Secret messages to inconsiderate and entitled mess-makers

i-9dc84d4d9156dccb30d5f62466b4219a-swblocks.jpgDear student who left a 3 oz. blob of ketchup right where people step out of the stairway and into the hallway,

The dozens of people who will have to sidestep your mess this afternoon do not appreciate you and your laziness. There are bathrooms with paper towels 15 m away from the spot where you made your mess. I'm the mother of a toddler, and I know for a fact that paper towels will do an admirable job of wiping up most spilled food. Even if you didn't manage to get every last drop of ketchup off the linoleum, people would much rather accidentally step in a few smudges of it than step in half a bottle full.

The housekeeping staff is not your mother. Heck, even your mother would make you clean up a mess like that.

Love and kisses,
An indignant mother and stairwell/hallway user


Dear elderly male professor,

I'm sorry you spilled your coffee in the classroom this morning. I hope it didn't affect the quality of your teaching. However, there are bathrooms with paper towels 15 m from your classroom, and paper towels will do an admirable job of wiping up spilled coffee. You've worked in this building for 25 years or more, surely you've found the bathrooms and their paper towels by now? I'm also pretty sure that it's easier to walk the 30 m to the bathroom and back, get some paper towels, and wipe up the coffee, than it is to walk at least three times that far, take an elevator up three floors, and ask the female secretary to find the "maids" to clean up your mess. Your female colleagues who overhear such conversations with the secretary are much less likely to think charitably of you in the future. Confidentially, the secretary doesn't much like such behavior either, and I doubt the housekeeping staff wants to be called maids. I know that the feminist movement occurred well into your adulthood, but you'd think some of it would have percolated in by now.

Most respectfully,
A junior colleague who appreciates all that the secretary and housekeeping staff have to do around here

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Dear concerned,

I accidentally cause messes. This keeps the diligent and industrious janitorial staff employed. Fact being that I cause so much of a mess with my inadvertent fumbling that university has had to hire at least one extra person. This person and their family receives a fair, if not overly generous, paycheck and benefit package.

If I was to clean up my own messes the university might fire a janitor and I simply wouldn't want to see a hard working individual and their family lose their income and benefits. In these hard times when jobs, particularly jobs that pay well and include benefits, are so very hard to come by.

I abhor messes and in normal times reflexively clean up after myself. I suppressing my normal instinct in these hard times for the good of the community and nation. We must all make sacrifices to maintain maximum employment.

You know, Art, I knew just exactly the opposite kind of people in college. The would boycott the dining hall because they didn't think the dining staff was getting paid enough. The dining hall would have low numbers of a semester, and staff would be laid off. So I can see where your idea might come from...or not.

SW: He asked for maids? Um, hullo, this is the 19th century calling, we want our household staff back. You go out of your way to be nice to the janitorial staff, you sure don't insult them and call them "maids"! I bet his mail "gets lost" all the time. Codger.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink