One of my biggest pet peeves is leaving behind a mess. By now, most of us are sensible and civil enough to not litter, but yet we don’t seem to think twice about leaving a restaurant, hotel, or airplane seat in total disarray.
I think we sometimes take it for granted that staff members will clean up after us. We leave crumbs in our seat, tuck trash into side pockets, spill everything, and empty out our purses and leave it for others to dispose of. What ever happened to simply tidying up after ourselves? Is it really so hard to throw something in the trash can or hand it off to a flight attendant when they pass by with a garbage bag?
The other day I was dining in a nice restaurant and noticed a large family next to me. The table looked like a bomb had hit it. I know it’s hard to keep tables tidy when you have small children, but I was surprised that the family just got up and left it that way. There was spilled juice, napkins crumpled on the floor, bits of food everywhere, and empty water bottles that they’d just left behind. And, it’s not just kids who are to blame. Plenty of adults leave behind gum wrappers and a trail of crumbs. Or, they leave their coffee cup behind at the table instead of simply tossing it in the bin on the way out. Be honest: The last time you left a movie theater, did you take your empty popcorn tub and cup out with you, or did you leave it for someone else to clear up?
We may shrug it off and think, “that’s their job,” but it never hurts to step up and show a little civility and consideration. Respect the space around you and keep it nice for everyone else!