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From the Forum – Lame or not Lame? “The Heights’ lame “I’m so sorry” to a pregnant woman”

by Prince Of Petworth August 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm 308 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

The Heights’ lame “I’m so sorry” to a pregnant woman:

“I have been living in Columbia Heights since 2008 and take pride and comfort in the neighborhood vibe of our establishments. I am now six months pregnant (with twins, and so I look a bit bigger!) and have a new-found appreciation for this vibe – Room 11 and The Coupe have been particularly wonderful, e.g. bringing orders that they normally leave at the counter to where I am sitting.

Which is why I was shocked by The Heights’ response to me asking to use their restroom last Saturday during a trip to the farmers’ market. No, I wasn’t patronizing the place – I do go there often enough, but I don’t think being a regular is the issue. The issue is honoring and accommodating mothers-to-be. I respectfully asked the hostess if I could use the restroom (I wanted to tell her that I did go around 4 times before I left my home, but that I drank a lot of water because I had calf cramps…but decided that was TMI). The hostess asked me if I was sitting outside on their patio and when I said no, she gave me a fake “I’m so sorry.” I was in such disbelieve that I just mumbled, “are you kidding me?” before walking out. When I told my partner, he immediately went in to talk with them. He spoke with the manager, who told him that they had a recent experience with a pregnant women who they let use the restroom, but who made a mess.


When the manager started apologizing to my partner, he asked if she was sorry enough to actually let me use their facilities. She reluctantly acquiesced.

The Heights is not obligated, of course, to let a non-patron use their restroom. And in fact, we can say that this is a perfectly valid business decision. But it is really? The Heights brands itself as a progressive, neighborhood spot– distinct from the chain establishments on 14th street. I don’t think their response to a desperate pregnant woman’s modest request is becoming of this image.”

Initial replies after the jump.

August 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm

I don’t think you have grounds for complaint here. If you are in need of the facilities and are resolved not to purchase anything, Target or Giant are much better bets in that area. Or you could shell out $1.50 for a bottled water/soda/pastry at one of the many fast food/takeout joints on that block and use their restroom. Strolling into a sit-down restaurant seems like an odd choice. The hostess was just doing her job–she doesn’t determine the restaurant’s policy and probably doesn’t have a lot of latitude for judgment calls. Moreover, your lifestyle choices don’t entitle you to use any bathroom you please. Those businesses pay for toilet paper, soap, water, electricity, employees to clean their restrooms…why should they let random people off the street add to their operating costs? Sure, it would have been extremely nice of them to let you in immediately, but they were perfectly within their rights to ask you to go elsewhere. And it sounds like they eventually let you use the facilities anyway, so I really don’t see what the issue is. They did accommodate you, and you still felt the need to complain about this non-incident on a public forum?”

August 16, 2014 at 7:28 pm

I respect your opinion, but my point in posting was to express disappointment in the failure to accommodate pregnant women (compared to establishments that do so). It is exactly as you said–a business decision–and I am questioning that. In doing so, I am making an overall point about the way we choose to express our values. I once saw a sign in front of a cafe (not in DC) that offered free tea to breastfeeding women. There are values that even businesses can espouse.”

August 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm

I don’t think the comparison between the Heights and the Coupe/Room 11 is an apt one — the Coupe and Room 11 were accommodating you when you were a paying customer.

It’s a nice gesture that the non-D.C. cafe you mentioned was offering free tea to breastfeeding women, but I imagine they probably anticipated that the tea-drinking women might purchase pastries and/or they saw it as a promotional move.”

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Comments (308)

  1. Why should anyone have to “accommodate” you just because you’re pregnant? It’s not like you’re disabled. I’m sorry, but having children or being pregnant doesn’t make you more special than the rest of us. This type of entitled thinking is what really grates me about some parents (or parents-to-be as it is).

  2. I’m seven months pregnant and can’t +1 this enough.

  3. +1,000,000

  4. This is exactly what I was going to say. No one is under any obligation to give anyone special treatment just because she happens to be pregnant, especially if she’s not a paying customer. Assuming the OP is pregnant willingly, she also willingly signed on to the unglamorous side effects. It’s not as if there aren’t other options in the immediate vicinity, including the Target.

  5. +1

    Literally 99% of the human female population that survived to adulthood over thousands of years has been pregnant at some point in their lives. It doesn’t make you special or deserving of any additional accommodation, sorry. Also, calling yourself a “desperate” pregnant woman is a pretty big stretch. There are many places you could have used the bathroom within a one-block radius, why did you spend time arguing when you could have just gone somewhere else?

  6. AGREED.

  7. Wow, ya’ll are harsh. Remember your words the next time you’re having a tough time.

    The heights has the right to turn her away but I think it’s pretty uncool. I extend a bit more courtesy to pregnant women because being pregnant is difficult….the same way I extend extra courtesy to other people who have a harder time than most getting around.

  8. It’s one thing to say “It would be nice to let a pregnant woman use the bathroom at a restaurant she is not patronizing.” It’s another thing to say that she deserves to use the restroom, and is thus justified in posting a complaint on a public forum about it.

  9. I believe pregnant women do “deserve” some extra courtesy. Knowing that the Heights management feels differently will factor into my decision to go there or not.

  10. Being pregnant is a choice. Many other people who have a harder time than most getting around (missing a limb, paralyzed, blind) do not have a choice.

    It would be like if I decided to wear a suit of armor around and then got upset that people didn’t give me a wide berth, hold the door for me or offer me their seat on the metro.

  11. Pregnancy is not always a choice. Anyway, I’m going to check out of this conversation.

  12. +1 and I’m a mother.

  13. I think accommodation is reasonable within limits. But what really bugged me was her assertion that pregnant women should be “honored.”

  14. commenters sound like the attitude I got at a local Starbucks when my son banged his head and people seemed put out when I cut the line to ask the staff for a cup of ice. I could see a few eyes rolling (though other genuinely concerned), as well as the put-out attitude behind the counter. I know, maybe I should have just gotten in line and waited my turn

    What’s the real cost of basic kindness? It’s so much easier to do the basically decent thing than to stand mindlessly behind some pointless rule.

  15. So pregnant women shouldn’t get bus seats like someone elderly or on crutches? It is not a disability, but the burden of creating life looks like it’s hard a woman back and feet and everything else, so I’m most likely to give pregnant women as much leeway and accommodations as humanly possible. I’m torn on this one. I would have just gone to another store, but I’ve also been the hostess that has to clean up every tourist from the Mall who used her restaurants nice yet accommodating restrooms.

  16. Anon at 2:20 here. I ABSOLUTELY give up my seat on Metro to pregnant women or people with a small child 100% of the time. No question and they never actually ask me to. But if said woman demanded I “accommodate” her because she’s pregnant, I would tell her to take that entitled attitude elsewhere.

  17. You’d also be breaking the law.

  18. what?

  19. Pregnancy is not a disability under ADA.

  20. Um, no because there is no law that says I need to give up my seat for a pregnant woman. It’s just common courtesy. And as epric002 pointed out, priority seating on Metro is reserved for elderly and people with disabilities- which does not include pregnancy. And PS, I never sit in the priority seating even if it’s the only seat available.

  21. +1
    I agree. The sense of entitlement is grating.

  22. A.Men.

    Why should they be a free bathroom for everyone who has a “good excuse”.

  23. +1000000

  24. I think pregnant women ARE more special than non-pregnant individuals – not BETTER – but special in the respect their body is going through something mine/yours is not. In addition to carrying around another human being (or two) and the weight gain associated with said situation, their body is subject to all sorts of uncomfortable side effects. Cramping, swelling, back aches, nausea, you name it. And when you have two tiny people decide to shift positions and rest on your bladder, sometimes walking across the street to Target, taking the escalator, navigating the crowds and waiting in line IS NOT an option.

    She respectfully asked for a bathroom and was denied. Her partner was the one to escalate the situation – and not terribly, I’ve seen/heard way worse. And to be honest, I suspect mine would do the same.

  25. “sometimes walking across the street to Target, taking the escalator, navigating the crowds and waiting in line IS NOT an option.”
    But going back outside, getting her husband, walking back in with him, waiting while the manager came, and arguing with him was an option? N ot walkign to the Target, or the Starbucks that is 50 feet away, if that? I seem
    But really, what you’re saying is that the Heights shodul have a policy that states, “Restrooms are for customers only. And pregnant women.” Is that it? Are there any other groups that you feel deserve a carve-out?

  26. “Restrooms are for customers only. And pregnant women.” Nope, not what I’m saying. But it would make complete sense for a business such as the Heights to allow their employees to make on-the-spot, informed decisions when it comes to extenuating circumstances, such as very pregnant non-customers needing to use a restroom.

    And in your haste to counter my post, you misread the point of the “not an option” comment, which discussed the need to find the closest bathroom ASAP due to her physical state. She probably didn’t expect a confrontation at the Heights, otherwise she might have chosen differently. And if Target was closer, she probably would have gone there happily. Less waddling = less of a chance you will pee your pants.

  27. I’ve worked for the company (another restaurant), and company policy is restrooms are for patrons only. There are any number of places near to the heights that may feel differently, but essentially you’re complaining that a business treats everyone the same. I can’t speak to being pregnant, but I’d think that having to pee a lot is something you can plan for. More importantly, in the time it took to chastise an employee, you could have walked into chipotle and used the toilet.

