Dec 2, 2011 at 1:49 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   Jimmy James

      “There’s” is short for “there is”, which doesn’t agree because “bathrooms” is plural. The correct sentence would say, “There *are* 1,015 other bathrooms just waiting for you upstairs.”

      Alternatively, as Devil’s Advocate suggests, you could refer to the set of bathrooms with a collective noun, whoich would then agree with the singular verb “is”. For instance, you could say, “There’s a group of 1,015 other bathrooms just waiting for you upstairs.” However, I would probably choose the first option since it sounds a little awkward to refer to bathrooms in this fashion.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 8:11 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   Stan Brown

      “There’s pansies, that’s for thoughts.” — Shakespeare (Hamlet)

      “There’s” is colloquial for “there is” or “there are”. “Don’t whine about being bored. There’s lots of things you can do.”

      Dec 2, 2011 at 9:48 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   Janellionaire

      Dear GrammarNazi,

      I’m having a disagreement with my mother, and I hope you can settle the issue for me. When two people are born on the same date, would you say, “Their birthday is on the same day,” or “Their birthdays are on the same day.” I think it should be birthdays plural, because it is two separate events that happen to share a date. My mother claims it should be birthday singular because you are talking about the same date. We haven’t spoken in months, and I just really want to send her a Christmas card and rub it in her face if she’s wrong. Old bitch. We have agreed to abide by your ruling. Thanks, GrammarNazi.


      Devoted Daughter

      Dec 2, 2011 at 10:08 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #3.6   infant tyrone bang

      Dear Devoted Daughter,

      Grammar Nazi is unavailable at the moment. The dispatcher’s board says she is filling in for the Tooth Fairy. (TF says she has a dentist appointment ((ironic, huh?)) but the crew here all knows she’s ditching work for an Alanis Morissette concert).
      Since the Grammar Nazi can deliver a verdict based only on the usage zeitgeist, I sent this survey question out to 10,000 grammarians via email.
      “They share the same __________.”
      a) birthday
      2) birthdays

      99.9% responded “a”, birthday.
      Sorry, but our strict privacy protocol prohibits us from providing
      contact info for the 10 people who agreed with you on “birthdays”.

      So bite the bullet and congratulate Mommie Dearest (fingers crossed behind your back) when you send that Christmas card, but remember, there is no reason to expect this to turn into a regular thing.

      After all, she might have been right just this…

      Wanna buy a barely used giant pumpkin ?
      The dwarf formerly known as Dopey

      Dec 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #3.7   Brian

      “They share the same birthday” is not the sentence asked about.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #3.8   infant tyrone bang

      You have keen grasp of the obvious.
      You could even say my sentence is neither of those asked about.

      When deciding on things like the above choice between singular or plural, a standard technique of grammatical analysis is to rephrase the sentence.
      Hopefully, one answer makes sense and the other seems awkward at best.
      As usually happens, there was a clear winner this time.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #3.9   Nick

      @Stan Brown:

      “There’s” NEVER stands in for “there are.” It only stands in for “there is.”

      Dec 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #3.10   Brian

      “You have keen grasp of the obvious.”

      You’re too kind.

      Their birthdays are in successive months.
      Their birthdays are in the same month.
      Their birthdays are in the same week.
      Their birthday is on the same day.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #3.11   infant tyrone bang

      Yes, and only the last one fits Janellionaire’s scenario.
      That’s why we switch things around and see which makes more sense.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 8:31 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #3.12   Canthz_B bang

      Their birth day is on the same day, therefore their birthdays are often feted on the same day.

      One is a date, the other is a celebration.

      I don’t know, but I had to post something! :-P

      Dec 4, 2011 at 2:09 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #4   Andromeda

    Is anyone else bothered by the fact they said “There is 1,015 bathrooms….” instead of “There ARE 1,015 bathrooms…”? they might as well have put an apostrophe in “bathrooms”.

    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #5   SHammett13

    They got the apostrophe right, just not the letter(s) that come after it. Swing and a miss!

