Perhaps it's a slow news day in New York, but the topic everyone appears to be talking about is ... bathroom attendants. It started with a blog post on Friday by Business Insider chief Henry Blodget, in which he complained about the bathroom attendants at famed Manhattan restaurant Balthazar. Blodget bemoaned the plight of the "poor guy" whose job is to "stand in the bathroom watching people pee all day." Their presence, he wrote, invokes a series of emotions: "Annoyance, guilt, pity, uncomfortable invasion of personal space, and then ... extortion."
First We Feast followed up on the blog post, asking Balthazar owner Keith McNally for a response, and was surprised to receive this: "Unfortunately, I completely agree with it and will, in the next few weeks, relieve the restaurant’s bathroom attendants of their duties," he said. But the Atlantic Wire followed up on that news by interviewing the actual bathroom attendants, who say they hadn't heard anything about it. Cheikhou Niane, who has manned Balthazar's bathroom for four years, says he doesn't think McNally will follow through, because his job is too important. "If there's not somebody here," he says, "people come in, drop the paper, pee, no flushing, make kaka, no flushing. Very very very messy." For his part, Blodget appears to feel bad that he might be costing Niane and his colleagues their jobs. "Whoa! I hope they're hiring them as waiters!" he tweeted, then promised Business Insider would create three new jobs to replace those lost.