  28. Seriously. Not to mention that the bathroom is all the way in the back of the restaurant… and if it was crowded – which it probably was, she would have had a tight squeeze getting back there, which would have made both her and the patrons she was squeezing past fairly uncomfortable.
    I say either walk in like you own the place (ask for for forgiveness not permission) or use the bathroom at starbucks/chipotle/cava/giant/target/dsw.
    This makes me want to revisit the Heights. It’s been a while.

  29. This is stupid. If you want to use a bathroom just act like your supposed to be there, 90% of the time no one will question you. Don’t ask for permision. Its a restaurant. They have no idea what the heck is going on. When the hostes asked if she was on the outside patio the answer is YES because the hostes would not have asked if she knew.

  30. Exactly. As someone with OAB, I’ve become accustomed to going in public places. Just go. If you’re quick and respectful to the environment, nobody’s really gonna care.

  31. +1000 This is totally what I do when i’m about to..er…erupt. What are they gonna do? put it back inside of me?? Worst case scenario I’d have to shell out a buck or two for a coke. pfft.

  32. Agree with this 100%. Sounds like someone just wanted to vent their frustration (OP/partner).

  33. Yup. Never ask for anything. Just walk in, go straight to the bathroom and walk out. I’ve never been stopped.

  34. I give the OP props for being honest with the establishment, she admitted she wasn’t dining there instead of just walking in and using the restroom. On the other hand, it was HER CHOICE to be pregnant. It’s completely different from being disabled or elderly, therefore, I don’t think she should feel entitled to have special accommodations.

  35. Maybe I just read the Tom Sietsema chats on WaPo too often, but restaurants aren’t here to cater to your every will, especially when you aren’t a paying customer. Yes, it would be nice, but if they let you in, then there’s a case for letting every Joe Schmo in off the street. Fine to be annoyed and rant to your SO or friends, but is there really a need to publicly shame the restaurant? Get over yourself. It’s not like it was the only option in the area. Though frankly, if I had been you, I would have just strolled into the restaurant as if I was a customer.

  36. When I’ve needed to use someone’s bathroom, i just walk in like I’m meeting someone or going to the bar and use the facilities without asking. I’ve done this at the Heights, but maybe a there was no one at the host station.

  37. Good lord, you people are cold. The woman has to pee, they should let her use the bathroom. Although I would have just walked right by the hostess and gone back to use the bathroom. I always pretend like I’m meeting someone at the bar.

  38. Attempting to publicly shame the restaurant was the ‘cold’ move here, in my opinion. If she hadn’t done that maybe she’d be getting more sympathetic responses. Plus, as many others are pointing out, she chose to pick this fight rather than go to multitudes of other options in the area.

  39. I’m anon from above. If you feel you’re entitled to use whatever bathroom you come to, why do you put up the facade of meeting someone? Hard to be cold when there are literally 10 places within short walking distance.

  40. Would they let a homeless person (someone who really may not have somewhere to pee) come in and use their facilities? Probably not. That is why they are for patrons only. Why is this woman any different.

  41. ^^This.

  42. Exactly. I guess none of these commenters have asked for any special accommodations in their lives.

  43. nope, we’ve all asked for favors now and then. sometimes we get them, sometimes we don’t, and most of us just move on after that.

  44. +1. That is the point here. Yes, they probably should of let her use the bathroom, but they didn’t. Move on.

  45. it’s not the ask. it’s the whine.

  46. +1,000,000
    This sums up this entire thread.

  47. Perfect! I’m stealing that.

  48. Perfecto! Copyright that quickly — I’ll buy t-shirts!

  49. Not for a restroom. I either go somewhere truly public, or somewhere that I’ll buy something (fast food restaurant, coffee shop, etc.). Within a few feet of her location, she could have chosen Target, Giant, Marshalls, or DSW (I’d put these in fully public since no one is going to notice/care if you only come in and use the restroom); Starbucks or Panera and bought a drink or snack, etc. Instead she chose a sit-down restaurant with someone monitoring the door and a much higher staff/customer ratio.

    Methinks she might have, I dunno, perhaps thought the restrooms at the Heights would be cleaner/nicer than her other options, and then decided to get her panties in a twist when they stuck to their guns of “customers only.” Just a hint: the restrooms are cleaner/nicer because of the restriction in traffic that comes from making them “customers only.”

  50. I also agree that it is wrong to expect that as non-paying customer you’re entitled to use the facilities (which puts a financial strain on the business).
    I also think it’s egregious to slander a restaurant publicly for this. It’s not like they were rude to the OP while she was eating there, which would obviously be grounds for a bad review. You’re just some yahoo that walked off the street demanding something from a small privately-owned business.
    At the very least, go to Giant, Starbucks, or one of the many corporate chains in the area that wouldn’t notice you using their semi-public facilities.

  51. It’s not slander if it’s true. In this case, it’s just a good ole public shaming.

  52. I don’t get it. Why on earth don’t you go three doors further to Starbucks and trade a few dollars for a bathroom and a cup of tea? Or Chipotle? Or Target whose bathrooms are my go-to changing table when I’m down that way?

    Now what we really need: a window sticker (like the AMEX, VISA, etc.) that shows whether or not an establishment’s bathroom has a changing table. That is a useful piece of information for the bathroom seeking consumer.

  53. I’m sorry, OP, but there is this HUGE entitlement vibe coming off of everything you post. Maybe you’re right, and maybe if I was in the circumstance I’d feel the same way you do, but it’s hard to even think objectively about this because you sound so irrationally entitled. Those businesses are accommodating you because they want your business – which is why they accommodate plenty of people, I’m sure, with circumstances such as allergies or food preferences – not because the world shares your opinion that pregnant women should be subject to a better level of service.

  54. I wonder if the OP chose The Heights because she felt their bathroom would be cleaner than any of the establishments in the area. Still- I can see the restaurants point–I know when I’m out and about and I need to use a restroom that I sometimes feel guilty by not buying anything, and have actually quilted myself into buying something other times.

  55. 7 months pregnant here and I have to agree with the other comments so far. Yes, it sucks that we have to pee a lot (and omg, the leg cramps are killing me too) but this place doesn’t have to let you use the restroom if you’re not a customer. I’m sure most places would be nice enough to let me if I asked, but I wouldn’t be surprised to be turned away. When I have had to go while I’m out, it’s not hard to spend a buck on a water bottle at Starbucks if they have a locked door.

  56. I feel sorry for this woman. Not because she was treated unfairly – she wasn’t – but because her life is going to be an unending series of disappointments given her ridiculously idealistic expectations.

  57. Is there a way to bump this comment to the top?

  58. +1000

  59. Exactly!

  60. Maybe she’s a millenial?

  61. I’m seven and a half months pregnant. It would NEVER occur to me that people should accommodate my need for a bathroom when I am not even patronizing their establishment. There’s a level of entitlement here that is breathtaking in its tone deafness. Although I do wish I had been sitting in the restaurant when she a) came in and expressed astonishment at their unwillingness to bow to her burgeoning belly, and b) then sent her equally entitled partner to come in a brow beat the poor hostess some more. As entertainment goes, I’m sure it was fairly epic.

  62. The term “entitlement” implies that she thought about it. “I’m entitled to use that bathroom because I’m Creating Life!” But having been what felt like 14 months pregnant once myself, there’s not a whole lot of thought that goes in to “Oh lord, gotta pee. Gotta pee right now. Cripes, didn’t I just pee 8 minutes ago? Gotta find a bathroom…” You’re making her sound like some snotty princess, when in reality, she just has two babies squishing her bladder. You may or may not get there yourself (some people never have that effect of pregnancy), but you can still have a heart.
    (It is also possible to support the restaurant’s policy without insulting or mocking the person on the other side of it.)

  63. Well she did mention how “other” businesses have gone above the norm to cater to her being pregnant- so it seems that she expects it from “all”. It’s not as though they created the policy on the spot just to prevent her from using their bathroom.

  64. anonymous again

    Again, 7.5 months pregnant here. I too have felt a frequent and urgent need to pee, and yet I’ve managed to avoid assuming that a restaurant is obligated to cater to my random desire to patronize their bathroom. I’ve certainly never felt entitled enough (yep, there’s that word) to then berate someone into assenting to my unreasonable request, and then follow-up on that assent by publicly castigating them on a widely read blog. Given that the overwhelming response to this post has been astonishment at her actions, I can only assume that you are of a similar general frame of mind as this woman. In which case I too sympathize with the sheer amount of crushing disappointment that you will undoubtedly feel as the rest of the world fails to live up to your obviously reasonable expectations. But best of luck with that.

  65. Well put.

  66. “Oh lord, gotta pee. Gotta pee right now. Cripes, didn’t I just pee 8 minutes ago? Gotta find a bathroom…”
    See, I don’t agree with this. Apparently she had enough time to raise a big stink, complain to the hostess and manager, and then send her partner in to complain. It didn’t sound like she was about to explode. If that was the case, she would have ran out immediately.

  67. Seriously.

  68. “The term “entitlement” implies that she thought about it. “I’m entitled to use that bathroom because I’m Creating Life!””
    Yes, it does imply that. From her post:
    “The issue is honoring and accommodating mothers-to-be. I respectfully asked the hostess if I could use the restroom . . . I was in such disbelieve that I just mumbled, “are you kidding me?””, followed by her partner going inside and browbeating the manager to letting her use the restroom. Sure sounds like entitlement to me.
    As an aside, in the time it took for her partner go in, find the manager, and complaint, the OP could have gone to the Starbucks and peed. Or the Giant. Or the Target.
    (Sudden thought – would it surprise anyone if OP and her partner were Megan and Arash, of Tabard Inn Yelp fame?)

