NEW YORK - Five new restroom ambassadors will soon be tweeting from toilets at Times Square after beating hundreds of hopefuls for the coveted jobs.
They won a contest that included aspiring actors, students and even a businessman hoping to seed his enterprise for the jobs to greet and chat with tourists and hoards of holiday shoppers visiting the Manhattan restrooms.
Each winner will collect $10,000 for six weeks of work.
In addition to welcoming the guests, the ambassadors will comment and blog about their experience on social networking web sites Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
We're going to connect the world with the Times Square Charmin bathrooms, said Cody Melton, 31, a comedian and one of the new ambassadors.
Although they aren't sure what to expect when the guests stream through the restrooms set up each year by toilet paper maker Charmin, the ambassadors believe visitors will be grateful for the experience in a city notorious for its dearth of public restrooms.
There's nothing worse than being in New York and having to go, said Annie Paulson, a 31-year old cellist who landed a job.
I often find myself buying cups of coffee that I don't want in order to feel justified to use a restroom in a coffee shop. Or I'll try to look like I know where I'm going and walk into a hotel, she said.
Other winners announced at the opening ceremony of the toilets include a 32-year old children's theater teacher, a 32-year old former office administrator, and an unemployed 68-year old woman.
This is the fourth year Charmin has set up the approximately 20 restrooms, which will also have iPods and televisions within reach of their porcelain seats. The company said it wanted to enhance the experience so they added the ambassador jobs.
The lucrative contest drew hundreds of hopefuls as the U.S. economy is still feeling the effects of the worse recession in decades, with jobless figures at around 10 percent.
The company estimates about 500,000 people will use the toilets which will be open every day except Christmas until the end of the year.
Any video footage uploaded to the Internet from the site will be family friendly, it added.
The ambassadors will banter with guests headed in and out of the toilets on the second floor of a Broadway building and write about the experience.
(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Patricia Reaney)