our etiquette

I work in what most would consider your typical office building. We have elevators, break rooms with watered-down coffee, and long narrow hallways lined with gray cubicles. And just like any architectural piece in the city, we have bathrooms. In particular, we have bathrooms stacked on top of each other that can be located in the same spots on each floor.

Now, just to give you a little visual here, let me explain how our bathrooms are constructed. You open the door and immediately there are two rectangular trashcans in front of you. (Above them are some paper towel holders). To the left of the receptacles is a counter of sinks with a mirrored wall. And then, paralleling them, you have the stalls.

Normally in the morning, the bathroom is pristine. It’s still clean from the maintenance crew and few people set foot inside. But by the afternoon, this place can be quite a mess. There’s usually a coffee puddle in the first sink with water allover the counter. And, most importantly, there are paper towels on the floor.

Let me pause for a minute.

Now the first time I saw a few (used) paper towels on the floor, I assumed some ladies had missed the trashcan. Sometimes you grab that door handle with the paper towel and toss it after you, thinking it goes in. I gave my female co-workers the benefit of the doubt. But it happened again. And again.

The more it happened, the more confused I was. Sincerely, how difficult is it to put a paper towel into the trash can? You do realize that someone has to bend down and pick your trash up when you leave it on the floor, right? I really don’t think people have thought about it. After all, why should it matter? It’s not our job to clean up our own messes, right? -.-

This really bothers me. I cannot seem to justify it. The process of drying your hands takes more effort than placing trash into the trash can. We have become such a fast-pace society that is caught up in everything besides basic human decency, appreciation, and consideration.

There is no excuse for this. I know children who are better behaved. We are adult women. We should have respect for- not only the staff that comes in to clean the bathrooms, but respect for one another. We have a responsibility to be considerate of one another and to respect ourselves. So please, if you don’t have time to throw your trash into the trash can, maybe you need to reevaluate your life. Sincerely, I’m asking you to think about what is going on in that mind of yours.

Maybe you’re rushing to a meeting. Maybe there’s a lot going on at home and you can’t focus. Maybe you see that there’s already trash on the floor so you conform to it. Whatever it is, this little thing makes a ripple. The things you do- no matter how minimal they seem- are always noticed by someone. So please ask yourself what kind of impression you want to make on the people in this world. And don’t be ignorant.

Thanks for reading.


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