A couple of weeks ago, before a dental appointment at a small maternity hospital near the cathedral in Cagayan de Oro, I went to the restroom and saw the floor being mopped by an attendant, the strong, lingering smell of bleach hanging in the air.
I asked him about the tap in the sink, which was not working. He confirmed that indeed it wasn’t, but he pointed to a bucket at the far end which had water that I could use.
It occurred to me that the place was probably run on a shoestring, but at least there was enough in the budget for a washroom attendant, a humble yet crucial job especially in a hospital.
And I was astonished to see how happy he was, with a broad smile on his face. Why should I be churlish and complain about the lack of paper towels, when everything else was so clean and hygienic?
Foreigners tend to believe that only places like McDonald’s and Jollibee go by world’s best practice in the maintenance of restrooms, but that small hospital early that Monday morning showed me that other places also live up to that standard.
It’s all about attitude, and it was unmistakably there on that attendant’s face and his cheerful tone of voice.
—WALTER P KOMARNICKI,