  69. Wow, shotgun wedding?
    Tres déclassé.

  70. Lol! I had that thought too! But then I wasn’t sure if she/they would choose a non-vegan place to pee….

  71. I’m flattered that you can’t stop thinking about me!
    I sell officially licensed shirts and stickers.
    I have a line of pillowcases, too.
    That way, after you cry yourself to sleep and spend all night dreaming about me, you can wake up and give me a kiss!
    For you, I make special price, habibi.

  72. You realize of course that you are a prime example of an entitled customer acting badly and then trying to publicly shame/blame the business.

  73. As a currently (very) pregnant woman in DC, I can totally sympathize. No, I don’t think I’m more special than anyone else. Nor do I consider myself disabled. That said, pregnancy is hard on the body — and sometimes you have emergencies that can’t be “planned for” as another poster so thoughtful put it. Asking for a little accommodation from a business that you regularly patronize shouldn’t be a big issue. Maybe getting across the street and into Target’s bathroom wasn’t going to be fast enough. Would you have her pee her pants instead? Honest question.

    Pretty sure all those telling OP she’s in the wrong have never been pregnant because if you had been you’d be just a tad more empathetic.

  74. It clearly wasn’t that much of an emergency if there was time for her partner to come back in and keep at it with the hostess.

  75. She had time to wait there while her partner berated the host into allowing her to use the bathroom.

  76. It seems that a few people agreeing OP is acting in an entitled manner are currently pregnant. If it was truly an “emergency” you’d think she would not have had enough time for her partner to go back in and harangue the hostess and manager into letting her use their facilities. Sheesh.

  77. Sometimes nature calls whether pregnant or not. Why should a pregnant lady be given a break vs a non pregnant lady or man? yes If I’m sitting down some where and I see a pregnant lady standing- yes I’ll extend the offer for her to have my seat- but one should never feel entitled to it.

  78. Agreed. And when she has her two children and they are potty-trained toddlers, is she going to wander into the same restaurants demanding that they let her children use their restrooms because it’s an emergency? The entire world is not there to cater to your emergency. Yes, it’s lovely when they do show a little sympathy. But it shouldn’t be an expectation.

  79. I am shocked by the harshness of the comments here. I was pregnant twice while living in DC, and I peed in every restaurant/hotel in town. I usually walked in like I owned the place, and face-shamed anyone who dared try to stop me. However most people were incredibly kind to me. The Heights was uncool period. She may not have been a customer that day, but (like me) she’s eaten there many times, and that should count for something too.

    And yes, cleary, I have two young children and I often beg/shame restaurants into letting my kids pee. Otherwise there will be pee EVERYWHERE – and trust me, no one wants that.

    Again, I’m shocked by the lack of kindness I see here. Maybe it’s because I just came back from a European vacation. In Italy a bus driver was so kind to me, he wouldn’t let anyone get on the bus until I was situated. Another time, I was huge and meekly squeezed in a spot on a crowded bus, and the driver yelled at everyone until someone got up and gave me a seat. So sweet! On this trip, people in Germany were so accommodating to our family. It was a rude awakening to return.

  80. shoot, I wrote too fast! I was in Italy when pregnant and HUGE. Couldn’t believe how nice everyone was there. And yes, I peed in EVERY restaurant there too. :)

  81. No, asking for the accommodation wasn’t a problem. She is welcome to go in there and ask as much as she wants. But the business had a neutral policy (restrooms are for customers only) and a reason for it. It may have been an emergency, but expressing outrage, browbeating the hostess, and then complaining about it on the internet in an effort to drive away other potential customers (which is what it seems like she is doing by “questioning” their business decision) is ridiculous and entitled behavior. Especially after they let her use the restroom anyway!

  82. An emergency means you are running in, not stopping to chastise a hostess then have your partner do the same. I’m sure that took a couple minutes at least. Chipotle is 2 doors down and other places are similarly close.

  83. This woman is ridiculous. In most cases being pregnant is a choice and it’s a temporary state of being. It’s not like being disabled or elderly. I’m not saying being pregnant doesn’t suck at times and come with some not so fun side effects, but…it’s not that special. Pretty much half the world’s population does it on the regular, so yeah. There are so many other places this woman could have peed and she honestly has way too much time on her hands to 1. spend time arguing with the people at the Heights about this and 2. writing this whole thing on the internet about how they screwed up 5 minutes of her life. Maybe she should focus on having a running list of all the closest bathrooms in her vicinity at all times. That sounds like it might be a slightly more useful way to spend her time.

  84. what about the starbucks NEXT DOOR? if she didn’t have ‘time’ her partner could have been buying a water while she went to the bathroom

  85. But pregnancy is not the only hard thing on the body. If this women was an elderly homeless man with a weak bladder who had to pee equally as badly would we be talking about this?

  86. Go look over on Mommyish. Pretty much 3/4 of the commenters , including a mother of twins, think OP is a twunt.

  87. It’s a stupid decision to not let her use the toilet. They probably saved $0.05 and lost her future business. It’s short-sighted.

  88. This assumes she’s not one of the pregnant women who is making a mess of their restroom and costing them time and money to clean up after.

  89. and if previous mess maker was paying customer? two things seem unrelated.

  90. Even if she made a mess, what is the financial impact on the restaurant? They are already paying for the labor to keep the bathroom clean. So, they are paying a little bit more in cleaning supplies (~$0.05).
    Also, I don’t buy the story about another pregnant lady making a mess. Do they have cameras in the bathroom? Do the check the bathroom after every guest? How do they know what part of a mess to attribute to anyone who uses their bathroom? Clearly, it’s a story they made up to justify their policy.

  91. Businesses have these policies because, if they don’t, people come off the street and crap everywhere in the bathroom. I have had to deal with this before and would value the cost of having to clean up these messes at much much more than $.05. It makes your job really bad as a manager if you have to tell someone who signed up to be a hostess that it is their turn to yield the shit mop.

  92. You guys, I came out to have a good time and I’m honestly feeling so attacked right now.

  93. hahaha.

  94. If they let her use the restroom (as a non-customer), how could they then turn away any other bum, runner, kid, tourist, etc coming in from the street to use the facilities with no intention of buying food.

    More use creates more mess, which leaves bathrooms less clean for actual patrons and lines longer for them to get to.

  95. So much for all the good vibes coming from the Mean Streets feature.

  96. On the other hand, if the hostess had just said yes, would the OP have posted something raving about the restaurant accommodating her? Probably not.

  97. I’m sorry, but pregnancy is not a handicap, roughly 50% of the population gets pregnant at some point (or at least has the capacity to), so I don’t think you deserve *special pregnancy treatment*

    Real classy move too to publicly shame them on this blog after they not only apologized but then LET YOU USE THE RESTROOM!

  98. Target has a restroom.

  99. Wow, I’m surprised at many of the comments. If I was the hostess, I’d have let the pregnant woman use the restroom. If I was the business, I’d have approved of this departure from the general policy. I see no problem with the behavior of the OP in any way. My mom had twins, and it does a number on your body, for sure. While the situation may not have fit within the rules, are we so inflexible as to think it’s good to refuse a small kindness like the use of a restroom to someone in need who politely asked for the privilege? Seems silly to me. I won’t say the restaurant was wrong, just insensitive, and probably unwise. I’m with the OP on this one. Congrats on your upcoming double joys, by the way.

  100. +1 and congrats!

  101. and you would have been fired or at least reprimanded, because you would be an employee of the said place, here to apply the rules and policies of said place

  102. Well, if I was fired or reprimanded for letting a pregnant woman who wasn’t a restaurant patron use the restroom in violation of policy, I would be ok with that. I do try to be nice. While I believe in rules, I think it’s an easy call for me in this case. Hooray for small kind gestures.

  103. Being nice doesn’t pay the rent.

  104. What a sad, selfish view of the world. No, being kind doesn’t directly pay the rent, but an ability to use good judgement in support of your employer’s reputation certainly does go a long way toward making someone a value-adding employee. How much does it cost to let a pregnant woman use the restroom? Answer: approximately 3 cents in water, electricity, and toilet paper. And how much does it cost to treat a person with epic rudeness? Answer: collectively, the business of this person, her friends, and all of the community members who read this blog and agree with her. A lot more than 3 cents.

  105. Glad that you have the resources to do that. Of course not all of us have your options. Please recognize that many people would not “be okay” with losing their jobs. Even so a pregnant woman with an obvious sense of entitlement could pee.

    And Wow? Telling someone who is not a customer that the amenities of an establishment are reserved for customers is NOT ‘epic rudeness’. If you think it is, you’ve led a very privileged life.

  106. In the amount of time it took for your partner to raise the issue with the hostess you could have purchased a water and used the restroom at literally ten other places (Cava Grill, Chipotle, Starbucks, Giant, Target, Panera, Five guys, etc etc etc).

  107. “The Heights is not obligated, of course, to let a non-patron use their restroom. And in fact, we can say that this is a perfectly valid business decision.”

    End of story.

  108. +1. you asked for a favor, and you didn’t get it. move on.

  109. Good lord people – maybe she isn’t entitled to use the restroom and maybe it’s just my midwestern sensabilities but let the lady pee! Who cares?!? If it were like a 5 star restaurant that’s one thing, but this place is half a step up from Red Lobster, give it a rest. Why can’t we all be kind to each other?

  110. it’s not about the peeing. it’s about the entitled scene followed by public complaining.

  111. why would it be different if it was a 5 star restaurant?

  112. You lost me at “honoring a mother to be”.

    Really? Now the world at large has to “honor” you and your decisions to procreate? Sheesh…

    You are pregnant, you aren’t handicap. Pregnant people have to stop acting the world owes them one for their decision to have a child.

  113. ‘Pregnant Women are Smug’ by Garfunkel and Oates comes to mind.

  114. Yep. OP’s complaint flows entirely from her belief that she’s special. Turn the facts: she’s dining with her partner at The Heights, near the front door, and any variety of non-pregnant non-patrons ask the same thing in her presence. The older homeless man is probably the most illustrative. Hostess turns away that guy, and OP leans over, tells her partner how awkward _that_ was, and then grabs the hostess as she passes by and thanks her for handling the situation so professionally.

  115. Wow, the special snowflake-ness is strong with this one. I’m confused about why peeing in the Heights’ bathroom in particular was the hill she wanted to die on, to the point of allowing her partner to make a scene about it. When there are so many others a few steps away that she could have used without incident.

  116. The “honoring and accommodating mothers-to-be” stuff is totally nauseating, but that was the only thing about this post that was even a little entitled. I’ve never been pregnant, but I’ve known enough pregnant ladies to understand that the peeing thing is a huge issue for them, and it’s really not something that they can help. Would it kill us (including this business) to just freaking be nice to people?
    If anyone is entitled it’s the jerks (seemingly in disproportionate supply in this area) who think that they are too important to ever yield anything to someone else unless it’s legally required of them.

  117. get rid of all of the ‘expectant mothers’ parking spaces too? moms to be have been free loading on the rest of us for years

  118. you don’t really seem to understand what entitled means.

    everything about the post was entitled. she kept saying she understood that they didn’t have to let her in… but all of her actions including posting about it HERE say that yes, she DID feel herself ENTITLED to use the bathroom.

    and NO it is not ENTITLED for someone (or a business) to tell another person “no, you can’t use this thing that i pay for, but which you do not”

  119. I am 7 months pregnant and go to Starbucks – I agree with the people who suggest just using the restroom as though you are a patron. I haven’t done this yet, but have certainly done it when I was not pregnant. I’ll just add that comments here reflect what I’ve generally noticed during my pregnancy – a good number of people in DC will go out of their way to be rude to pregnant women. It is at least illuminating to hear the rationalization (getting pregnant was your choice/you should have known what you were getting into). At least this way, I won’t feel so guilty when my crying baby is disturbing everyone around me – you made the choice to come to this public place :)

  120. I think that there is a difference between failing to “honor mothers to be” and being rude.

  121. Agreed. Plus I bet the commenters were being “rude” only because the OP was so darn entitled-sounding. [email protected]:48 isn’t helping, with her “I’m-glad-my-baby’s-crying-because-you-deserve-it” attitude.

    Do you really think people go out of their way to be rude to you, simply because you’re pregnant or have children? Maybe they’re not disguising their impatience with crying babies enough for you, or maybe you’re simply being paranoid/self-conscious.

  122. And who do these proud non-parent think is going to fund their social security, anyway? See how well non-procreation is working for the Japanese? ;)

  123. Having kids so that they’ll take care of you when you are old is so incredibly selfish. HEY, LET’S BREED SERVANTS!

  124. Do you feel like a servant to your parents?

  125. You’re equating “being rude to pregnant women” with “not giving special treatment to pregnant women just because they’re pregnant.”

  126. I should clarify – I don’t think that what the Heights did was rude. I do think some of these comments are rude.

  127. +1. And by the way, I’d really like you to elaborate on how people in DC “go out of their way to be rude to pregnant women.”

  128. Getting pregnant IS your choice. It doesn’t make you any more special or deserving than anyone else (though maybe a bit more foolish). It also doesn’t automatically make you a good parent. Remember that when everyone hates your squalling brats.

  129. You’re a gem. Love the generous spirit!

  130. I bet your kids hate you.

  131. “At least this way, I won’t feel so guilty when my crying baby is disturbing everyone around me – you made the choice to come to this public place”

    I see. Ok.

  132. OP lost me at “The issue is honoring and accommodating mothers-to-be”.
    A restaurant is expected to HONOR you because you are pregnant?
    The restaurant could have said yes, but saying no was well within reason. What isn’t within reason is your belief you should be honored and accommodated because you are pregnant when you walk into a business off the street.

  133. honoring is a silly word choice, but what’s unreasonable about “accomodating”

    the bathroom policies are intended to keep vagrants out. if there were vagrant proof bathrooms there would be no need to restrict to potentially paying customers.

    If I need to use restroom on the go I’m likely to buy something, but I’ll almost always take care of business first. The establishment has no way of knowing if I’ll make good on that. They can choose to be dickish about it or not, and it’s likely to influence whether or not I buy after the fact.

  134. So what do you want vagrants to do when they need to pee?

  135. What happens if you have a pregnant vagrant? Are they vagrant? Or pregnant? Do they deserve honor and bathroom privileges?

  136. Now sing this to the tune of “Human” by the Killers.

  137. Are we vagrant, or are we pregnant? My bladder is full… my feet are sore. And I’m on my knees, looking for the answer…

  138. Is it a fact that this policy is to keep out vagrants? Who’s a vagrant and who isn’t? A disheveled person = vagrant or different fashion sense?
    Maybe the policy is to have the restroom available for paying customers, not anyone who walks in off the street

  139. OP sounds a little entitled (publicly complaining about this is a bit of an overkill) but I do feel like the pregnant, the old, the young kids, the disabled — all deserve some empathy from us. It’s not about taking responsibility for their “lifestyle choices.” It’s about being effing kind.

    Everyone, just be kind to one another. Jeez.

  140. I quite agree. But what many of us are reacting to is the lack of kindness that the OP showed to the hostess — who was only enforcing a policy that the OP was aware of, and the lack of kindness that the OP is showing to the restaurant — because they did not meet her needs immediately, even though she was not a paying customer and had other options. If the OP had approached this from the point of kindness — or even asking about bathroom options in Columbia Heights, she likely would be getting very different, much more supportive responses.

  141. +a million.
    Maybe the OP will realize how ugly entitlement looks to others and try to remember that neither she, her partner, nor her kid to be is a special snowflake entitled to special treatment from others.

  142. Yeah, these comments are kinda harsh. I get business decisions, but “facilities are for patrons only” should not trump the good will you would get by being kind to someone who needs to pee. Yeah, most pregnancies involve choice, but that’s no reason to be unfeeling to someone who is in an uncomfortable situation. It’s like getting up to give a pregnant woman your seat on the bus–you don’t have to do it, but you should. Moreso for this business, because the company would engender good will, which would cause it to make $$ in the future.

  143. Seriously. My policy is – be nice any time you can. It makes life one hell of a lot more pleasant, and you’ll find that people are often more than willing to return the favor when needed.

  144. but it’s not really good business decision. it isolates a potentially paying customer and opens the business to criticism. The risk is a messy bathroom, which can happen with paying customers too and doesn’t obviate the need for regular cleaning.

  145. It may not be a good business decision to let everyone use the restroom on request – but it seems seriously unlikely that letting the occasional pregnant/elderly/disabled person use the restroom is going to result in a messier restroom. And I don’t buy the whole “the last pregnant person who used it made a huge mess.” How did they know it wasn’t someone else? Do they check the restroom after each and every use? I do not know of anyplace that does that.

  146. “It may not be a good business decision to let everyone use the restroom on request – but it seems seriously unlikely that letting the occasional pregnant/elderly/disabled person use the restroom is going to result in a messier restroom.”
    Serious question – I am a young (OK, middle aged), non-pregnant, non-disabled person who really has to pee. I have a tiny little bladder. Should I be allowed to use the restroom?

  147. If she was an elderly man with a weak bladder instead of a pregnant women should they let her in?

    Or a homless women who is in need of a place to pee?

  148. Am 7+ months pregnant, and don’t agree with OP here, but there is a striking reaction on this board against “accommodating” pregnant women. Genuinely curious about this — does this go to things like yielding a seat on the bus? I’d say only half the time that I waddle on to a full bus or metro car will someone offer me a seat. Not a huge deal from a practicality point — I’m still capable of standing, and will often politely decline the seat with a Thank You as I don’t think I “need” the seat necessarily more than the person sitting. But it still surprises me when a busload of people all turn the other way. Or am I being entitled in thinking that offering a seat to a pregnant person is just common courtesy?

  149. The reaction is not against accommodating pregnant women, or even with asking for the accommodation. I think everyone above would agree that she was within her right to ask to use the bathroom, or that you would be within your rights to ask for a seat. Or that it would be nice to grant those requests.
    What’s problematic is the idea that if you DON’T get the accommodation, you’re entitled to throw a fit, get your partner to complain, and then complain to random strangers on the internet if you don’t get your way.

  150. +1 to everything you said.
    Additionally, I think the reaction is the fact that the OP publicly shamed this restaurant on a widely read local blog. She’s attempting to drive away business from The Heights. That’s way more f#cked up than one business telling her she can’t use the restroom.

  151. +1000

    I gladly give up my seat on the bus or train to a pregnant woman. It’s the attitude of OP that I have a problem with.

  152. Or the OP’s complete lack of empathy for the hostess. If it’s a policy, it’s not reasonable to expect an employee to violate that policy and risk workplace punishment.

