Me & My Mug – A Love Story

You know…all things considered, I’m a pretty tolerant guy. One might even say, I’m TOO understanding at times.

But there is one thing that royally ticks me off every single time, regardless of who does it.

If you’ve ever worked in an office and had your own mug…you’ll immediately know what I’m talking about.

The #1 law of office ettiquite:

The non-approved use of someone else’s personal mug!

I’ve had my office mug for the better part of 5 years now.

It was given to me as a gift by someone I still consider a friend even though we don’t much talk anymore, but the spirit in which it was given and the thought that went into it is something I still cherish. It has followed me through 3 different careers, and has survived many a scares with butterfingered dish washers.

The mug defines my personality pretty accurately, but it’s perhaps this same beacon of light that acts as the proverbial moth to the flame to that inconsiderate clandestine group who insist on pushing the boundaries of personal space.

I’m all for a good joke, and I can even find humor in the photo’s that arrive in my inbox, or to my cell phone on my days off, of my cup in compromising positions or exotic locations akin to the infamous travelling gnome, but there are lines that just should not be crossed.

Recently there have been two incidents which have threatened to tip over the balance of serenity in the workspace.

A few weeks ago, a fellow employee, who will STILL be referred to as the new girl until such time as she earns the right to have a name, made the irreparable mistake of bringing a guest into the kitchen and allowing her to select a mug from the cupboard containing personal mugs. (Which happens to be to the right of the guest mugs/cups).

I appeared in the kitchen for my first of 2 cups of coffee (10am and 2.30pm call times), to the awkward question of “um…where is your cup?”

What ensued was a manhunt the likes not seen since Tommy Lee Jones every outhouse treehouse doghouse search from The Fugitive.

Upon my discovery of the culprit…came my Hulk like transformation. I was sent down to my office to calm down, where I waited for New Girl to see her guest out. I confronted her in the reception and shortly afterwards received the below email.

It reasons like this why she will always be the new girl.

Incident two took place last week…and saw the return of an old foe.

A man of rather big boned stature is a regularly visitor to the MD of the company. Which makes him think he has diplomatic immunity when it comes to my mug.

As he is often there for 2pm meetings…there is a good and often chance our paths will cross on a regular occasion.

See…he’s a clever one…he’s in and out that kitchen like the wind. I’m pretty sure he takes the coffee granules and sugar with him in his pocket and makes his hot beverage in the cold war room known as the MD’s office.

When I arrive a half an hour later to morbid silence often reserved for new of the death of a love one…I know exactly where my mug is. In the hands on the Mr. Two Plus Three.

This is a battle I don’t yet have the weaponry to fight. But I’m getting there…and next time I catch him using it…You may just see the outcome in the next morning’s news headlines.

So to anyone out there who still has intentions of driving me to breaking point. I leave you with this old Latin saying.

Do not effeth with thy mug.


Tags: , , ,

87 Responses to “Me & My Mug – A Love Story”

  1. Christy aka Mamarazzi Says:

    VERY FUNNY, and to the disappoinment of your co-workers, who obviously love to torture you, can I simply suggest you take your prized mug back to your office space, cubicle, desk and keep it there instead of in a spot where any new girl or big guy can snatch it & put their lips, saliva, fingerprints on it? I’m just saying. (Thats what I do!)
    Thank you for sharing your hysterical story.

  2. whimsicalasha Says:

    Why don’t you just keep your mug at your desk when you are not using it? We have a space for dishes in our office kitchen, but I keep mine in a drawer at my desk so they can never be stolen or used by others.

  3. gringation Says:

    Wow. New Girl is not only disrespectful, but she also has some serious grammatical issues to work out.

  4. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife Says:

    Hope you and your mug figure out a way to be together always.

  5. Lina Says:

    Hilarious! Not going to try to make smart comments because I WILL fail but really, this is hilarious!!! Keep up

  6. gritsandgiggles Says:

    New Girl isn’t making friends, is she? I for one would be furious and grossed out to have someone else use my mug, therefore it stays on my desk at all times. If you dare take it from my desk then may God help you because hell have no fury like a woman whose coffee cup has been stolen.

