In an ideal world, none of us would be eating at our desk or at the office for that matter. Instead, we’d enjoy mouthwatering dishes at a fancy restaurant on our lunch break, but alas, we live in the real world.
The world where employees annoy us with their eating habits and the state of the office kitchen can make or break relationships and business deals, and curtail promotions.
Let’s look at a few pointers for keeping everyone happy and avoiding any unnecessary office drama.
Do unto others
This first class of kitchen offence falls under the heading of treat others the way you want to be treated. Basically, it means to take all the things that annoy you about using a shared kitchen, and ensure you don’t do those things. So in other words:
- Clean the microwave after you’ve used it.
- Tell the office manager when the milk or sugar runs out.
- Don’t let your food go off in the company’s fridge
- Clean up when you’re done.
- Fill up the kettle for the next person.
Few things can be more frustrating than arriving at a microwave only to find the insides plastered with last nights briyani or a river of 2-minute-noodle juice flowing out of the poor abused appliance.
You’d think that someone would put a little bit of effort into not having colleagues think their home isn’t an expensive garbage can.
Perhaps this whole segment could have been summarised to clean up after yourself. Remove the old food, report the milk and fill up the kettle when you’re done. It’s right there in the bible: do unto others. It’s nice to be nice.
Share food or offer to prepare
Remember that episode of Friends where Joey doesn’t share food? Yeah, don’t do that. Let’s watch that clip, we can all do with a bit of a laugh anyway.
It’s not nice to eat in front of colleagues who are also hungry. Perhaps they haven’t had time yet to take lunch. Or they didn’t pack anything.
When getting your food from the kitchen, ask if you can bring something for them or offer them some of yours. Sharing is caring and all that.
Don’t steal your colleagues’ food
We’re going with Friends again on this one. See the guy who stole Ross’ sandwich? Don’t be that person. Your colleague may just react like Ross…
Who does this? Eating other peoples food needs to be the in-house test for psychopathy. These people have no conscience; they want what they want, and they don’t really care what the consequences are.
Anyone caught eating other people’s food need to be instantly lie detector-ed and either fired or promoted to CEO.
Avoid smelly foods
How did you get this job when you didn’t go to school? If you had gone, you’d know that garlic, eggs and fish are not welcome in shared lunch spaces. Pack some celery sticks tomorrow and watch out for wedgies.
Keep your remarks to yourself
This is the only item on the list that I’m not entirely sold on. I mean what if they’re the ones who brought the egg and pilchard salad? Surely someone needs to point out the error of their ways? Though I’ll concede this is probably an area to tread lightly.
Location, location location
If possible, avoid eating at your desk. If you have your own office, keep the door closed and never eat in front of customers. Ideally, sit in the break room or other designated eating spot.
Outdoor spaces are nice, and it will give you an opportunity to disconnect from work for a while and take a real break. Use the time to socialise with your colleagues if you – and they – are so inclined.
TOP IMAGE: Envato Elements