  153. I don’t think any hostess would risk “workplace punishment” for this or any other case. This really seems to be a very over-inflated brou ha-ha. A minor encounter went wrong. Feels like some self-importance/obnoxious/un-graceful behavior on the part of the OP – up against an un-thoughtful, inconsiderate response from a restaurant employee.

    Seems like most people are reacting to the OP’s intention to smear an entire restaurant because of one bad encounter, as well as a pretty obnoxious sense of entitlement on the part of the OP. Yeah, I agree with that. People do get all huffy puffy over any little thing these days and broadcast it widely.

    But maybe let’s all settle down, factor in all the emotions (pregnant or hostessing) and write it off as a minor kerfluffle and put it to rest.

  154. If you’d like to sit down, ask. As mentioned, you usually turn down the seat, so why are you unhappy when the seat isn’t offered? I will offer a seat to a disabled or elderly person, but I have bad knees which at times are more painful than others so I may not do it every chance I get. The scorn I receive as a young looking person who is seemingly able-bodied and not immediately jumping up is distasteful. I’ve had this happen even when an open seat was next to me. No, I don’t assume everyone is in my boat, but you never know.

  155. Some people may not feel comfortable asking a pregnant women if she wants their seat because what if she’s not pregnant, but just overweight? I’ve seen it happen on the metro, and it wasn’t pretty. And yes, I know you can tell with many women, but not with all.

  156. +1000. I am always VERY careful who I offer my seat to. I’m a woman, and not terribly young, so I only offer my seat to someone who is clearly disabled, elderly (70+) or clearly pregnant. If I am not 100% sure you’re pregnant, I’m not offering you my seat because I don’t want to offend you. If I am sure, I’ll definitely offer you my seat.

  157. I understand this women’s frustration. Last summer I was with my nephew at a public beach without bathrooms. He is only 4. I went to a deli and an ice cream shop asking for a restroom and they both said for customers only. I was really annoyed because i was with this young kid and i thought what is the big deal if they just excuse this policy for once!!! But then after I realized at the beach there are a lot of people with you kids and i bet lots of families come across this issue. More importantly I am talking to a 20 year old college kids who is just doing their job and following orders. When I asked at the deli if I could simply buy a soda to let him use the restroom they said of course and we really nice about it. That it was not personal just a policy.

    Lots of people walk around Colombia heights especially on farmers market day. And while being 6 months pregnant with twins might to you seem like a very unique situation. It is really not. There are tons of pregnant women in the neighborhood, and more over children. As you will soon learn children just have a knack of needing to pee at all the wrong times. It is not the heights job to accommodate every pregnant women, child, elderly, or disabled person, or perfectly healthy adult who finds themselves in dire need of a toilet.

    A lot of other people have made the point that you chose not to use a starbucks or chiplotle or target. Being from this neighborhood for 8 years you must know that those places all have either free bathrooms, bathrooms that are easy to sneak into, and or items for less then $1 you could buy in exchange to pee. As a runner and parent I have been saved by starbucks restrooms a lot! They are not the cleanest but hey you get what you pay for,.

  158. TheOtherWhiteMeat

    Pollo Campero is practically in the middle of the farmers’ market. It has a bathroom. And given the emergency situation, you don’t even have to cross the street to use it.

  159. cara for the win.

  160. +1

    and seriously. you just buy something. get a freaking lemonade. whatever.

  161. Yeeeah, just go to Starbucks or Target like a normal person. You are not that special and this attempt at public shaming is ridiculous. For what it’s worth, I am 6.5 months pregnant and have a mental map of all easily accessible restrooms in the areas I frequent, just in case.

    This sounds like someone who is too good for THOSE bathrooms and will pee all over the seat and floor in an effort to avoid actually touching anything. Just a guess.

  162. Question for the OP: So, when a visibly pregnant, apparently homeless woman knocks on your door asking to use your bathroom because she really really needs to go, are you going to “honor and accommodate” her? If not, why not? Right now I’m shocked by your entitlement. Not because you asked to use the restroom, but because you apparently want to publicly shame the restaurant for not accommodating your request, when, as many have pointed out, you had multiple options, and knew the rules.

  163. yes. no proof of residency required

  164. This is a totally legitimate comparison because a place of business and a private residence are totally the same. If a homeless guy knocked on your door and offered you $20 to drink in your living room, you’d totally do it because that’s how restaurants work, right?

  165. Well your analogy isn’t apt either. If she had come in with 20 dollars, I imagine they would have let her in. A restaurant is a private business. If you don’t pay you have no right to be there. Asking to use their facilities without paying is exactly like knocking on the door of a private residence. You are asking for accommodation when you aren’t entitled to any. And the person in either scenario is completely within their rights to allow or deny the accommodation.

  166. I’ve let a mother and her two kids in to use the restroom when there was a festival outside our home. Not everyone, but she seemed decent and her kids well behaved. There were no problems, and a half hour later she brought back a plate of caribbean food. Awesome memories…

  167. what if OP didn’t seem “decent” what if she was sketchy and rude?

  168. I’m really surprised that most people agree that the Restaurant shouldn’t have any exceptions to their policy. In my opinion, a pregnant woman or an older person should deserve some consideration. As a designer, I know that they are not disabled, but the reason we follow accessibility guidelines is in part to make things easier for people who could be challenged because of their age or temporary condition. How about just being nice because this woman could be a (or has been) a customer in the future/past?

    I know of a pregnant woman who fell on the metro station and hurt her knees on the way to the airport. When she was at the plane, the stewardess refused to give her some ice to put on her knees because the accident didn’t happen on the plane. I’ve seen people begging a metro station manager to let them use a restroom in stations where there’s no restroom available for customers. Should the Metro Manager say no?

  169. pablo i don’t think that most agree the restaurant shouldn’t have any exceptions. i think most people agree that sure, it would have been *nice* if they’d let her, but what was even less nice than politely declining her request, was to let her partner complain to the manager, who then LET her use the restroom, and she still felt compelled to publicly complain about not being “honored and accommodated as a mother-to-be”. we can all use an extra favor/kindness/accommodation at some point in our lives, but when you INSIST upon it, it makes people reluctant to do so.

  170. I see. I think what got me was exactly that phrase. I come from a culture where a mother-to-be is almost like a special member of the society that deserve certain privileges. :-)

  171. I’m with Pablo on this one. Developing countries seem to have more empathy to go around, especially to mothers and children. And to all those people with “it was your choice to get pregnant” – your mother was pregnant with you at one point! Would you berate her for asking a restaurant to use a bathroom?

  172. No one is berating her for asking.

  173. “Developing countries seem to have more empathy to go around, especially to mothers and children.”
    They also seem to have much more “traditional” gender roles. Losing special treatment (good or bad) is a flip side of gaining equality, and while we’re not nearly there I think most people would agree we’re further along that road than most developing countries.

  174. Pregnant women are smug
    Everyone knows it, nobody says it
    Because they’re pregnant
    Effing son of a gun
    You think you’re so deep now, you give me the creeps now
    Now that you’re pregnant

    -Garfunkel and Oates

  175. It’s also a bit absurd for calling out the Heights on their “policy”. Maybe it is their policy, 100% no exceptions, or maybe you encountered a hostess in a bad mood, or one on her first day, or about a thousand other possibilities. I’m sure they don’t have full-length training sessions on who can & can’t use the bathrooms.

  176. The letter may be on the sanctimonious side, but Christ, how about some empathy? Unless there were obvious signs that gave an indication that she’d destroy your bathroom, this is an absurd reaction by the restaurant. Pregnant pee a lot, a small side effect of continuing the human race, is it really that troubling to let her use your bathroom as a modicum of kindness, especially from a place that calls itself a ‘quintessential neighborhood restaurant.’ Sounds like the neighbor who calls the cops on you for using a leaf blower they think is too loud.

    My wife did this once when around 7 months pregnant at a retail store that didn’t have public restrooms in Chinatown that we’d been in for a long period of time, and they were accommodating, even if it went against their policy. Had they not, not only would I have immediately taken my business elsewhere, it would be the first thing out of my mouth anytime that business’ name came up in conversation. The Heights has every right to refuse her service, and the OP has every right to badmouth them for being a bunch of rigid, unfriendly jerks just the same.

  177. It’s terribly easy to be sanctimonious when one has so much privilege.

  178. So do they let every mother to be, mother with children, elderly and or disabled use their facility? Becasue if not is discriminatory. Either the heights lets everyone in with a bathroom emergency that’s a none customer or they don’t?

  179. +1 thank you !!

  180. Finally a sane voice. Thank you. I checked out of this thread an hour ago because of the predictable lack of empathy. Glad I checked back.

  181. Really? I would never expect a place without public restrooms to let me use the staff restrooms. Their business is not providing you with a place to pee when you need it! Talk about entitled – saying you’d badmouth this business if they hadn’t let you use their staff restroom

  182. Sure, there’s some nuance to what she’s saying and what the restaurant did, but remember this statistic:

    100% of everyone on this plant came from a mother who was pregnant with them. How would you want a business to treat them?

  183. So do they let every mother to be, mother with children, elderly and or disabled use their facility? Becasue if not is discriminatory. Either the heights lets everyone in with a bathroom emergency that’s a none customer or they don’t?

  184. It seems like a smart move for a place that wants to be a neighborhood go-to. I’d add “please remember us the next time you’re coming out for brunch / girls night / whatever in the area!”
    It’s nearly free advertising.

  185. Spare us the slipper slope argument. It’s highly unlikely that a business that makes a kind exception will find itself overrun with pregnant ladies.

  186. I think the slippery slope argument is a very valid one in this case. Have you been to the mcDonald’s/ Chipotle restroom in Chinatown? They let anyone use that bathroom. Everybody in the area knows it. That bathroom is horrible.

  187. Public Facilities for everyone

    The problem is the “customers only” policy, not the refusal of a pregnant lady. I don’t think pregnant women should be treated different, but I think we should all be treated like people. We all have bathroom emergencies when we’re out and about, especially if we are blessed with IBS or Crohn’s or get a virus from one of these establishments that don’t provide their workers with paid sick leave. Let’s just treat people like people and let them use the commode. We need more public restrooms, and I don’t think a facility that is available to customers who happen to be buying something at that exact time should be able to deny that same facility to someone who maybe has dined there before, will in the future, or decided not to because of the rude hostess. It’s humane and good public policy – makes it less likely that those folks will never return to your business, like this couple who will likely never got back to The Heights.

  188. So do they let every mother to be, mother with children, people with bladder issues, elderly and or disabled use their facility? Becasue if not is discriminatory. Either the heights lets everyone in with a bathroom emergency that’s a none customer or they don’t?

  189. You seem to be copying and pasting this several times. The answer is yes. What’s the harm? You make it sound like a restaurant who does this will be flooded with people queuing up at the bathroom. That’s ridiculous. Maybe an extra person a day will use their facilities. What’s the alternative? A line of elderly or disabled people peeing on the sidewalk?

  190. I suspect that this is a reputation defender troll.

  191. I’ll bet the OP is pregnant for the first time, understandably excited about it and has had people fawn all over her because they too are excited about it.. She encountered someone who didn’t really care that she was pregnant and didn’t do her a favor by letting her use the restroom. She was taken aback by this because it is unlike the previous several hundred interactions related to her pregnancy.
    Her disappointment would be understandable. This would not make her entitled. What did make her entitled was sending in her husband and then getting on the web in an effort to drive business away from this restaurant, all because they didn’t ‘honor’ her. Most people would have moved on.
    The people that are taking the OP to task don’t necessarily have problems with pregnant women, but they probably have a problem with this pregnant woman and her behavior.

    And I can think of many medical conditions in which someone would need to have quick access to a restroom. And I imagine that if they asked to use the restroom, they would be turned away, too.

  192. I have neither a problem with the request nor the establishment’s decision to allow or not allow her in the restroom.

    My problem is with this woman’s holier-than-thou attitude regarding pregnant women and her subsequent decision to publicly bash the restaurant which both apologized to her (unnecessarily, mind you) and let her use restroom after the apology after all, making this entire ‘incident’ moot!

    Yes, pregnants deserve empathy and kind treatment when possible, but not special exceptions, as they created the pregnancy – olds didn’t choose to be old and the physically disabled didn’t choose to become so either.

  193. This bears repeating: When one *needs* to go to the bathroom the best course of action is to enter an establishment and find the restroom. Why give give people the option to make a decision for you they don’t need to make?

    The better question is why in the U.S. do we have to rely on private businesses to use the bathroom when out in public?…rather than a rant against a short-sided business decision made at the front door.

  194. “The better question is why in the U.S. do we have to rely on private businesses to use the bathroom when out in public?…rather than a rant against a short-sided business decision made at the front door.”
    Because, NIMBYs and no one wants to pay taxes. No one wants public restrooms in their neighborhood. Unfortunately, it’s a public resource we all need. But the almighty American obsession with “my property value!!!!” overrules common sense.

  195. I didn’t realize that was an USA-only problem – I’ve always found it more difficult to find public restrooms in other countries. The exception being Japan, maybe, which had clean restrooms in all the train stations. I remember places like Paris and Mexico City having public restrooms, but you had to pay for them.

  196. I’m fine with public restrooms that we pay 50 cents to use.
    But people don’t even want those in the US because “my property value!!!!!!”

  197. The bathroom at Union Station is pretty OK.

  198. i vote. and i would love to use our taxes for public restrooms.

  199. Oh please. If there were public restrooms in places like Columbia Heights people would be living in them and no one in their right mind would use them.

  200. even people not in their right mind need to pee.

  201. those self-cleaning ones they have in france (that you have to pay for) would probably keep people from actually living in them. you’d get hosed down every 10 minutes.

  202. yes! lets get them for dc!

  203. target is across the street and woudln’t even question you, so why not just go there?

  204. When I was pregnant, I was always shocked at the number of people who would push me aside to get on to the metro first or how often i would offer my seat up to another, more pregnant woman than myself (or someone more in need of a seat).
    I think OP is in the wrong – she should have gone elsewhere. I don’t think pregnant women are special. But I do think our society is more and more self centered than ever. Pregnancy isn’t a disability but sometimes people need a break.

    That said, wait until OP has her kids and realizes how few people do anything to help you. That, and if she returns to work, how unforgiving that whole attempt at work/life balance is. Perhaps this was a good reality check.

  205. Ugh, horrified by the rude comments here and the anti-pregnant lady backlash :(

    I read this one and my mouth fell open “Why should anyone have to “accommodate” you just because you’re pregnant? It’s not like you’re disabled. I’m sorry, but having children or being pregnant doesn’t make you more special than the rest of us.”

    God, people are depressing. Have a nice day, folks and I hope no one ruins your day by acting vulnerable or needy in your presence.

  206. Wow – Its not anti-lady backlash. Its the sense of entitlement and unnecessary berating of the hostess that is getting the backlash.

  207. Yeah I’m the one who posted that and the OP was not acting vulnerable or needy. She had her partner berate the hostess and manager into letting her use their facility even though she was not a paying customer at the time. That is entitlement at it’s finest. It has nothing to do with “anti-pregnant backlash” and everything to do with expecting special treatment from folks just because you’re pregnant. FWIW, I do have bladder issues (which is not a temporary 9 month thing) and I would NEVER expect a sit-down restaurant I wasn’t a customer at to let me use their bathroom. The fact that the OP threw a public fit because she didn’t get special treatment is what is riling everyone up- not the fact that she’s pregnant in and of itself.

  208. Well put.

  209. Maybe the answer is for the farmers market to rent some porto-johns. Otherwise, there are several toilet finder apps. http://www.everydayhealth.com/crohns-disease-pictures/five-apps-to-help-you-find-a-bathroom.aspx#01

  210. thank you for posting!! as a runner, and also someone with semifrequent bathroom issues, this app is gonna save my life.

  211. OP this is just ridiculous. FIRST, you should have strolled straight past hostess, said you were meeting a friend but had to go to the restroom first and would be right back. SECOND, there are like 20 other places in the vicinity you could have gone too. THIRD, not a single one of my girlfriends would complain and then have their husband go complain about an establishment not letting them use their toilet for a non-paying customer. Are you entitled to a toilet because your have one or two or three babies in your belly? Or because you are a senior? Or because you have a cast on your leg? No. It’s their decision and policy, now deal with it and quit ruining that poor hostesses day. The entitlement that some people feel for things (like pregnancy) is just outrageous.

  212. yeah, the husband thing got me too. smh.

  213. LAME, if you need to use the bathroom walk right on through the door and don’t look anyone in the eye, no questions asked, if you get stopped go on to the next place, total non issue

  214. i would have done that.

  215. I agree with the general consensus here but holy cow, the amount of vitriol in these comments is waaaaaay overboard. Yeah, “honoring” is a ridiculous term and she does sound entitled, but so many comments here have gone far out of there way to tear this OP down that something else is bubbling under the surface. Yikes.

  216. **their. Jeez that’s annoying.

  217. WOW! I find it 1) shocking that this woman encountered this attitude at the Heights and 2) that so many commentators think that it’s okay to turn away a 6 month pregnant woman who is carrying twins who just needs to pee!

    Personally when I was heavily pregnant I wouldn’t have chosen the Heights for a quick restroom stop. I’d either have walked over the Target (assuming I could walk that far, and OP probably couldn’t – I certainly couldn’t near the end of my second pregnancy), or to one of the fast food places nearby. BUT if anyone had turned down my polite request in a heavily pregnant state to use a bathroom I’d have been pretty pissed. It’s not a “business decision” it’s just general politeness.

    I did eat at the Heights once when noticeably pregnant. They had a wait for a table and when they told me this I asked if there was somewhere I could sit while I waited (it was hard for me to stand for very long). The hostess then noticed that I was pregnant, apologized for not realizing earlier and seated us immediately! The very last time I left the house before my youngest was born I went to Target. I had misjudged my ability to get out and about at that point and quickly realized that I was not able to navigate Target on my own in my heavily pregnant state. I sat in Starbucks while I caught my breath, all the time aware that I wasn’t a paying customer and hadn’t purchased anything. Rather than being chastised for taking up a table, a member of staff came over, inquired about my wellbeing and bought me a glass of water. Of course I didn’t expect this in either case, but in both cases I was treated with the type of kindness and consideration that is afforded to most pregnant women. Pregnancy may be “temporary” or a “choice” but regardless of those facts it can also be DEBILITATING to some (though not everyone).

  218. “BUT if anyone had turned down my polite request in a heavily pregnant state to use a bathroom I’d have been pretty pissed”

    see, thats you not being “polite”. that’s you expecting something that isn’t owed to you. if you ask somebody for something, they have a right to say no. there should be no expectation that they say yes.

