Clean Is Not An Adjective – Musings of a Hospitality Educator

Ms. Avril Sule, Project Consultant

There are certain adjectives that are never finite. Take for instance the term ‘a learned person’… since one never really knows everything about everything shouldn’t it be a learning person ? The word ‘clean’ is another. Cleaning is never quite complete – it is a continuous cycle that requires to be assessed, improved and innovated.

With technology racing ahead at a breakneck speed, cleaning has moved forward in leaps and bounds… sometimes steps are retraced and often deviated to a more suitable path. Keeping up with the pace of advancement can leave us breathless (oops! wrong word for current times).

Ever heard of the phrase ‘playing God’? When someone plays God, they use their power or authority to make important decisions that have a very powerful and significant effect on other people’s lives. At this moment, as leaders of different genres across the planet ‘play God’, we realize that the commonly used expression ‘Cleanliness in next to Godliness’ is indeed closer to the truth than ever before. We, in India, pride ourselves on our immunity superpower. People (often from the upper strata of society) coughing and sneezing without covering their mouth or spitting on the roadside is commonplace and until now had to be endured. Many years ago while travelling in the London Underground, a passenger coughed (just once). The lady sitting opposite him jumped from her seat and moved away to the far of the compartment shouting repeatedly and somewhat hysterically, “He didn’t cover his mouth”. We were startled at this reaction, but now I understand why. A month ago we were seated in a restaurant for breakfast and I choked over what I was eating. Instantly the people sitting at the adjacent table covered their mouth for the rest of the meal.

Sanitation, Hygiene and Cleanliness are intrinsically entwined and while there are multiple dimensions for achieving this, it is a moment to review and amend processes lest we remain stuck in the belief that ‘Cleanliness is Next to Impossible!’