A Case of the Trays
January 15, 2013

I was at KFC the other day. And as always, I made my way to the shortest line, mulled over what to have, and waited longer than the other lines because the person in front of me decided to order 13 barrels. Just another day at the old Colonel’s place.

Once I got my Snack Plate however, I couldn’t find a place to sit. The dining area wasn’t full. There were several vacant tables. But they looked like they’d just been used by ogres. Stacks of trays with overturned plates and ravaged leftovers were all over the place as the two staff on duty struggled to get them sorted.

To be fair, while it is a common practice overseas, fast food customers are not expected to clear their tables over here. It’s a well-accepted norm. And that’s just how it’s been since the first A&W opened in Jln. Tuanku Abdul Rahman in 1963. You line up, dig in, and leave the mess behind.

Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt to lend a hand. Stretching at 36cm x 46cm, the average plastic tray weighs 0.5kg. Assuming that the plate is made of porcelain, a medium-sized one would weigh around 1.3kg. With two plates on a tray, the cumulative weight is approximately 3.1kg -- no heavier than a contestant on America’s Next Top Model.

All of that boring math aside, the point I’m trying to make here is that it doesn’t take much to help. And with such little effort, we set a good example to our children, our fast food restaurants look clean to tourists, and some burden is lifted off that waiter doing the job while waiting for his SPM result at RM6/hour.

Granted, things might be a bit trickier if plates are involved; unlike when there are only paper cups and wrappers to deal with. So if taking the tray to the trash bin becomes troublesome, the least we could do is put everything on the tray after the meal and not leave bones lying around the table like a gruesome murder scene.

Please disregard any of the above if you are actually an ogre.


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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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