Saturday, November 19, 2005

Discourse on a broken urinal.

My family and I go to the Wal-Mart SuperCenter at least once a week to do the bulk of our shopping. This isn't a post about Wal-Mart pro or con. I have noticed that for the last three or four weeks one of the urinals in the men's restroom has been broken. It is taped up and has a sign on it. This urinal is the one that is lower to the ground so that boys can use it more easily. The reason I notice is because Noah is three years old. Having been potty trained for a relatively short amount of time he needs to visit the restroom frequently. If he gets bored while we are shopping he has to go as well. So I am in this restroom a minimum of once or twice a week. Noah is quite unhappy about this urinal being broken as it is the one he uses.

The point of my discourse on a broken urinal is that it makes a point about priorities. As a father I notice when I go to business establishments what kind of considerations they have made for families with small children. I realize that the world doesn't revolve around my family, but I can tell when a business has made an effort to appeal to families. Little things make a big difference. Does the restroom have a toilet on a level that a three year old can reach? Does the restroom have a sink that can be reached by a small child? Does it have a clean diaper changing station? Are there water fountains that can be reached by a small child?

Businesses that make the effort are more likely to get my business. I have realized that when we have families visit our church they will notice whether or not we care about kids by looking at our facility. Small things can make a big difference. Is the nursery clean and well lit? Is it staffed adequately? Are the bathrooms family friendly? By not fixing this urinal in a timely fashion Wal-mart is making a statement. Whether they intend to or not. Often our church makes a statement whether we intend to or not. Just a thought.

No comments: