The Job from hell (Toilet Cleaning)

If you have ever done a job you hated you will understand what this job was like.

I worked in a shopping center for 6 years cleaning
It started off as a normal cleaning job at first.

But after an argument I got the punishment of toilet cleaning. 
I am not going to put the name of the shopping center
as I like to keep this blog anonymous from people I know.

If I put to much info names etc
people I know may work it out who I am.

So what did the job involve

  • Cleaning up feces,Urine
  • Cleaning up sick vomit
  • Cleaning up used drug needles
  • Cleaning up blood
  • Cleaning public & staff toilets
  • Unblocking toilets

A few examples around 4 times a day I would have to remove used drug needles from the public toilets drug addicts would often go in the toilets.

Lock themselves in the toilet cubicles to inject heroin to get high.

Other drug users would use tinfoil and burn drugs on it to inhale and smoke other drugs not sure what type maybe crack? or heroin not sure.

Afterwards when they left the toilets it was my job to go in and clean up after them
now the burnt tin foil did not bother me just stunk of burnt metal so no trouble atoll just putting it in the bin etc.

The horrible ones were the drug needle users
I don't care what people do in there life non of my business but the drug needle users was putting my life at risk of getting HIV how you say?

They would go in the toilet cubicle lock door then use the needle to take there drugs.
Then leave the toilet wall's full of blood that could of been HIV infected.

Apparently when the drug users pull out the needle after injecting drugs into the vein the blood can often squirt out and all over on to the walls of the toilet cubicle which is what would happen every day in this job.

The traps of scum

Sometimes the drug users would hide the used (Syringe) needle (No I am not joking)
this is why I call them scum not saying they all are but the ones that did this are.

They would hide them like some sort of trap in toilet tissue holders, tape them to the back of toilet door handles, tape with sellotape under toilet seats so the next person to use toilet would get pricked by the sharp end of the syringe.

They even would place them on top of toilet doors so when the next toilet user would push open the door to use the toilet the needle would hit them on the head or shoulder.

Reasons for the traps

Why would the drug users hide the needles?
If I had to guess I think they wanted
to make people who got pricked by the needle. 

Worry that they might have been infected with HIV etc
I will never know.

If I use public toilets now when out shopping I check to make sure no needle's
Are hidden and my advice to you is to do same.


The shopping center did have security guards who would recognize the regular drug users and sometimes throw them out but like I say it was around 4 a day I would clean up after.

The most needles I moved from the toilets in one day was 15 if I remember correctly.

Some of the drug users would take them (The needles) with them and I started to recognize them plus I seen a few needles in their hands many times walking out of toilets with the needle in the hand up the sleeve.

Some of the regular drug users even started to say hello to me often and I just left them to it end of day if they was not leaving a used needle as a trap or on floor they was doing no harm to me as I did not have to clean it up afterwords.

The shopping center installed UV Lighting above each cubicle in hope the UV light would stop the drug user finding a vein as you guess it did not work.

As you can imagine I was removing blood daily
that could have had HIV, Hepatitis all number of risks.

It was a daily worry and a dirty and dangerous job and it was minimum wage.

And the fact there was also many different characters who came in the toilets daily
you just never knew who would walk in.

One regular person would walk in few times a week and do press ups on the floor and then just walk out he did that few times a week.

One of the other regulars would walk in and make a plane noise and wave his hands saying his was a plane he did that every morning.

He was harmless he had some mental issues and his carer would bring in in the shopping center every morning for a coffee.

Many homeless people would come in the toilets to have a wash at the sinks.

The shopping center supervisors told me if I seen homeless people using the toilets, sinks etc.

I was to go and get security to throw them out.

As you can guess I did no such thing end of the day the people are homeless what harm are they doing having a wash at the sinks we are humans.

Did I ever get pricked by a needle?

I was removing a used paper towel holder(Cardboard tube inside of toilet roll)
from a paper towel dispenser my 3rd week doing the toilet job felt a sharp prick through my glove looked down and I had a small blood pierce mark on my hand. 

