Like most people, I’m a fan of good hygiene, but I also happen to believe in etiquette and respect. Two values missing in this day and age. ESPECIALLY in the work place.
After my rant about my mug, people have come to understand my feelings towards upsetting the balance of the office….and yet, there are still those who don’t adhere to the non spoken rules of the “shared” areas of the office.
Namely – the kitchen.
It’s a communal kitchen, so sure there are bound to be conflict in styles, methods and habits. But there is no excuse for lack of your basic, run of the mill logic.
Add to this, that I am rapidly approaching some sort of meltdown point, and it segways nicely into a little blog I like to call…
Five Rules To Surviving An Office Kitchen.
1. The Birthday Cake/Catering Leftovers
While it may come across as a Survivor reward challenge, the time honoured tradition of the “office birthday” can be handled in a more respectful manner, if only the savages and greedy guts would respect the occasion. The object is not to stack your plate as high as possible as they allow at a Buffet. There would easily be enough for everyone if we had a 2 samoosas 1 slice of cake rule. If you’re in a corner office on the wrong floor – it’s already too late.
When the occasional conference or big wig meeting takes place, there is bound to be leftovers from the meeting. I’m all for this, because these platters normally appear at the exact time an inconvenient hunger pain strikes. However, to the PA, or secretary who brings the trays out and put them in the kitchen. Please don’t taunt us with mini sandwiches which have been picked on, disassembled and/or most often incorrectly reassembled. Chicken legs with tin foil on the end of the bone are only considered edible IF there is still chicken on the bone. And lastly, Garnish is NOT considered food – so mini tomatoes and celery should not appear on a tray by themselves.
2. The Fridge
If it bleeds…we can kill it. This quote from Predator is what always springs to mind when opening the fridge to get milk out. There are some eerie oudors that make their way out the office Fridge. Normally from “meals” that have been left there for anything between a week, and last December. If you don’t intend finishing your meal, or taking it home, please, I beg of you, give your leftovers to the hobos at the nearest traffic light. I’m sure they’d rather be sniffing glue, but hey, I rather not be sniffing whatever your meal has morphed into.
I mentioned milk. Now, I have to add this little irritation. Work supplies up with an endless supply of long life milk. EVERYONE knows this is the only milk the work supplies. I happen to hate long life milk. So myself, and my coffee partner bring in FRESH milk. There seems to be a misconception that we bring it in for everyone to use. Let’s clear that up right now…If I catch you using my fresh milk. I will bring you down. Bring you down to Chinatown baby.
3. The Cutlery
For some unknown reason, office cutlery is like gold. I’m not sure what exponential value it has compared to cutlery at home, but boy, the street value of an office fork, knife and spoon must be larger than pure cocaine. Either that, or we have a someone lurking in our office whole a kleptomaniac. There is NEVER a spoon around when you need one! I thankfully bring in my own plastic knife and fork every day to eat, and ever that it takes about 20 minutes longer to eat my meal because of that damned spork, its worth it. However it’s the spoons that I require more usage from. Making tea and coffee on a regular basis is what keeps me sane.
If you are lucky enough to find a spoon, there’s a good chance it’s a spoon that’s transition from the sugar bowl, to the hot chocolate bowl and then placed into the spoon rack. After what feels like hours of washing down with boiling hot water, you can finally use the spoon. When you go back again, there’s a good chance that same spoon can be found on the tongue of a big boned lady who is get that last bit of yoghurt out her giant tub of “fat free” vanilla yoghurt.
4. The Office Kettle/Urn
Much like the button on an elevator, EVERYONE feels the need to reboil or try flick the on switch of the kettle or urn the second they walk into the kitchen. Even if you are clearly standing there waiting with your empty much filled only with a tea bag and sugar. They then react like they’ve solved the Da Vinci Code. If only I knew to BOIL the water! Mystery solved.
Recently I caught show on the Discovery Channel about how and kettle does not refil itself when it’s empty. It’s a shame nobody else saw that episode.
Common courtesy would be to switch the urn off at the end of day. But one would argue we are not common people. Nothing like late night precipitation from the ceiling to let you know the water is ready.
5. The Microwave Oven
Most of us have microwaves at home right? Why then do people seem to use them differently to the way they use them at home? Perhaps I’m just way to naïve in thinking there’s a difference. Come lunch time, there is generally something of a queue waiting to use the Microwave, which I can totally respect, However, there should be certain sub-rules involved here.
- Unless you are the VERY last person to use the MWO, never bring in a lunch that requires 7 minutes of defrosting, then a further 5 minutes of cooking. Rather take your lunch earlier so that the rest of us don’t have to waste a 1/3 of our lunch time waiting
- NEVER EVER warm up anything that contains fish product. Or worse yet, some unidentifiable fish byproduct that stinks up not just the MWO, not just the kitchen, not just the reception area, but the ENTIRE building.
- Close the damn MWO door when you’re done. If I turn around and smack my elbow one more time on a gaping door. I will hunt you down.
- And finally, Microwave popcorn is NOT a meal. If I wanted to smell burnt popcorn or fake butter during my working hours, I would sneak out to a movie during working hours.
Wow, I feel much better now.
I’m sure there may be some additional rules here, but these are the main reason i should have my own kitchen in my office.
It’s safer for everyone.
Now…about those office toilets…