|State of play|
Working in a team is a bit like the mother of all share houses.
|A sign of the most recent kitchen meltdown|
The rules of office kitchen etiquette have been described previously
The office equivalent of the Western front Anywhere tea and coffee is made and food can be prepared and eaten is contentious in the workplace.
a tea and coffee area on…well, on our side.
crumbs covering the bench top.
- Tea, coffee and sugar canisters are, please select:
- Dirty dishes
- Dirty wine glasses from Friday night’s Stubbie Club #notlimitedtoMonday
- No milk, or a skerrick left left to avoid going down stairs to the shop.
|Just one of the many signs in the kitchen office etiquette litany
It doesn’t stop there. Other challenges include:
- unpacking and stacking the dishwasher (if in doubt, just add your dirty crockery to the clean load waiting patiently to be delivered to their cupboard home)
- finding cutlery because it’s either hoarded in desk drawers or taken home to boost the domestic supply
- removing the cheese ooze from a favourite toastie gracing the George Foreman grill
- cleaning the explosion that was bolognaise/ tuna/ soup etc from the inside of the microwave
- leaving dishes to soak in the sink for a few weeks because you are too busy to finish washing them or you want to make REALLY sure the food is soaked off
- air drying your dishes because the effort to dry them and put them away is just too time consuming right now adding dirty dishes to the dishwasher full of clean dishes
- abandoning dirty teaspoons on the sink for someone else to….
|Eating other people’s lunch is not appropriate, even if it looks like your’s/looks better than your’s|
There’s no justice – just us
Office kitchen politics have brought the most strategic and intelligent members of staff unstuck at some stage.
There was the famous episode when a delightful friend went a little nuts after her fork was pilfered. We’re not saying everyone on the floor was strip searched, but it was awkward.
There have been a plethora of signs – “If you use it, wash it up” “Don’t expect the kitchen fairies to clean up after you” “The next person found leaving their crap in the kitchen will be publicly humiliated” etc etc etc.
|“If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate them,” Sun Tzu|
“In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.” Sun Tzu
There is no simple solution but here are some things you can try. You can take the low road:
- Lie in wait, ready to pounce, confront the perpetrator in action -‘Hey don’t put that empty milk carton back in the fridge! Get your sorry arse downstairs and get another!’#
- Orchestrate a position where you are in charge of ordering tea and coffee supplies and hold them to ransom#.
- Cover the kitchen in signs*.
- Impose a kitchen cleaning roster*.
- Collect a dossier of their crimes and use it against them????**
#Could be fun.
*Will not work.
**Okay, that’s just plain evil!
Or you can take the high road:
- Buy coffee and lunch each day. Don’t go near the kitchen it’s a war zone!
- Strategically place cleaning products around the kitchen to facilitate appropriate action. You want to see the potential good in people, then give them the tools to do the right thing.
- Role model good kitchen behaviour, ‘Hey do you reckon the coffee needs refilling? Let me get that.’ Extending some kindness is not really going to hurt that much.
- Take responsibility for yourself. Remember that other people aren’t you and don’t buy into how they approach office kitchen etiquette because it is as much their space as it is your space.
You can let it upset you or you can choose not to get involved. If you’re unfortunate enough to have more than one kitchen space, you’re fortunate enough to have another space to go make your cup of tea or heat your lunch.
And because you can’t win every war and there are some battles that are just not worth fight.
nothing annoys them so much.”