Inside the towel dispenser there had been a hidden syringe (needle) in the holder with tape so when a person was reaching for tissue sat on the toilet they would get pricked from the sharp end of the needle of the used syringe.

So I got pricked by a needle, saw this small blood mark on my hand, looked in the toilet holder and realized it was a used drug needle taped to the inside so I ran to sink and washed my hands with soap and water right away.

Blood Test have I been infected?

I went right to the hospital and took the used drug needle with me.

I will be honest I thought right then that is me dead now. I did not know anything about HIV only from people in my area who were drug users who had died from it and stuff I seen on TV.

My first thought was I would have got HIV now so I went to the hospital they said they would do tests but It will take a month before I know for sure if I had been infected and to have a seat and wait to be called up.

Few hours later at the hospital the nurse comes back to me and calls me into the room and I have a blood test and they take the used drug syringe the one I brought with me from toilet tissue holder and put it in a yellow sharp box.

Few minutes later the nurse comes out says
stay positive the chances are you will be fine the needle I got pricked by had a small crack in it so air had managed to get into the inside the plastic part of the syringe which would mean the HIV virus would more than likely of died due to the air exposure before I pricked myself.

Getting blood results

I still had to wait a long month before results came back.

Lucky enough, I was negative all clear
on everything. 

No infection that day taught me a lesson live life every day as its your last
I don't mean in a negative way I just mean we all get stressed over petty things.

There is a famous quote by Marcus Aurelius
On that day it made sense to me.

(Death smiles at us all all a man can do is smile back)

In other words, we all know our fate in the end it's what we do before that time that is important
who we love, how we help others, what legacy do we leave behind?
did we do good on this earth did we help animals etc.

The job was the worst of the worst public
toilet cleaning which as you can imagine involved the stuff of nightmares.

I would get ill every week, colds, flu a few times a month, mumps, gland fever, cold sores, ulcers.rashes,eye infections,mouth abscess.

Writing on the walls

Some visitors to the shopping center toilets would even leave feces on floors, inside public sinks and urinals.

A few times I would find feces on walls inside the toilet cubicle (some would write words on the walls in feces yes I am being honest)  they was just words like
(Yum yum)  and  (sh*t)  1 person did write a long Set of words on the back of toilet door like a poem written in feces but I can not remember what it said.

(This even happened in the staff toilets twice as well as the public toilets )👆

(Staff Toilets)

I do remember what that writing said as well
as the shopping center managers took photos before I was allowed to clean it up and
They went to the fast food outlet who the writer claimed he worked at on the wall.

The managers said we have checked CCTV pointing to door near toilets only your staff member has been in that toilet in the last half an hour so we know who it is.

Lets just say I did not eat at 1 of the fast food outlets again. I won't say which one as they may sue me (Also reason I wont say name of shopping center) but it's the truth.
I like to keep my name,blog anonymous hence the reason for the (watto photos name etc).

(Phantom flooder)

Other times visitors would flood the toilets by putting books, leaflets down the toilet and keep pressing the toilet flush to block the toilet and flood the toilets.

One regular visitor did flood the toilets 2,3 times a week he even had a nickname by the center's security guards who named him ( The Phantom Flooder) because we did not know who he was as by time myself got in the toilets to mop up the water,urine  etc.

The toilets were always empty of people and flooded. He did finally get caught in the act once and was banned for life from the shopping center.

Lets just say trying to pull shop leaflets and books out of a toilet with your hands is not easy when they had been jammed in there.

Why did I do that job?

I left school with few GCSEs and had no experience in anything. 
I went to college and did a 2 year computer course passed that with merit.

After leaving college I went to jobs for interviews none of them would employ me even though I was qualified in IT Computers and was ex military all of them said I had no office experience I would often respond well how would I get experience if no company would offer me a job.

Nightmare begins

When I first started the job it was just a normal cleaning job at first did not involve any toilet cleaning 
it was just cleaning food tables moving trays and some mopping up.

