Monday, January 26, 2015

Possible Reasons You Left Your Dishes on the Table in Cafe Mac

Recently, the messes made by people, very likely people of middle or upper class, in campus spaces, particularly spaces cleaned up by people who are likely working class, have been disturbing me. Cups and dirty, partially-eaten-off plates are common scenes at least once every Cafe Mac meal. The Campus Center I sit in is trashed with newspaper, somebody's reading, somebody's bag lunch, and a crumpled up popcorn bag- and that's only the space I can see without using peripheral vision. But I like to give people the benefit of the doubt/ I don't like thinking I live on a campus of unfeeling slobs who look at a Cafe Mac worker and think "personal maid." So here are some other possible reasons you didn't pick up after yourself:

1) You forgot a cup (a thing that happens to the best of us once in a blue moon) and you don't have any friends/frenemies/fellow introvert/reader/busy people at the bar to remind you of your lost, sad, cup, destined to be looked at with disgust as someone weighs it as a negative factor in whether to sit at that table next and shuffled away from everyone's food, still not picked up after each proximal group leaves. That poor cup.

2) Your mother/father/parental figure literally always picked up after you and are such helicopter parents that they are still hovering somewhere nearby... but sometimes they need to blink or sleep or something, so they miss some of the garbage.

3) Your friends have magical powers (cool!) (but can't totally control them yet- less cool...) and accidentally turned your mess invisible to only you, causing you to think you already picked it up.

4) You are not actually a student, but a visiting anthropologist. You have adopted the practice of leaving messes everywhere because you have seen it so much you have identified it as part of the culture here. You have to fit in as a part of your research methods.

5) You are leaving a trail of your belongings behind you in case you get lost or are kidnapped.

6) You are attempting to ruin the image of the college for some wrong it has done to you by literally ruining its image. You're starting small, but rearranging the furniture is next.

7) You think it would be better for the environment not to throw your trash away so it never reaches a landfill.

8) Cafe Mac just seems SO MUCH like a restaurant why on earth would they not have busboys?

Yeahhhh... those are pretty likely scenarios. But in the event that leaving your messes for others (likely your peers who need this work study job, damn it) is a frequent occurrence for you, I suggest that you

and maybe we can all have a more thoughtful, easier, and less unsightly future.

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