When I was studying in Melbourne, I picked up the habit of cleaning up after I had my food at the fast food outlets because I saw locals doing it. It felt like I was only throwing my trash away.
Of course, I wasn’t always like this. Growing up, we had a housekeeper to clean up and I was rarely asked to clean up after meals. So, it was never a habit for me.
From my observation today, parents don’t do it because they assume it’s the responsibility of the eatery to assign someone to clean it up and their children don’t do it because…I follow my Daddy and Mummy. Doh!
The scene which makes it worst at times is the new people using the table do not want to clean it up. Most likely because what’s running through their mind is…
I don’t want to clean someone else’s crap left behind so I’ll keep on waving and getting the attention of the staff to help.
Sometimes even when they did “clean up”, it’s stacking the mess and pushing it aside despite having a tray to actually discard it at the proper station. #facepalm
Okay. If you clean up your stuff after you eat too, you’d know how I felt observing tables with patrons like this. And it doesn’t only happen at the eatery.
All this rubbish laying around got me thinking. The idea would be pretty extreme, however I feel if it wasn’t done then it would probably become what I could be imagining. Piles off big mess.
The Big Mess Idea
If there’s an eatery brave enough, they should cycle selected tables which will not be cleaned up after patrons have eaten. It would only be cleaned after a designated period or trays will be left on the table, for newcomers to use it and clean up the table. And understandably most patrons won’t do it without a reward, maybe the eatery staff could approach these patrons and reward them with a free dish or meal for their next visit.
Now, I know you may be thinking about how it’ll affect the hygiene of the place or whatever health excuses because food is rotting away on the table..bla bla bla bla bla.
So what the eatery can also do is sponsor some meals to small groups or individuals to eat at those tables. Or, they could observe patrons who do clean up the table and approach them for the reward. Because remember, I observed others before doing it myself.
And I do not believe we have not enough Malaysians who want to eat for free and teach the younger (and older) generation about cleaning up their mess.