  219. No, it’s me being polite. Asking to use the bathroom politely is, well, polite. Sure, yelling at them for not letting me would not be polite. But if I was “pissed” that they didn’t let me, it doesn’t imply anything about me being impolite to them just that I was upset by their response (unlike OP I likely would not have argued or got my partner to press my case I’d have left and ranted to my spouse about it afterwards – assuming I could actually physically and easily leave which in the late stages of pregnancy was hard for me). Further, I’d also venture that turning away a heavily pregnant woman searching for a bathroom is about as rude as it gets.

  220. you should rethink what it means to request something, even if politely.
    perhaps when one of your children ask you for something, but gets pissed when they don’t get what they want, however reasonable they believe their request to be.

    i’ll spell it out for you- when you “politely request” something, but only have one acceptable outcome in mind, you’re actually demanding something.

    oh, and i would have let her pee too. but people aren’t often as polite as they think they are.

  221. AGREED!! The sending of the partner/boyfriend down to bitch it out was absolutely ridiculous. And the public shaming of a restaurant for adhering to their policy – while including these details – is abhorrent.

  222. i’m amazed someone write this and actually thinks that they are in the right.

  223. Or it could have gone like this:

    Preggers: (In a nice friendly tone) “Hi – I really just need to use the bathroom.”
    Hostess (Possibly clueless, young, distracted and used to being besieged on Sat. with people from the farmer’s market wanting to use the bathroom) “Are you dining out on the patio?”
    Preggers: “Not today, but I’ve sure enjoyed coming here many times before. In fact, I’m probably about 2 to 1 in dinning to peeing here, so maybe we could call in one of those chips?”
    Hostess: (laughing) sure, go ahead.


    – Hostess: (still balking) sorry, it’s policy.
    Preggers: “Could I speak to a manager please?”

  224. I think we need to cut OP some slack here. I’ve been pregnant before, and I can attest to the heightened emotional state associated with pregnancy. Heck, one of my pregnant co-workers got honked at last week while waddling through a crosswalk and burst into tears – she still can’t talk about it without getting upset. When people aren’t as ‘kind’ or ‘accommodating’ as we would like, it can be extra difficult to get over when one is expecting.

  225. if OP was nice, i would have let her pee.
    if she approached me with the attitude exhibited in the post, i would had sent her off.

  226. Yes, technically, they owe her nothing. OTOH, being a good person or business means they could have accommodated her. It costs them virtually nothing and it’s a GOOD thing to do. We need to do MORE to move away from these increasingly common denials of interconnectivity between people, not less.

  227. When I was pregnant (also about 6 months), I had a coffee shop employee refuse to make me a regular latte because of the caffeine. I was upset, posted about it on social media, and received a lot of support. This pregnant women gets refused a bathroom, gets upset, posts about it and gets chewed out.

    Is the difference in these two situations that I was a paying customer and she’s not? Just wondering….

  228. probably not the only difference.

  229. yes- she walked into a private establishment and asked for a service for which she was not paying for.

    Like if a homeless person walked on your porch and asked to use your bathroom. Sure you can let him in or not . The decision is your. And its the heights. Again she did not seem to be in too much distress since instead of running to the nearest other restroom she threw a fit.

  230. or if a homeless person walked up to the heights and asked to pee! He or she would probably be in a worse state then that women but no one would be freaking out if they were denied entry.

  231. I don’t think anyone can answer that unless they’ve seen your post as well. Though you’ve described them similarly in the most general terms, the specifics matter a lot. A boat gets me to Europe and so does a plane…so what’s the difference between them?

  232. It would also appear that you have a legitimate gripe, unlike this woman.

  233. I agree we would need to see your post, but I think the main difference is some stranger was telling you that they know what’s best for you better than you do. That is much different than going into a restaurant you aren’t eating at and pitching a fit when they enforce their policy that restrooms are only for paying customers (which is not an unreasonable policy).

  234. You people are amazing. She is pregnant. Nuff’ said. She wasn’t asking for the moon for crying out loud, she was asking for a freaking bathroom. Maybe she was a bit rushed, arrogant, something, but, hey, she’s PREGNANT! She’s allowed to. Where do you think y’all came from? A pregnant woman is deserved of a world of respect and help. I don’t believe you. You’re what is wrong with this generation. Pathetic. Truly pathetic.

  235. A) She chose to be pregnant. She doesn’t get special privileges that other’s don’t just for this choice.
    B) Most people here are more annoyed with her attitude and everything she’s done AFTER the request – getting her partner to berate the staff into apologizing to her and then letting her use the restroom, having a holier-than-thou attitude about herself just because shes part of the 50% of people who can get pregnant, and bashing the restaurant online even after they apologized and let her use the bathroom, rendering her complaint pointless.

  236. Your mother was pregnant. Really – I’m 100% sure she was (unless you’re robot Dick Cheney). Given the sacrifices she made (body, mind, $, time, etc.) don’t you think we should have cut her a little slack while she was wobbling you around? Pay it forward.

  237. I do think people should cut pregnant women slack or at least have empathy when possible, but businesses have rules for a reason, and I doubt they break those rules for old people, disabled people, people with bladder problems that you can’t see, etc. You’re missing the point. The point is she made a scene, had her partner berate the business until they apologized and let her use the bathroom, then posted this online to shame the restaurant. That in itself is atrocious behavior. see: my earlier comment –

    I have neither a problem with the request nor the establishment’s decision to allow or not allow her in the restroom.
    My problem is with this woman’s holier-than-thou attitude regarding pregnant women and her subsequent decision to publicly bash the restaurant which both apologized to her (unnecessarily, mind you) and let her use restroom after the apology after all, making this entire ‘incident’ moot!
    Yes, pregnants deserve empathy and kind treatment when possible, but not special exceptions, as they created the pregnancy – olds didn’t choose to be old and the physically disabled didn’t choose to become so either.

  238. I think they were both in the wrong – the business for a dumb response, and the lady for her tantrum.
    Sometimes businesses rules are stupid and out to change.

    Remember: “Corporations are people my too, friend.”

  239. +1 to jspin321 except for the last sentence — I don’t think the “choice” aspect is really relevant here.

  240. Why does being pregnant allow you to make a scene in a restaurant? Why does it entitle you to special treatment in a private business?

  241. Because it stinking trumps pretty much everything.

    Let me know how you think about this when you’re pregnant, or someone you love is.

    Seriously, are we even discussing this? What is wrong with you people? It’s not life or death. It’s a pregnant woman who needs a restroom. Come on.

    You reinforce my feelings about this generation. I want to believe in us, but, then things like this. Pathetic.

  242. Your feelings about “this generation”? What generation are you referring to? How do you even know the age of any of the posters here? And being pregnant trumps everything? WOW. You say “this” generation is pathetic, but claiming pregnancy trumps everything is pretty much the definition of entitlement.

  243. Yep. People love to throw around the word “entitled” like it’s a huge insult, and in some situations it is. But where I come from, the elderly are entitled to respect, the pregnant are ENTITLED to some accommodations (including being patient when the pregnancy hormones make them react in ways you don’t expect), and everyone is entitled to kindness and decency from their fellow humans.

    A while back, I had a conversation with a friend where he explained that the youths of his country, which was about 30 years out of civil war, were the most entitled generation. He speculated that, because their parents had suffered in the war, they had then overcompensated and spoiled their kids. And now, these kids were brats who didn’t offer their seats to pregnant women, and were disrespectful to their elders. This thread reminds me of that theory. There are a lot jerks who never learned about respect and kindness.

  244. ” A pregnant woman is deserved of a world of respect and help.”

    That’s one perspective. As far as I’m concerned, the Earth is already dangerously overpopulated with human beings, and childbirth only exacerbates the problem.

    On the other hand, this country will always need warm bodies to pay taxes and fight wars…

  245. God will answer your prayers. Sometimes God’s answer is “No.”

  246. i’m very surprised by how opinionated i am about this situation! this post taught me a lot about myself.

  247. Just wait until this woman’s children are out running around in the world . . .

  248. Why ask? If you need to use the restroom badly enough (pregnant or not), just try to use the closest/most convenient restroom available. Asking just leaves open the option of rejection. If they are so against non-patrons using the restroom, they’d keep the door locked.

  249. OP – I feel bad for you reading most of these comments. As a fellow pregnant woman, I sympathize. Being out in public is tough at this point, and it’s always a relief when someone cuts you a break.

    Congrats on the babies!

  250. Agreed, OP is wrong. I’m even more baffled that OP had the nerve to send others to confront them on this fairly normal policy. I agreed with the first dissenting opinion– Just buy a $2 bottle of water like everyone else, and save the sob story about how your voluntary choice to procreate isn’t always sunshine and roses. No one’s obligated to treat someone differently because they’re pregnant, and I think it’s beyond absurd and entitled that she expects it. As a feminist, OP infuriates me.

  251. Well this made for a fun read!

  252. Y’all are just making a big deal about this because she’s a woman and looking for a bathroom. If she were a man, she would have just whipped it out and peed on the side of a building.

  253. Wow. Anonymous posters on the internet are full of righteous indignation. A couple of comments in support of the Original Poster, who is really getting unfairly berated below.
    1. The Heights manager said they had a recent experience with a pregnant woman who left the restroom a mess. Frankly, the way this is phrased, it sounds like The Heights is discriminating against pregnant women. Before everyone inst-rages on this comment – read the OP’s post again. The manager is specifically calling out that they recently had an issue with another pregnant woman. What if the manager had said that they recently had a problem with a black person? He clearly made a discriminatory statement. The OP is right to be pointing that out publicly.