    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #6   FeRD bang

    Hah! That’s awesome. I can totally see how the person who created that sign obviously didn’t intend to be passive-aggressive with it, and probably even missed hearing that tone in what they wrote. To them, it sounds welcoming, inviting, even indulgent, because that’s what they were trying to convey. (Classic confirmation bias.) But the p-a tone is definitely there, absent that bias… no matter what their intentions were.

    Heck… worst part is, they probably could have fixed it to read the way they wanted, if they’d only just replaced “OTHER” with the word “MORE”.

    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:08 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   FeRD bang

      (Of course, if they’d used “MORE”, they’d have opened themselves up to the problem of quat’s Comment #1. Some days, it just doesn’t pay to be in the hospitality industry.)

      Dec 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   makfan bang

      That was my reaction. Cute marketing ploy FAIL

      Dec 2, 2011 at 1:44 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #7   Irene

    I’ve managed a few hotels, even one for this company, so it is easy to guess that this note was left by some lazy, self important member of the housekeeping staff but…do you know what it sounds like in a large marble lobby when someone is um, revealing themselves (in an ‘emergency, can’t make it up to the room’ kind of way) in the adjacent bathroom??? If I can hear it in my office, on the other side of the lobby, past the front desk, & behind a wall AND over my radio this maid is doing you a favor by steering up upstairs, albeit in a I will never be anything but a maid, kind of way. (Sorry for the typo – “revealing” is not hotel slang for dropping a deuce – just autocorrect)

    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Melissa

      Please tell me if you are currently managing a hotel, so that I may steer clear of it.

      Dec 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm   rating: 36  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Kimberly

      I worked at a hotel and worked with housekeeping that were responsible for the lobby areas, I have never found them to be lazy and self important. I guarantee you they work harder for much less than you on a daily basis.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 9:24 am   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Rattus

      Apparently it takes self-important to recognize self-important.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 9:34 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   Canthz_B bang

      You could hear the sound of people relieving themselves over your radio?
      I had no idea they broadcast from hotel restrooms…but that would explain some of the crap I’ve heard on the air over the years.

      I’ll bet that’s where Rush Limbaugh’s studio is located. Everything he says is a load of crap.

      Dec 4, 2011 at 2:30 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   Canthz_B bang

      Irene, I’ve had stays in a number of hotels and motels and, in my experience, the laziest staff members stand behind desks (when they’re at their posts), and the housekeeping staff has been most courteous and hard-working.

      Dec 4, 2011 at 2:37 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

  • #8   Allison

    I feel like an idiot. I don’t get it. Where was this note? And why???

    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   CDJ527

      Oh thank you!!! I don’t get it either!

      Dec 1, 2011 at 9:23 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Kimberly

      The note is at a hotel. My guess is that they have a lot of people who really have no business there popping in to use the bathroom and they are suggesting “If you want to use our facilities, be a guest”. I worked at a hotel and we had to lock the public bathrooms at night because “locals” would steal toilet paper and try to sleep in them.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 9:23 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   Pit Pat

      Holy crap! Those must have been some BIG toilet paper rolls!! Or do you live on Lilliput?

      Dec 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #8.4   Canthz_B bang

      How were they public restrooms, yet not open to the public?

      If “locals” try to spend the night in your restrooms, perhaps your hotel isn’t located in the best locale.

      Maybe vampires were stealing your toilet paper, because “locals” would surely get wise and begin to steal your toilet paper during the day.

      Dec 4, 2011 at 2:52 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #8.5   Kimberly

      Wow, I missed some words in that comment. No, we had normal sized toilet paper rolls. People tried to sleep in the bathrooms.

      Dec 5, 2011 at 9:35 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #9   Irene

    I work at every hotel in North America. Please avoid them all. I also manage every Dress Barn & Burger King so you might as well just stay home. If decide to pay us a visit anyway, please call ahead so I can get your reservation perfect! Would you like a room previously rented by another shameless crapper? Maybe the married CEO that rented 27 pornos in a one night stay? How about the room used by groomsmen that got drunk, threw up, and broke glass everywhere? Don’t forget! – We’re here to please! Let me help make your vacation dream a reality! (In between dealing with the rest of the slobs and sickos.)

    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Melissa

      Yeah, I’m still confused about how lazy, self- important maids (who will never be anything but maids) paid too much for a very poor bathroom-specific in-house marketing campaign, and affixed it to a mirror in the only context it makes any sense. Kinda sounds like higher-ups if you ask me.

      Dec 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   infant tyrone bang

      For all the maids, lazy, self-important, or otherwise.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 12:29 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   zomboid

      are married people not supposed to look at porn then?

      Dec 2, 2011 at 5:40 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   Jimmy James

      It’s not fair to say they’ll never be anything but maids. Sometimes maids meet a rich, sexy Ralph Fiennes to sweep them off their feet and take them away from their gray little lives. I saw a documentary on it once.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 8:20 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   GrammarNazi

      Did the room get drunk, puke everywhere, and break a lot of glass? Or was the room rented by groomsmen *who* did those things while *in* the room?

      Dec 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #9.6   Canthz_B bang


      She’s clearly one of the 10%ers…the 10% of service industry workers who actually think they’ve achieved a station in life which allows them to look down their noses at the people who pay their salaries just because they now “manage” those who do their former jobs?

      I applaud her career in the service industry (somebody’s got to do it, why not her?)…do you know how low she must have once been to think that where she is now is “success”?
      Up from mopping floors to washing lettuce, and soon she’ll be on fries…and that’s when the big bucks roll in!!

      Keep that nose in the air, Irene…makes it easier to not see where you’re really standing!

      Dec 4, 2011 at 3:05 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #9.7   The Elf

      “Would you like a room previously rented by another shameless crapper?”

      What – we’re not supposed to crap in the bathrooms adjoining our hotel rooms? And yet you still provide coffee pots?

      Dec 6, 2011 at 7:05 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #9.8   jaylemeux

      There’s nothing wrong with being married and renting 27 pornos in a single night. There’s no moral connection between the two.

      Dec 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #10   Ajax

    Wow, I had completely misunderstood the sign! I had thought it was a marketing tool (however lacking in good grammar) to either reinforce what a vast hotel the bathroom user is in or to prompt him or her to consider the advantages of having a room upstairs. Now I understand that the purpose of the sign is actually to get hotel guests whose bathroom practices are noisy to retire to the privacy of their rooms in order to spare hotel staff and possibly other guests. I had never realized this was a problem! Thanks, Irene, for correcting my misimpression! Until the big hotel companies come up with a better design for their lobbies, they had better get these signs in all the downstairs bathrooms! (I do hope they will use correct subject-verb agreement, as on occasion impressionable young people go into hotel bathrooms.)

    Dec 1, 2011 at 9:08 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Melissa

      Apparently they’re totally miffed when they hear someone peeing! Or when you spend a great deal on lots of in-room movies instead of watching it on your laptop for free. (I hate when that happens!) Or really get bent out of joint when the lazy, self-important housekeeping staff has to clean up puke and broken glass as if they had to do it with their own hands! Too bad there is no way to charge for damages! So rough!

      Dec 1, 2011 at 11:09 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #11   Adriana

    Stop blaming your small bladder. You may be peeing frequently because of weak muscles.

    Dec 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Who passed out the Haterade?

      Are you suggesting she needs to do more pee-lates?

      (I’d hate to see the machine one uses for a bladder workout…)

      Dec 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   infant tyrone bang

      That machine is available from the Starbucks Christmas catalog.
      Hurry…order a Machina Pee-lattes for everyone on your gift list.

      Dec 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #12   haha

    These comments are even better than the note!

    Dec 1, 2011 at 10:37 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #13   Douglass

    It seems to me that the note is targeting what I would assume is a very small demographic composed of people who like the idea of soiling over 1000 different bathrooms. I’m entirely unmoved by the idea of an absurdly large number of bathrooms “waiting” for me, but the sign writer apparently thinks that this is quite an inviting (and perhaps arousing) prospect for the target audience.

    Dec 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   infant tyrone bang

      Maybe Adam Richman was in town for a shoot…

      Dec 1, 2011 at 11:58 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   Pit Pat

      The next “year of” book -
      “1015 in 2011: A Year of Shitting in Multiple Hotel Bathrooms”

      Dec 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   quat

      That was my thought exactly. “God, no. I’m fine with just this one! My needs are sufficiently taken care of with this one bathroom, and the thought of over a thousand more just depresses and tires me.”

