I’m being serious. I’m sitting inside a Starbucks at the Westchester Mall in White Plains, N.Y. I was at a booth by the window, but spotted an empty table toward the rear. I moved my laptop, my jacket, my folders, my drink—and spotted the two cups, the wrappers, the napkins.
Again, who does this?
Who sits at a table inside a coffee shop (a familiar coffee shop, where the social norms have long been established), gets up and leaves their trash for someone else to throw out? Who thinks, “I don’t need to do this—I’ll keep it for the minimum-wage worker; the one who woke up at 6 this morning to catch the bus from Yonkers?”
Where does that sense of entitlement come from? Who in the world behaves in such a manner?
Back when I was covering the majors, I heard multiple ballplayers defend a teammate’s behavior by saying, “Hey, I judge a guy by how he treats me. And [fill in name] has always been good with me.” I’ve long thought that mindset was flawed—and here’s why. You don’t judge a person by how he treats you. You judge a person by how he treats those he doesn’t need to be kind to. The waitress. The trash collector. The postal worker. What are those interactions like? Is there empathy? Decency? Kindness? Or do you treat disposable entities like … disposable entities?
Do you leave your trash on a table?