    2. The OP’s husband immediately went to her rescue because she was unfairly treated. Everyone who’s raging below about her sending her husband in to berate the manager – take a breath and actually read the post in full.

    3. I don’t really understand why the manager decided to take a hard line on this. Just seems unkind and not smart. It’s poor customer service (which is a manager’s primary responsibility). He’s lost one customer (OP) and opened his restaurant up to a public (and well-deserved) shaming on a community blog full of potential other customers.

    100% honest – this is a memorable post and memorable complaint. Based on this, I will never eat at The Heights again. I’ve been there before, but won’t be back. I agree with OP. She may have used the wrong words in her Popville post – but The Heights handled this very poorly.

  254. I’m with you, Wow, and empathize with the OP. This isn’t about “rights” and “entitlement” . . . it’s about expectations of simple kindness from our neighbors. Before spewing more hate toward OP, commenters should consider that this could have been your mother pregnant with you. Is this how you’d want her to be treated? If so, you should take that up with your therapist. I won’t be patronizing The Heights again.

  255. “The Heights manager said they had a recent experience with a pregnant woman who left the restroom a mess. Frankly, the way this is phrased, it sounds like The Heights is discriminating against pregnant women. Before everyone inst-rages on this comment – read the OP’s post again.”
    Perhaps YOU should reread the post. The hostess – the person OP first interacted with – said nothing about pregnancy. She asked if the OP was sitting outside (i.e., is she a customer), and based on that, said no. When the husband “went to her rescue” (my stars and garters, where IS that man of mine to protect me?), I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that he berated the manager for not making an exception for a pregnant woman. (No, I don’t know that for a fact, but since the whole point of OP’s post is that the Heights should have made an exception for a pregnant woman, it’s a pretty safe bet.) And that’s when the manager made the comment about the previous pregnant woman. Plus, the manager didn’t take a hard line – he let her use the restroom (although again, she could have been to Starbucks and peed) in the time it took).

  256. dcd – Your comment makes a couple big assumptions and uses a lot of unnecessary sarcasm.

    You’re assuming that the husband berated the manager.
    You’re assuming that- in the same amount of time – this heavily pregnant woman could have made her way over to Starbucks. Discrimination against women based on pregnancy is a major and very real issue.

    Shame on all of these commenters here who are condoning the manager’s (and restaurant’s) poor behavior and blatantly discriminatory remarks. And thank you to purplepalace – it’s good to know that there are other people out there who won’t stand for this kind of behavior in our community.

  257. Yes no one should have to be given special treatment when pregnant, but are you serious people! Women bring life into the world and it’s an amazing thing, let them use the bathroom and don’t get on them for feeling like they should be able to use the bathroom. y’all sound like the same people who don’t give up their seat on the bus for elderly, disabled, or pregnant women, because we should all have the same treatment….

  258. this is a particularly rich story written by someone who abandoned who a cat she’d had for 8 years when she got pregnant

  259. Interesting – what’s the story here?

  260. wow, just saw that. amazing.

  261. Please go on…

  262. Here’s the link to the previous forum post. I don’t think the OP acted particularly well here (though I must say, some of her defenders are really hilarious), but I’m not sure what’s wrong with the cat post, or how it relates here.


  263. Personally I think when you get an animal you are making a life time commitment to give it the best care possibly can and you don’t get to get rid of it when it becomes inconvenient for you. So offering a pet to you have had for 8 years to random strangers on the internet and hoping they will provide a good home just seems extremely selfish. Similarly giving the pet to a to a shelter, and taking up resources from animals that don’t actually have homes and would die without the shelter, is also incredibly selfish. So I suppose this and the bathroom are related because she is coming across as very self centered? And also for all her talk of community she was pretty callous to throw away a living creature out of her house community that had loved her for 8 years.

  264. ^This. Plus the post said “Ever since I got pregnant, Zidane has made clear that he would like a new home.” I guess maybe I am clueless but do cats react to pregnancies that severely? It seems one thing to have had the babies at home and the cat is clearly being aggressive, malicious (i.e. dangerous) to the children, but I guess to me this reads more of an inconvenience than exhausting all the means necessary. I know plenty of people who had kids and their cats didn’t react well at first but eventually everyone got along or the cat did need to be re-homed but at least the effort was made first.

  265. This woman is making two people. I repeat: her body is actually making two other whole human beings. When women who are or have been pregnant point out that making people entails substantial physical burdens, they are often – as here – shamed, berated, belitted, and discounted. In other like situations, people on this forum urge posters to check their privilege and listen to, rather than discount, the people who have lived an experience. Not so here (“I know pregnant people who say it’s easy so this woman must be wrong!”) Pointing out that making a person is a remarkable physical act and, yes, physical burden, seems to have really touched a nerve. The vitriol it has generated – – I would call it sexist, but a very special kind of anti-pregnancy sexist – is deeply troubling to me and should be deeply troubling to all of us. I would ask those of you who have never been pregnant and feel angered by this woman to reflect on the reasons why.

  266. Nope, it’s the entitlement. And the dick move to publicly shame a local business that would probably be chastised for allowing this wondrous people creator to pee while denying a homeless women with no other commode.

  267. Get over yourself. No one is anti-pregnancy. People are anti-entitled people. Most of the time pregnant people are given lots of courtesy. In fact, this woman was. She was allowed to use the bathroom and got an apology.
    The problem is that she came on here to bitch about it, hoping to drive business away from the restaurant. Or that instead of just moving on sending her partner in to berate the staff. If she had just gone across the street, this is an anecdote that she could tell people and get lots of sympathy. Everyone would have gotten her back.
    If you really can’t separate the fact that she’s pregnant from the behavior then you must be a special type of dense. Unless you think pregnant people can just do whatever they want and just excuse it by the fact that she is making “a whole other human being”
    And one other thing. I respect mothers, I have one. I appreciate that she dealt with me pregnancy. But people have been “making other people” for a long time under much more arduous conditions than having to hoof it to Target.

    I say it again. Get over yourself.

  268. +1,000

  269. + another 1000

  270. Spot on!

  271. I love all this ‘sense of entitlement’ talk. So many of us can’t see or own sense of entitlement but are quick to point it out in others. How many times have you and your friends taken up the entire width if the sidewalk while walking and talking, or rolled your eyes at the person in front of you for having too many groceries at whole foods? Maybe instead of being so quick to judgment we should all take a look within instead of being so hypocritical and quick to judge the actions of others.

  272. Sure, introspection is always good. But when the OP posts a rant on a public forum she, and you, can’t be surprised when people express opinions about it. Or are you suggesting that every single person who disagrees with OP’s take on things should have thought, “You know, I’ve acted like a douche a time or two myself, so I’m not going to point out the douchy aspects of OP’s behavior.”? Whatever.

  273. How are your examples similar? Yes, sometimes I’m oblivious and take up the sidewalk. You could say I was inconsiderate. But I certainly don’t feel entitled to use the entire sidewalk, and will gladly move if someone asks me. And silently rolling my eyes at the grocery store? How does that in any way compare to the OP’s behavior?
    To all the people who are defending this woman let me flip what you have been saying. Why are you bending over backwards to defend this woman simply because she is pregnant.? This post would not have been tolerated from anyone else.

  274. Huh? Someone’s not going to do very well on the analogies test.

  275. What has happened to customer service these days? Why couldn’t the hostess allow it and just kindly let her know that under normal circumstances only paying customers are permitted? I am concerned by how many people seem to think that offering such a basic level of courtesy to a pregnant woman is such a big ask.

    Further, I personally do not like the Heights since their redesign and new management.. the food is not good and the wait staff are unfriendly. This just confirms that my pregnant wife and I will not be back.

  276. I’m assuming the hostess has been told that she can’t let non-paying customers use the bathroom under any circumstances ever. I worked for a small locally owned coffee shop/deli in college and was told that I could never give people tap water, they had to buy bottled. And many customers yelled at me and thought I was being ridiculous, because it was a ridiculous policy. But, if I had been caught giving out water I would have been in trouble with my boss and the owner and possibly fired. So I’m sure the hostess felt bad and probably wanted to allow it, but not at the risk of getting in trouble at her job. Lower level employees don’t get to set these types of policies, buy then get the brunt of anger from customers when they don’t like them and their bosses when they bend the rules.

  277. “What has happened to customer service these days?”

    What does this have to do with customer service? OP was not a customer.

  278. First off, don’t play victim, go live in NoVa if you want suburban charm, this is DC. Second, knowing it’s a city, why ask? Just use the bathroom and act like a customer. Do you think the subsidized housing folks ask? Otherwise, accept your Darwin award and own it.

  279. As people in a progressive, loving society, we should pity the pair of children that will grow up around that kind of presumption.

  280. You want to be honored? Than act honorably. There are plenty of people who have needs equal to or exceeding your own, you are nothing special. If you were too cheap to buy something at the Heights and too lazy to waddle over to Target it is not a major issue. And be honest, now you claim it is about “honoring mothers-to-be, but in 6 month you won’t give a carp about them and it will be honor moms with babies and then honor mothers with potty training twins. Just say HONOR ME an save us all time.

  281. Our public sphere is becoming ruder and more unfriendly because of entitled brats like you! You could have gone elsewhere. If it was an emergency, you would not have argued with the waitress and the manager, then sent in your guard dog (the sperm donor, whom you have not bothered to marry first) to bark at the manager. You are a selfish, passive-aggressive little scold. What does being “progressive” have to do with anything?


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