Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was walking into the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport building in The Hague on Monday when he dropped coffee.
In a bid to clean up his mess, the head of a major European government reached for a mop — and started swiping at the spill.
As they saw what he was doing, the building’s uniformed cleaning staff stood next to him and clapped and cheered. “Do you have a bucket?” the prime minister was overheard asking, according to Dutch broadcaster NOS.
Rutte’s act of cleaning up after his mistake wasn’t a big story in the Netherlands. Some Dutch readers criticized outlets such as NOS for picking up on the story, saying it was not news and just normal for people to clean up after themselves as Rutte had.
But the video of the Dutch leader mopping his coffee spread quickly on social media on Tuesday and Wednesday, with many readers in other countries voicing surprise that a world leader would take the time to clean up his own mess.
The video was shared on BBC Arabic’s Facebook page, where it has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
The top comment on the story suggests that in some other countries, the reaction might have been to “execute the coffee seller.”