After doing that for about 3 months
I asked for a day off as my Nan had just passed.
And they said it was to short notice and I could not have the day off.

I said your joking right how was I to know?
what would happen?.

I need 1 day off and I am having the day off simple as I said.

So after a bit of answering back arguing etc 
I had the day off to attend funeral etc.

The next day I went in work
one of the supervisors came up to me and said about your shifts your hours are changing from 11-7 to 
12-9 you are no longer are needed to clean the tables or mop floors we have a new role for you.
I got the new job of toilet cleaner
it was clearly a punishment.

I was doing 11 days now in a row without a day off every time I asked for a day off. 

They would say we will have to look at the work rota then when I did finally get a day off it was 1 day off then another 7 days in before I got a day off again.

So I was doing 18 days in a row more or less
with 2 days off I never got 2 days off in a row if you think that's bad I got
12 days off a year holidays.

No way to live life

They would make me work 12.9pm
then the next day I would be on a 10am till 7pm
I had no life I would get home at 10pm have something to eat then get in bed for the next day shift at 10am till 7pm.

I know reading this you probably think you should have just quit looking back now it annoys me thinking I should have.

I needed money and was having no luck with interviews. 

I was trying to get out but just could not escape.

It was my first proper job since the British army
so I did not have much clue in how normal jobs were.


I even went into one company and they said it's a points based system on the interview and you're lacking 1 point.

Apparently I was perfect for the job but I needed retail experience even though the job was office based so I was told if  I could go and get a job in (Next the clothes shop) and come back in 6 months the office job company would more than likely hire me.

Why did I do it so long

Well I went for interviews at places while I was employed there but as I say having no office experience even work agencies would not register me as I had no office experience
yes I could have lied on CV but could I have blagged my way in an office job I don't know.

I just felt like a prisoner trapped no choice other than to quit and have no money.

After a few years  I finally left the job after doing some online safety courses, got qualified in H&S and volunteered at a few places doing free risk assessments and then got a job as H&S advisor.

Looking back at the cleaning job it was so wrong I had no training no proper PPE equipment I had to buy my own gloves to use to clean toilets as the ones provided were marigold with rips in them.

1 pair had to last 3 months according to my supervisor and they would not buy more I was told when I kept asking for some gloves
I did not know the laws regarding PPE at the time. 

I ended up buying my own pair of gloves 2,3 times a week so I was safe from germs etc as you can guess I was always alert for syringes after my hospital visit. I never put my hand where I could not see if it was clear.

(I have a lot of stories to share about this
Job Role I may add in other posts)

Health and Illness

While doing the cleaning job I was getting ill every week I
went to doctors his advice was eat some fruit to get the vitamins and exercise.

So I took doctors advice and went to the gym on day off and did some exercise at home and I would eat fruit every day and it did nothing to help me. 

I was still getting ill every week.

I ended up doing some research on how ancient cultures stayed healthy
found out the ancient Egyptian pyramid builders would eat garlic 3 times a day as it boosts immune system helps fight flu, colds and prevented them getting ill so thought worth a try so started eating garlic few times a week I hated garlic at the time.

Native Americans

The natives would take an herb called (Echinacea)
as it did the same as garlic boosted immunity, helped upper respiratory infections. 
improved body health and prevented influenza and colds.

They even used it for snake bites.

Garlic and Echinacea

So after eating 3 cloves of garlic a day and trying this new herb (Echinacea) for a few weeks
My health improved.

I did not get ill felt better had no colds, mouth ulcers, or anything
don't take my word for it do some research and try it.

You can buy from Echinacea anywhere online or in shops for example Swanson vitamins in the US.

I buy my Echinacea from amazon (will put links below). You can also get the drops but I think the tablets last longer and are better.

I exercise regularly now and have garlic few times a week in stir frys and have my echinacea and some vitamins B12 and other B vitamins now and again.

Our ancestors
You have to look at it this way how did our ancestors survive to create us they lived off the land they knew what plants was deadly such as  (Foxglove) and what plants, Herbs and food helped us survive.

