Mar 3, 2010

To bus or not bus your tray

Whenever I'm in a McDonald's in Beijing, I'm reminded of the Mr. Pink "Tipping Scene" from Reservoir Dogs:

This scene reminds me of the tray-bussing habits of McDonald's customers in Beijing. I keep thinking of these couple lines of dialogue:
Mr. White: You don't have any idea what you're talking about. These people bust their ass. This is a hard job.
Mr. Pink: So's working at McDonald's, but you don't feel the need to tip them, do ya? Why not, they're servin' ya food. But no, society says tip these guys over here, but not those guys over there. That's bullshit.
When you go into a McDonald's in China, 90% of the people leave their garbage and slop on the table after they're done eating. They can't be bothered to take dump their trays out in the rubbish and clear the table for the next person, even if it's during the lunch rush when the McDonald's employees don't have time to clean up after them. There are always a few McDonald's workers around that will eventually clean off the table, but it's common courtesy to clean up after yourself. For some reason, manners go out the window at McDonald's.

I think we can all agree that McDonald's is a cheap, quick, fast food joint. Now, there are a half dozen quick and cheap Chinese-style cafeterias around my office for lunch. I'd reckon that they cost about the same as McDonald's. They're maybe $1 cheaper on average. At none of these cafeterias would anyone ever leave their disgusting filth on the tables after they're done eating. At the Chinese-style cafeterias, each and every person considerately takes his or her tray, dumps their rubbish in the trash, and return the tray to a central area in the cafeteria before heading out.

Like the fictional Mr. Pink, I'm very curious about this behavior: why do people bus their trays and clean up after themselves at the inexpensive company cafeteria, but they leave a huge disgusting mess and a table full of rubbish over at the inexpensive McDonalds? Both places are cheap and serve sub-par food. There are workers at both places that would clean up after you if you don't have the manners to clean up after yourself.

I can't figure it out.

[Photos from here]


Blogger jacobian said...

well your post just tell me the important in bussing the tray.I will try to make it as a habit then. :-)

7:59 PM  

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