      Dec 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #14   Peyton

    I think I would steer clear of this hotel. Apparently, they don’t mind if anyone just wanders into your room to use the bathroom.
    (Either that, or this sign is updated on a daily basis to reflect the current number of vacant rooms.)

    Dec 2, 2011 at 12:21 am   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #15   grumpy

    The “there’s” is making my eye twich.

    Dec 2, 2011 at 2:04 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #16   sabrina

    I thought it was referring to random members of the public who sneak in to use the bathroom in the absence of nearby public toilets! I thought it was hinting to them ‘Don’t use the restroom when you haven’t rented a room – which you might like to consider doing… we have plenty…’ – sort of thing. I didn’t think it was aimed at paying guests who are entitled to use the hotel facilities!

    If the noise of people peeing and *ahem*… is so loud that it bothers the staff and other guests, the design must be absolutely terrible. I’ve stayed in plenty of hotels and *never* been subjected, in the lobby, to the noise of people relieving themselves!

    Dec 2, 2011 at 3:50 am   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #17   Grant

    There’s a great deal of confusion about what the sign writer’s intention was. Because of this obscurity of meaning, this sign falls short of the mark. Ironically, that’s just like me when I go to the bathroom!

    Dec 2, 2011 at 4:14 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #18   zomboid

    yeah, i think the idea was ‘hey, we have lots of rooms, come and stay!’, but was a terrible angle because it’s not usual to rent a room for a whole night when you just need to pee

    Dec 2, 2011 at 5:45 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #19   thinker

    On a side-note, this hotel belongs to Pakistan International Airlines. Is there a link?

    Dec 2, 2011 at 6:02 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #20   nyuu

    I’m confused. Are the rooms upstairs or right next door?

    Dec 2, 2011 at 7:41 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #21   po4tjkope3rferwqggqwefgr

    I used to work at that hotel…

    Dec 2, 2011 at 9:03 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #22   Kimberly

    I used to work at a four diamond hotel that was not far from a bad part of town, we had people steeling the toilet paper, making a mess, taking apples that were out for guests, panhandling from guests, taking used cigarette buts out of ashtrays (back when smoking was still allowed in the lobby, gross) and trying to sleep in the bathrooms and stairwells. I get it. I get this sign and I approve of it.

    Dec 2, 2011 at 9:18 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #23   Quite Contrary

    Oh, I’m sorry. I was just here to meet someone from out of town for dinner at your overpriced restaurant that serves really expensive cocktails. Now I have to sleep here too? Ef you.

    Dec 2, 2011 at 11:37 am   rating: 24  small thumbs up

  • #24   Captain Hampton

    Dadgum, that’s one heckuva margin at the top o’ that there paper.

    Dec 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #25   Becky

    It only took you a year to post this. Someone must be popular…
    Kidding! Thanks for posting my photo! This made my week!

    Dec 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #26   Canthz_B bang

    “They be about a thousand batrums upstairs fo yo ass to piss in.”

    Wait – this is The Roosevelt Hotel we’re talking about?
    I was thinking about the Hotel Roosevelt Jackson…different neighborhood, farther uptown.

    Dec 4, 2011 at 2:17 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #26.1   infant tyrone bang

      Where the bartender serves drinks only straight, no chaser

      Dec 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #27   Sue

    I had to read this a couple of times, but don’t the last lines say “The Roosevelt Hotel – New York City – Right Next Door”.

    Maybe it was a carefully placed ad in the Hotel “X” lobby bathroom for the Roosevelt Hotel – which is right next door.

    Dec 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #27.1   goneamiss bang

      I noticed that too…perhaps this is hotel guerrilla warfare.

      Dec 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #28   meeper

    I was compelled to look up this hotel’s TripAdvisor rating!

    “Hotel lobby excellent. Room was TINY. Bathroom was like a closet. Bathroom smelled like sewer gas and we saw silverfish on the floor.”

    Dec 5, 2011 at 11:44 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up


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