  7. sylviangirl Says:

    Brilliant and hilarious post! And the above comment about New Girl’s grammatical issues is great 😀

  8. Sarah Says:

    Hahaha, love it. I keep mine on my desk and handwash it. I wrote a post about it not too long ago actually! It’s a phenomenon – people and their office mugs.

  9. Brooke Says:

    I totally get it. I hate seeing someone else holding the Happy Birthday mug… and it’s technically not even mine. I just like it because it says Happy Birthday. Makes me feel like I’m special everyday I’m at work.

  10. lifeintheboomerlane Says:

    So funny. In my office, nobody has their own mugs. But I’ve heard this before. On the other hand, let’s talk about pens…

  11. Classic Says:

    I’m sure this is sad; but I feel extremely protective of my coffee mug. My mom bought it for me for my 13th birthday and ever since, everyone knows it is MY mug, no one touches my coffee cup unless they have a death wish. Even when my friends come over and waltz over to the cupboards I wince when they see my precious mug and begin reaching for it… But they learn soon enough: no one touches my mug. I love this post 😀

  12. izziedarling Says:

    Hide that mug, honey 🙂

  13. Joey Says:

    My advice is to go out and buy an identical mug and smear it in all things that taste unpleasant. Nothing poisonous mind, just something which will be enough for you to admire the facial expressions after said person(s) wish to mock you by using your mug. Have fun!

  14. Maureen Says:

    I keep my mug at my desk. It’s a Star Wars mug, which makes it geektastic, so I don’t want it mingling with the lesser mugs in the cupboard or being handled by someone who does not fully appreciate its awesomeness.

    Hope you and your mug find a solution to these etiquette violations. 🙂

  15. stilettoteez Says:

    I had to crack up when I read this.. I work in a place that not only is your personal mug not sacred.. they will open the cabinet where I keep my stash of cookies and eat them.. wouldn’t be a problem if they snuck around and did it.. but they’ll just do it in front of my face..

    this is why I now use paper cups and keep my snacks in my purse.. only a matter of time before they start looking in my purse.. heck they’ve picked up my personal date book and have looked through it.. no boundaries.. fun

  16. chestercream Says:

    Great stuff! There’s a good comedy sketch in this somewhere, or a great scene in a play… get writing!

  17. barrycyrus Says:

    haha unforgivable

  18. getalife Says:

    Wow, you sound exactly like a few of the jerks in my office. How was the person supposed to know that it’s your mug if it’s in the corporate kitchen?

    In my office, situations like this happen with the smaller-minded individuals. My suggestion is, set your goals in life higher than owning a mug. Maybe if you set your goals for compassion, friendliness, easy-going attitude, you may actually own a house one day instead of being so territorial with your mug.

    • Paula Loves Marla Says:

      I feel your pain bro. I had a stash of cheap silverware at my last office that I used for meals. The forks and spoons kept disappearing. I’d make another trip to the thrift store to buy a few more, but they just kept vanishing.

      Finally one of the survey guys was let go and someone I knew cleaned out his truck. Lo and behold there was a full set of gunk covered forks and spoons tucked under his seat. Nice!

      I’m sure the rectal polyps I wished upon him give him great pain and suffering!

    • Anna Says:

      I don’t completely feel as harsh as “getalife,” because I can sympathize. I thought that your fire-breathing rip into the new girl was just exaggerated because you were trying to be funny. However, a certain degree of leniency should be afforded to “new girl,” except that at this point you have basically turned her off from really wanting to ever communicate with you again…At least she was trying to fix the situation. As much as you love your mug, I always find that possessions come and go, but the positive relationships you develop in the workplace are priceless. I’m not sure if you truly made the right choice here if you totally reamed her out.

  19. Marti Says:

    OH we gals over in the Diva Den think you need to hide that mug when not using it. That is all wrong! Never mess with another man’s (or Diva’s) coffee mug.

    I have a special one too and heaven help anyone that touches it.

