Scene: Midday. A field where workers are harvesting fruit. Two female workers (friends) greet each other as they meet in their respective rows.
Rosa:(In a soft voice) Hey Maria. Will you go with me to the bathroom? We can go in that peach orchard.---I have been holding it for a while now....I wanted to wait until lunch time but I really have to go.... I can't hold it any longer.
Maria: What, but Rosa. Why do you hold it? You know that can be very bad for you.
Rosa: Yes, I know, but what are you going to do? Thank God my bladder infection is going away and I'm getting better. The pills that the doctor gave me seem to be doing me some good. At least I don't feel as much pain as I did last week.
Maria: Yes, I remember (woman). You were practically crying from pain. Thank goodness you're better now. But if you keep on holding it you won't heal and you'll get quite a scolding at the clinic when you return for your check-up.
Rosa: -----You know, I didn't realize that holding your urine or not drinking enough water can cause a bladder infection.... and it's something serious along with being very painful. And the doctor told me that it's a common problem among us farmworkers.
Maria: Well, why not? Bathrooms or water to wash our hands or even to drink are many times not provided.... as the law requires.
Rosa: And it's worse for us women because, well, it's a little easier for men to go to the bathroom since they can go standing up behind a tree with their backs turned and that's it....
Maria: When I have to go I have to find a a friend that will go with me to keep an eye out for me. Sometimes I have to ask Nacho to come with me even though he gets mad at me at times.
Maria: Well, yes. But I can't blame him because if we're working by contract (piece-work) that would mean that we would both have to stop working and well, that's money you're losing, right?
Rosa: That's right. Sometimes I put off going because of laziness -- that I know is my own fault. Or if people are getting paid by the hour sometimes the foreman gives us a dirty look if we take too long to go to the bathroom.
Maria: But what are you going to do? If they provide bathrooms sometimes they don't move them close to where the people are working.
Rosa: No!....and sometimes the bathrooms don't even have toilet paper, or they stink really bad.... and it also seems that people themselves make such a mess that it eliminates one's urge to go.
Maria: Well, let's stop talking, let's go. Over there in those trees looks like a good spot.
SIXTY SECOND VERSION
Rosa: (In a soft voice) Hey Maria. Come with me to that peach orchard... to keep an eye out for me. I've been wanting to go to the bathroom for a while now.... I can't hold it any longer.
Maria: And why do you hold it (woman)? You know that's the reason that you got that infection. Have you already forgotten that you were crying from pain last week? They are going to scold you when you return to the clinic for your check-up.
Rosa: Yes, I know. I've tried to drink a lot of water and go to the bathroom as much as I need to... and also to wash my hands before and after.... But what can you do? If those facilities are not provided, then what.... and you know that sometimes one would rather hold it than waste time, because time is money.
Maria: (Bite your lip) I know. Sometimes I don't go because of laziness or because the bathrooms they provide are too far away or dirty and stink really bad.
Rosa: And without paper!.... (They both laugh)
Maria: Well, let's go. I might as well go to the bathroom too since I'm going with you....
Hello, friends. The law requires that bathrooms and water to drink and wash hands be provided proportionally to the amount of people working. You cannot be discriminated against for asking for or complaining about not having them. If they are provided, use them. Take care of yourself and your own personal hygiene. This is Jenny Rodriguez, from the Agricultural Health and Safety Center wishing you a healthier and safer life.
This radio public service announcement was produced by the Agricultural Health and Safety Center, Applied Behavioral Sciences of the University of California at Davis. For further information contact Jenny Rodriguez, UCCE, Ag. Bldg., County Civic Center, Visalia, CA 93291-4584, (209) 733-6491.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More