In the image @patrickjdennis_ posted, food and garbage is visibly scattered all over the floor. “I can’t believe I had to clean this” he tweeted.
@patrickjdennis_’s picture resonated with enough people that the tweet quickly went viral, gaining 17k retweets, 5k quote tweets, and 182k likes in just a few days. Many people in the thread replied with their own pictures of disastrous messes from their days working in movie theaters. “They do this on purpose,” one Twitter user said, “because they see the employees as subhuman and want them to have to clean it up.”
Some compared the phenomenon to the “shopping cart theory.”
The “shopping cart theory” comes up a lot when discussing these sorts of scenarios. The basic idea is that if someone returns their shopping cart to its designated zone without being forced and knowing that they will gain nothing from the act, then they are a good member of society. According to Glenn Danzig, the shopping cart theory is a “litmus test for whether a person is capable of self-governing.” By these standards, people who trash movie theaters just because they can are not good members of society.
Not everyone expressed sympathy for the worker.
Others responded with jokes.