  20. showoff Says:

    I completely understand you. I once saw another co-worker drinking from my mug right in front of me and not realizing it was mine. Another instance, the mug I kept at office which was gifted by my best friend went missing. You have to be very protective about mugs these days.

  21. She.Is.Just.A.Rat Says:

    I thankfully am not a coffee fan, and so am not subjected to this horrible situation. However, I have had salad dressing syphoned from the office fridge. Just awful! I’m all for sharing, but hey…ask maybe?

    I just recently posted a rant about office speak ( …you might want to check it out. Your rant made me feel better about how I went off on that… 😉

  22. politeandparanoid Says:

    LOL; this is hilarious!!!! I feel for your mug and the new girl. We all know what it is like to be new somewhere. At least she apologized! Most people would not have done that. I am not condoning her actions, but I think she deserves the benefit of the doubt… Right?

  23. CrystalSpins Says:

    Maybe you should just keep your cup at your desk. Or, if you must leave it in the kitchen, put it in a different cupboard than the one that holds the other cups. Like stash it by the forks.


  24. Brian Says:

    I’m not sure why you simply don’t keep your mug at your own desk, rather than in the corporate cabinet. Seems like that would solve the problem.

  25. Penny Says:

    Oh, wow. That is like breaking Office Code, touching or using someone elses Beloved Mug. I remember when someone used mine a long time ago, and I nearly had a heart attack – though it might have something to do with my fear of germs as well. LoL

  26. fireygoddess Says:

    i love a good mug.

  27. ltb Says:

    Ha! All dishes in the communal work kitchen are up for grabs! This has been the case in every office I’ve ever worked at. And this is why I keep my beloved mug in my office.

  28. Ritournelle Says:

    Hahaha I can really relate to that story. A few years ago when I was interning in a luxury company everyone brought their mugs there and mine happened to be a cool one with zebra prints my older brother had given me. Of course other women thought it looked cool too and I soon found it on other desks and felt so wary of those who had taken possession of it! But I used other people’s mugs too so I couldn’t blame anyone, could I?
    Is New Girl’s native language not English? Poor girl, it must not be easy to be a foreigner in the office in the first place, but you’re not making life any easier for her (I know what it’s like to be in her place).

  29. santasown Says:

    I enjoyed your post very much! Reminds me of the time when someone kept stealing my coworker’s lunch lol.

  30. scrambledeggshower Says:

    Mugs are a sacred office item. Not to be messed with.

  31. ninjawiththeorangetshirt Says:

    Smile =D

  32. Kate Says:

    Yeah, I would suggest storing your cup at your desk when not in use, away from all the hostiles. =)

  33. Anna Says:

    I completely understand about the mug, but also agree with others that if the mug is one of your constant companions and irreplaceable, then you need to find a safer, less public place for it to rest. In our staff room, I have a mailbox that is a small wooden box on the wall. I deliberately place it in my mailbox because a mailbox is a location that is considered private. I keep two mugs–one in my mailbox and one at my desk. It’s pretty much a given that mugs left near the sink or drying in the dish drainer are considered “public use” should a person be drinking in the lounge and be “mug-less.” However, I agree with you that people should know better and if they are going to borrow a mug, they shouldn’t be walking away with it and returning it the next day. That’s definitely over the line.

  34. Therapy Monkey Says:

    Great post. Your mug is your friend. You need to keep a closer eye on it. Some people have no respect.

  35. Chadi Says:

    I’m just like you, people who take my mug annoy the hell out of me… but then again NEVER LEAVE YOUR CUP IN THE KITCHEN. Wash it and take it back with you 🙂

  36. nuttyhousewife Says:

    love the mug story!!! totally agree…..YOUR mug is YOUR mug…kinda like someone using your bar of soap….just not cool. Im completely with you!

  37. Mary Vican Says:

    whew…why would someone want to suck on someone else’s coffee backwash residue. If it’s as loved as I think it is…it’s most likely got some wear and tear- is this not obvious to people? sigh…thanks for the inclusion of the Outlook email which scarily resembles my daily interactions with similarly simple-minded folk and brought tears to my eyes (allergic to polystyrene? huh!)

