Break room etiquette

Etiquette (album)

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If you work outside the home and share a break room with your co-workers, there are a few simple rules of etiquette that you (and they) should follow to make your breaks more enjoyable.

1. Clean up after yourself.  Now wouldn’t you think that everyone would understand this one?  Apparently there are a lot of people in the work force who think their mother  is going to come in and clean up their mess.  That’s the only thing I can think of, otherwise why would anyone leave food or beverage spills on the table?  Or a mess in the microwave?

2.  Push your chair back under the table when you finish.  Okay, this may just be one of my pet peeves, but our break room is small and, if the chairs are left in the middle of the floor, you have to shove them out of the way.  So just do everyone else a favor and slide your chair under the table when you get up.

3.  Don’t bring stinky food to work with you.  I’m thinking fish, but I’ve also smelled particularly strong garlic odors…so strong that you can smell them throughout the store.

4.  Don’t spread your stuff all over the break room table…other people need to use that space too…it’s not your personal table, it’s a shared space.

5.  Don’t eat someone else’s food.  Again, you would think this would go without saying, but you’d be surprised how often I have to listen to someone complain that their food has disappeared.

6.  If you bring food to share with your co-workers, bring enough for everyone.  People tend to get their feelings hurt when someone brings food to share with everyone except them.

7.  If you bring food to share, make sure it’s still good…don’t bring something in that’s past its expiration date….yuck!

8.  Take your lunch bag, containers, coffee mugs, water bottles, etc home with you at the end of the day.

9.  Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter or table. 

10. Don’t leave shared food that needs to be refrigerated out on the table.  Surely you don’t want to make anyone sick…right?  Right?

11. And last, but definitely not least, clean up after yourself.  Oh, I already mentioned that?  Well, it bears repeating…as far as I know, your mama doesn’t work here!


8 Responses

  1. Messy colleagues is my pet hate! How much effort does it take to clean up after yourself?!
    ARGH! 🙂
    Great post x

    • I don’t really know why people think it’s okay to leave a mess in the break room…would they do that at home? ohh…that could be the problem, maybe they do behave that way at home…

  2. I agree on all of this and just wanted to add one more. While you’re sitting in the breakroom, it isn’t necessary to give your negative commentary about each co-worker who isn’t in the breakroom. Didn’t anyone teach you the “if you can’t say anything nice” part of etiquette?

    I think hearing negative gossip while eating upsets my stomach as much as looking at someone’s abandoned dirty dishes while I eat. Yick.

    • hmm…I must admit, I am guilty of the gossip thing…working on it tho…I will just keep reminding myself, “Simone says if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Wow, if everyone took this advice to heart that would cut down on conversation by at least half, don’t you think?

  3. Apparently, that is a universal problem. My hubby worked at a place that posted a sign stating, “Clean up after yourself, your mother doesn’t work here.” He still complains about the food one girl (who moved away) used to bring that “stunk up the lunchroom.”

    • I’ve never worked anywhere where the break room looks like your kitchen at home, I’m not even asking that of people…just be considerate of the other people who share the same eating space…is that too much to ask? Apparently it is for some people.

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