We would be fools to think the people of the past were unintelligent because they were not. We would not be here as humans if they were would we.

Links to Echinacea Tablets & drops

Affiliate links


What made this job worse

I would get in work some days and the supervisor and her witch sister who also worked there would be on a early shift.

They would go in the public toilets before I got there and before the shopping center was open to the public etc and they would film the actual toilets the seats, floor,sinks, wall mirrors etc

Looking for dirt marks or any signs of the floor not being mopped by me at the night before.

So when I arrived at work it was like a interrogation
they would say to me you did not clean the toilets properly last night or you did not mop the floor.

I did I would say?

The supervisor would then say look we have filmed the toilets on our mobile cell phone they would show me video clips and say can you see that small mark on the toilet seat there etc.

You also have missed that piece of chewing gum on the back of the toilet door.

They would say stupid comments like
The mirrors have streaks on the glass.

And the floor has streaks where you have mopped it but left marks etc.

The center would close at the night around 8pm and I had an hour to mop the floor and do a deep clean.

Now they was not massive toilets think if I remember there was 12 toilets and 10 urinals and around 10 sinks and a big long mirror.

The wooden toilet cubicle walls had that much urine soaked in them 
that no matter how much disinfectant you put on them the smell of urine.

Would not go away and the wooden toilet walls started to rot after a while the urine soaked in that much the wooden walls would start to break away.

If a floor is clean it is clean no one is going to walk in and say well there is a small mark there the size of a skittle well no normal person other then the witch and her sister.

Now don't get me wrong the army make you do stupid things at times like telling you to mop a floor with a dish cloth etc but that's the army you kind of expect that.

But as I said before it was my first normal job this cleaning job.

I thought damn is this what work life is all about.

I have no clue why some people are like that.

Better late then never

I remember one day I got there at 12.03 I was due to start work at 12:00 but the bus was a little late.

So I had to rush to get there for that time anyway.

I get in work sign my name and the time 12.03 on the sign in book.

With in less then a minute the supervisor comes marching over your late
I know I said only by 3 minutes the bus was late.

Well sign in for 12.30 she said.

We only pay per half an hour
I said I am 3 mins late not 30 mins late?

No you have to sign in for 12.30 or you wont get paid for the whole day the supervisor said.
Well I will have 3 minutes less on my break or do 3 minutes extra tonight.
No you cant do that she replied.

Fair enough I said but I am not starting work until 12.30.

Yes you are the supervisor replied.
I just sat down and said lets see which person is going to try move me before 12.30 then.

The past has a funny way

The funny thing is a few years later just before I left the company.

I was working in another department by then and the supervisor and her witch sister got in trouble for locking some one in the shopping center by accident without checking the toilets was empty.

They had locked up gone home a hour early as they thought that part of the shopping center was empty so they thought they could sneak home a hour early and no one would notice even thou they interrogated me for  3 mins of lateness.

They locked the customer in not knowing he was on the toilet and he was talking legal action saying that he was locked in until the next morning etc.

The supervisor and her sister both asked me to defend them.

I was a union rep by that time so knew work laws inside out 
and had helped other staff members save there jobs by going as there union rep in meetings etc

Anyway I just said to the supervisor and her sister did you think because I work in a different department now I would forget about the past.

I said the past has a funny way of catching up with people and I just smiled and walked off.

The supervisor got demoted to guess what
Cleaning toilets and her sister got sacked.

I did it my way

My main problem was I just assumed all jobs and boss's were like that.

I did not know any laws or H&S until I started to learn them myself.

But I left the company not long after if I would of known my rights,work laws and H&S etc I would of been able to argue better and quote laws probably would of had the building closed down.

So my advice to you if your in same situation learn:

  • Work employment law
  • H&S law
  • Join a union
  • Human rights law

Or even message me in comments and I will try help if I can with advice.

Don't put up with a boss or a job making you ill you live once when your older you will regret
not doing anything.

People say learn from your mistakes I disagree 
learn from other peoples mistake instead such as mine.

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