  38. monica Says:

    “Do not effeth with thy mug”..i love this part..

    couldn’t help but smile when i read this… i like the way you wrote it…..^.^

    congratulations on being freshly pressed!! I hope everyone reads this and realize the sacredness of personal mugs in the office 😀

  39. clairela Says:

    Hahaha, this is awesome! Engrave the inside or outside (or both) of your mug with “RESPECT” (add ” , bitch” if there is tolerance for such humour in your workplace). This way, it will be an instant reminder. Put your name on it, so no horrible-speller new girl can be confused. Tell her to buy a mug, fill it with coffee, and to take an English class. I know it was just an email…. but she was at work! Take a bit more pride in your job! How unprofessional… HAH
    I hope you win the mug-war of 2010. Good luck, my caffeinated friend.

  40. Linda Says:

    maybe a little safe with a lock and key at your desk?

  41. Says:

    So agree, am quite protective about my mug. Got it 28 years ago as a wedding gift, and use it every single day for coffee. I am very attached.

  42. Sunflowerdiva Says:

    😀 Great post!

  43. ragrobyn Says:

    I no longer leave my mug at the office. I take it home everyday to be washed and bring it back. WAY LESS STRESS for me. Great Post!

  44. Kerri Says:

    I so get it… I have 3 mugs at work and it drives me nuts when someone else takes one. I know I can only drink from one at a time, but please leave my special mugs alone!!!

  45. From The Pews Says:

    Hulk-like Moment Indeed!

    How dare those Plebeians toucheth thy mug!

    Ever seen those little Nail-Polish like bottles that are used to break the nail-biting habit?? Bitter as Heck!!
    How’s about dabbing a bit here and there?? Especially around the 2pm hour on those days…Hmmm??

    I’m just saying 😉


  46. peggyhogan Says:

    good writing. I agree, take control of your mug and leave a really ugly one for Mr. whatshisname

  47. Sepi's journal Says:

    Still laughing. That mug is pretty awesome looking. It reminds me of my old myspace background. My suggestion would be to place your mug on your desk ie.your territory,your space meaning hands off people!!

  48. beebeekiddo Says:

    LOL, I hear you, I keep my mug on my desk, and random people like to do me the “favour” of removing it from my desk while I am not there, and putting it in the dishwasher, from which it always makes it’s way to the communal cup cupboard, and then onto someone elses desk… much awkwardness when I have to go over and say “Excuse me, but please remove your coodies from my mug”
    I believe desk workers the world over can commiserate 🙂

  49. Me & My Mug – A Love Story (via Burgs World – A guide to cutting through the stupidity of life) « Pure Elsewhere Says:

    […] You know…all things considered, I’m a pretty tolerant guy. One might even say, I’m TOO understanding at times. But there is one thing that royally ticks me off every single time, regardless of who does it. If you’ve ever worked in an office and had your own mug…you’ll immediately know what I’m talking about. The #1 law of office ettiquite: The non-approved use of someone else’s personal mug! I’ve had my office mug for the better part of 5 years n … Read More […]

  50. misstede Says:

    I love this. I always kept mine on my desk lol…ahhhh, remembrances of office life. I’m new so look for posts about salons lol

  51. Dallas Bella Viva Says:

    This is soooo hilarious-I can totally sympathize!

    The biggest crisis in the relationship between my mug and I, comes when my husband butts in as a third wheel and tries the whole alienation of affection thing. I really get ticked off at him, and its funny, because other than that there are not many things that really tick me off. I guess I should try to explain my complicated feelings and emotions that result in my uber bad mood after my cup is found in his warm hands. Its just that my mug is the perfect size and the rim is so smooth to my lips, and the logo on the front is so cute-just perfection in the form of glass.

    You know, Diane Keaton feels the same way about her cup – in “The Family Stone”. Haha, only cup lovers would remember that.

  52. thilophian Says:

    nice post, I enjoyed reading it.

