3.28.2006

Cleanliness is Godliness!

I think most people who know me know that I am a very clean person. I could probably be OCD, but my particular compulsion is so useful that I don't think anyone has an interest in having me treated. I am constantly wiping down surfaces and straightening things. When my sister was visiting me at college she remarked that she could tell which bookshelf was mine because all the books were placed in descending order by height. Also, I could never have a kitchen with mostly stainless steel because I would constantly being wiping it down.

This cleanliness seems to follow the men in my family. My father, uncle and myself all have particular things that just need to be kept clean. Fortunately, I enjoy cleaning so I don't have a problem doing it. As a hyper-cleaner, I think that I notice mess more than most people, and I am constantly amazed by the way people act in public.

Take the bathroom in my office for example. There are constantly used paper towels on the ground right next to the garbage can. I assume, although I don't have visual proof, that after washing hands people just toss the paper towel near the garbage can. Great if it goes in, but who cares if it doesn't, there will be someone else to come along to clean it up anyway.

Similarly, I am blown away by the way people treat their tables in restaurants. I serve a lot of hamburgers at my restaurant, and they all come with lettuce, tomato, and onions on the bun. People will consistently take whatever offending item off their bun and just put it on the table. This behavior baffles me more than the ubiquitous salt/sugar/ketchup left all over the table with a used napkins residing underneath.

What I find amazing about both behaviors, leaving paper towels on the ground and tomatoes on the table, is that I know these people are not acting like this in their own homes. Sure, some people are just slobs, but not with the frequency that I witness these actions.

I have always assumed that people decide that because there is someone paid to clean up after them, be it a janitor or waiter, that they are not responsible for the simple act of cleaning up after themselves. Maybe it is because I am crazy about cleaning, or because I have to clean up after people as a waiter, but I find this attitude completely abhorrent. To be clear, I am speaking of people who are otherwise fairly clean at home, but don't perform these actions in public. This complaint doesn't apply to people who have paper towels strewn across their home bathrooms and tomatoes rotting on their kitchen tables. This also only applies to simple acts of cleanliness, not taking out the garbage or vacuuming and the like. The mere presence of a janitor does not absolve you from putting your garbage in the garbage can.

3 comments:

  1. just out of curiosity, is the front and back yards your dad's "thing-that-has-to-be-kept-clean"

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  2. Dad's is more laundry and how the dishwasher is loaded, but he can get pretty finnicky about the yards.

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  3. Amen. Whenever I eat out, I ALWAYS put my stuff in the bins, put away my dishes and racks on top of the bins in the slots provided and wipe down any spillage from the table. It's disgusting, the way some people behave in public, putting their litter everywhere with no intention of cleaning it.

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