Arguing with Myself: Of Common Courtesy, Sensitivity, and Responsibility

You know what grinds my gears? This:

And what makes me even more indignant is the fact that I see this every day, and almost in every 7-Eleven stores I go to. Now, why does this grind my gear? Simply because 7-Eleven is not a restaurant; it is a convenience store.

I want to raise three points here: common courtesy, sensitivity, and responsibility, and I want to address these to everyone who reads my blog.

Common Courtesy

We Filipinos have been too comfortable with the idea that there are people who clean after our own mess, but we shouldn’t live with that in mind. We complain that the Philippines is not a progressive country, but isn’t it ironic that most of us cannot even dispose their garbage properly? This scene in 7-Eleven is a daily thing, and I won’t hesitate to mention that most people who do this are employees of a local BPO/contact center in JY Square Mall and students of a nearby university (USPF).

For the love of gods, can they not tell that 7-Eleven is not a restaurant with a busboy to clean after their mess? Have they not looked at the receipt of what they bought? We only pay for whatever we buy from 7-Eleven (and that’s inclusive of the government mandated value added tax); there is no service charge included as payment for someone to clean after our own mess. Just because they provided tables and chairs for you to use does not mean you can leave your trash there as well. It’s common courtesy to pick up your trash and dispose it; there are trash bins in 7-Eleven. Surely, those papers and plastics aren’t that heavy for you to carry after you have eaten. You also do not need reminding because, for gods sake, that is your own trash! So why not just carry it with you when you leave and dispose it properly than leave it on the table?


Concerning this topic, I would also like to raise the things I see on fast food chains, like McDonald’s, Jollibee, Chowking, and the likes: messy tables left by customers. Now, you might think that leaving your empty plates on the table is acceptable since it is a fast food chain, yes. But leaving it messy like hogs ate on it? Now that is a different story.

The people who work there work their asses off for more than eight hours a day, and gods know how tiresome that is. Why can’t we be sensitive and just leave our table clean like the civilized people that we are? We don’t want our dining table at home messy, so why leave a dining table in a fast food chain like it was ravaged by barbarians? Isn’t that a sign of how uncivilized you are, leaving your table messy? Being sensitive to others isn’t a crime, people. It’s actually a sign of compassion.


Didn’t our parents raise us to become responsible adults? If yours didn’t, then, I am so sorry. I am so, so sorry. What I want to raise here is that we should be responsible for our actions and all their ripples. You bought a snack and ate it? Dispose the trash after; don’t wait for someone to do it for you. You fell on a rather long line on a fast food chain? Don’t blame the cashier for being too slow; you lined up there yourself. You may not be able to control other factors of it, but you can still be responsible and act nicely.

And now, before you bash me and accuse me of hypocrisy, let me tell you: Yes, I clean after my own mess on convenience stores, fast food chains, and even karenderyas. You can ask other people about that, and they’ll tell you it’s true. I wouldn’t be indignant about this let alone post a blog if I myself partake in this nonsense. So please, the next time you eat out, have the common courtesy, sensitivity, and responsibility to clean after your own mess, even if you paid for a service charge, leaving the table “unmessy” would not hurt you.


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