  53. victoria Says:

    Someone kept stealing the pots of hummus once so I know how you feel! Also, I have that mug! Although I think I may have inadvertently stolen it the last office I worked in…you had better check yours is still in the cupboard.

  54. ranchaway Says:

    I know about the mug and relationships with the mug. I had to take my mug back home, after it was violated severally. They put coffee in it. I do not drink coffee. I have now resorted to drinking water only.

  55. blackwatertown Says:

    I suppose the answer to the people saying keep your mug in your cubicle is that there’s not really any need, if the very small minority of people who take it would only behave like the rest of your colleagues – mutual respect, etc.
    But for importantly, the difficult character who you say deliberately takes it every time he visits. There is an answer – laxative slipped in his drink. It’s dangerous, it could get you fired, but he might be wary of drinking from your dodgy cup in future.
    But would you have the opportunity to slip it into his drink without getting fired? Hmmm – toughie.

  56. ccie3 Says:

    That is really an invasion of personal space. I don’t think it would be a good idea to leave your mug at home because of what it means to you…maybe you should buy a mug for the regular visitor of the MD of the company.

  57. bookjunkie Says:

    I loved your story. I have a love affair with my own mug too. I would probably keep the beloved mug at my own cubicle in case someone accidentally breaks it. Eeew I would hate anyone else to use my mug, particularly a stranger…would need to sterilize it!

    the new girl’s email to you sounds annoying

  58. kevinmorente Says:

    Cool, the same attitude here don’t mess with my coffee mug been using it for a couple of years too. I bought it a gift shop store it says “I’M GOING NUCKING FUTS” kind the funny so I bought it. I used to collect coffee mugs but got tired of it because of the clutter LOL.

  59. slowvelder Says:

    Oh I SO get this – had identical experiences in my last life in an office. It drove me from my country hoping to find better experiences only to have run ins with plastic cups and plastic coffee. I have returned to my country and I have given up on trying to be a grown up with a mug and now live in the african bush – with my mugs

  60. sunshineinlondon Says:

    Very funny! My husband is equally territorial with his office mug, and – horror of horrors – it went missing once! He then received a barrage of emails of photos of sightings of the missing mug in local, international and galactic settings! He did laugh, but was more interested in getting his mug back – which he did, eventually! hahaha

  61. bigsmyle Says:


  62. Someone Says:

    I use bottles instead of mugs.

  63. amybeth1 Says:

    Don’t touch my mug!!!

  64. Colin L Beadon Says:

    Working on oil rigs, 24 hours and often a lot longer, I agree about the near-religious- ownership- fervor, of ones own mug. Why should it be any different from ones own underpants, shoes, or wife ???

  65. eurybe08 Says:

    Great Post! At first I wasn’t able to understand the author’s point but as I read it again, now I see the picture. Thanks for sharing this hilarious story.

  66. Bugg Says:

    A mug for Bugg… Got to have one! 🙂

  67. lbwong Says:

    Nice post and it is a wonder why some people do not understand there are workplace etiquettes, which should not have to written in the company policies, it’s just common sense!

    My “new girl” incident happened when I discovered our company has front-row parking for hybrids. A nice discovery, except I was parking in the space for the “longest tenured employee.” Luckily she is much to nice to say anything and I was quietly given a heads-up by a co-worker.

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed! LB

  68. howtobeamale Says:

    Mug the mugger the next time.

  69. heartybreakfast Says:

    Really enjoyed this! Was feeling slightly sorry for the new girl until I saw her email. I’d probably hide my mug in my desk though as I don’t want to catch other people’s germs! Who knows if they wash up properly 🙂

  70. Rod Says:

    I am old and until I have passed in here I did not know that my love for my mug is not my monopoly. No, I don’t mind other people in the house using my mug but it will be hell if I don’t find them when I needed one. But more often when I found them I remembered placing them there myself and wife can only shake her head! I have a habit of carrying my coffee everywhere in and around the house, and sometimes in the streets, too.

