I was down at Ikea a week back, it was 5pm and I thought, good time to catch a late lunch, thinking it would be quiet…but..no…as usual it was full and after queueing patiently for my meal, to my astonishment, I found all the unoccupied, abandoned table tops covered with the aftermath of meals..??! It looked like all the tables were vacated by recent scavengers..plates, cutlery helter skelter, chicken wing bones spat all round outside of the plates and trays on the table…really..were they people at all? Maybe.. if we look closely, they could be families of hirsuited primates, orangs from the nearby hutans.
I was really pissed and felt vengeful, luckily for me, my dining companion started to clear the table..?…I was like whaat..clear up after those pigs? Nooo! Well, pragmatically she said, she is clearing up for the old overworked cleaners’ sake and for our own sake as well, else..how to move on to our food? Very adult.
This brought to my mind two recent letters I read in the Straits Times which left me totally flabbergasted. We all know there is a push for people eating in hawkers’ centers (or other cheap eats) to clear their own tables, saves cleaners’ time, overall costs and make it easier for the next person (you could be that next person you know?). The first letter, as I recall was a true classic, (and I’m wondering why it was ever published? dearth of letters to the Forum or what?) The dear numbskull tried his darndest to convince all that self clearance will not work..and why… (and i put it as succinctly as i can, he was as a rambling inflated asshole)..because…, we do get served food in little hot pots, these are too high to be slotted into collection racks (like as if..has he not heard of customizing racks height?)..and oh yes, you know our bak kut teh (pork bone soup) and fish head soups..hey wow these are so bony, when we eat and we have to spit the bones all round…we can’t clear these..we got to spit them like everywhere because we are ..we are..wild dogs..yay?!! Yup, you can’t clear your own saliva covered rubbish whilst the cleaner who is not gloved and is paid a pittance can..very clever.
Then there was another letter (from a lady this time) extolling the virtues of Ikea’s system and how well it is working out (obviously the last time she went Ikea has got to be the last century). And, it works for Ikea (so she says) because they have beautiful rectangular tables and clean rectangular trays that will not warp, they fit very vell..oooh…nice…whereas our cheap eats centers are installed with round tables, so, the rectangular trays are rather inconvenient..besides they warp, all in all, very difficult..and oh, those cleaners, they are so dirty and the trays are so smelly, they should step up on their hygiene before we start on this self clearing route…wow (applause…). In her case, for any system to work, it has to be so simple that even chickens can do it..mmm, devoid of even a pea sized bird brain..poor thing. Er…excuse me lady..those cleaners are using standard issues from their Company, one dirty rag, no gloves, low pay..don’t take it out on them? Find them easy targets or good convenient excuses for your own laziness and lack of civic mindedness??
What do folks out there expect? Full board and lodging to go with your $5.00 noodle..and why not insist on a head massage as well whilst you are at it! Anyone who does not clear their own crap after they have crapped…sorry, i’ll have to assume that your ass really stinks! And it sticks to high heaven.