The stations promote cleanliness, and say, to men: gas station in the East End, then those bathrooms were the public restrooms for the fifteen diverse neighborhoods crammed into that corner of Pittsburgh.
And they were just OK, which meant sometimes they were, in the words of the man with the whitish-blonde mustache who complained that summer day, “A mess. I usually hit the bathrooms before my break, after the afternoon rush had died.
I was one of two cashiers standing inside an octagon-shaped counter with four registers.
The assistant manager said he’d watch my line while I cleaned, but that was wishful thinking.
Because that’s usually what accompanies the look, a cry of: Then people within earshot make the look, too. His blue, checkered dress shirt was tucked into khakis, and he sported a thin, whitish-blonde mustache that matched the ring of hair around his head. “You need to clean that bathroom.” He raised his eyebrows and his forehead wrinkled. “Go on, hurry up.” Cleaning the bathroom quickly was imperative, but it was more complicated than the importance of sanitation.