    And now I suddenly remember my late mother. She had the same habit as me with her mug too! But she was more than me, because she always brought hers when she went the rounds of visiting her scattered children and grand children. Maybe it was just a coincidence that she left it behind in her last visit to me in ’86 when she died very shortly. I made her mug my favourite one for a time until I had knocked it off.

    I don’t grieve too much about my mugs broken but I had that one, fragmented in many parts, meticulously reconstructed with mighty glue and has it retired in a shelf. It has become my favorite keep of small things that I don’t know where to put for a time, since then. And then it seems everybody in the house had found the same use for it. I have to fight them off keeping their small things in my favorite keep!

    I never liked its art, though…beautiful colorful homes, black paint for windows, depicting no lights from within, without any life forms – plants, animals, people, all around them.

    It’s cruel of you to remind me of dear mother, thogh 😦

  71. sarahnsh Says:

    People just love finding out about those little things that just drive you nuts. Personally, I try not to let it slip what those little things are for my pet peeves because I know the girls at work would screw with me. I don’t leave anything at work, the people I’m with will either A) eat it or B) use it without question or an apology.

  72. sayitinasong Says:

    Totally!! You should NEVER use someone’s personal mug in the office… that is just rude!

  73. EVad Says:

    Great post!
    Some people don’t really care about someone’s personal stuff and will use it even it told not to :@

  74. Chris Richburg Says:

    Office warfare sir. It’s dirty. Taking a man’s mug. Shameless. I do not blame you if you go Taken Liam Neeson style on the perps. Foul things. As retaliation I might suggest picking up several annoyatrons or evil-trons from Thinkgeek. I purchased 10 of each. Worth their weight in gold.

    I enjoyed reading this. Keep up the good work!

  75. *Ding Dong* – Just a second, I’ll be right there « Burgs World – A guide to cutting through the stupidity of life Says:

    […] Burgs World – A guide to cutting through the stupidity of life Just another weblog « Me & My Mug – A Love Story […]

  76. Romi Says:

    Hahaha…laughed so much at this and SEETHED in frustration during so many moments! As you’ve seen on my Twitter things relating to office etiquette or lack thereof are so often the source of my rage!!!

    PS: that email was HILARIOUS…subject: cup hahahahaha

    A good laugh and I needed it, but also I sympathize with you and your plight! 😉

  77. magikdexter Says:

    Wonderful post – I completely agree with this vigilant attitude you have with the mug. I live with four other university students and I too have a precious chalice which I am ever defensive over. Not because it has any sentimental value; but because it’s the perfect practical measure for rice portions.

    If anyone uses it for purposes other than rice calculating, then the bottom of it becomes damp, the rice sticks to the bottom of the mug and I’m left infuriated by developments. Is that over pedantic?

    More importantly though I have a very similar looking mug to yours in my house . . . .

  78. Kape Drinker Says:

    Shocks, Totally reminded me that I left my mug on my cubicle, unwashed. This for sure, will keep my mug untouched while I’m away. @_@ LoL. Very nice post.

  79. Burgsworld: The Essential Collection – Part 1: Rants & Opinions « Burgs World – A guide to cutting through the stupidity of life Says:

    […] Me & My Mug – A Love Story The blog that made me a global phenomenon, got featured on the WordPress homepage, and turning me into the third fastest growing blog on WordPress, Ladies and Gentlemen – the blog you want to be turned into a movie. […]

  80. Denise Says:

    Completely pissed off about the mug.

    Completely pissed off about the email from the new girl. Pretending to apologise….she only tacked on the bit about the client allergy to make you look like a jerk. There were 2 emails there that she combined into one.

    I dislike her now.

  81. REASON Says:

    Ditto to my other comments about your complaining.

  82. Sumeshnee Says:

    By far the funniest blog I’ve read. On a serious note though. Who the heck uses a strangers mug? I hated it when our firm decided to replace the dispossable cups for glass banded ones. It meant that everyone drank out of a recycled cup that I doubt was being disinfected from all forms of germs and then ofcourse the communal dish towel which is an entire blog on it’s own.

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