Just like home, the work kitchen is the heart of the workplace. There’s a lot that can be said about a company based on the kitchen. Everyone uses it, even if it’s just to grab a fork or napkin. I’ve even seen people go as far as to create gourmet entrée out of the free food found in their work kitchen. Either way, there’s some things we can all do better to keep the workplace kitchen as welcoming and clean as our boss intended it to be.
Your mom doesn’t work here and if she did, she’d tell you the same. Not asking you to clean the entire kitchen, but to at least put everything back where you found it and clean up your crumbs. If the juice was in the fridge, please place back in the fridge. If the cereal box was closed, close it back and roll the bag to prevent bugs and staleness. If it’s trash, it goes in the trash; not on the counter.
II. Don’t Be a Caveman/Cavewoman.
I’ve seen it. I’ve witnessed someone licking a knife and sticking it back near the pie everyone was cutting from. Not cool! The knife wasn’t licked before you came along and no one else wants your cooties.
III. Don’t half-eat something and leave the bag open in a drawer to be stumbled upon someone who is stumped.
In offices where there are goodie drawers, there’s always that person who opens a bag of this and that and doesn’t like it. So doing their best to reduce food waste, they place it back into the drawer and move on about their day. But think for a second, if you were in the store and saw a half eaten bag of chips, would you purchase it? When your co-worker comes back across them, guaranteed they have a moment of pause trying to ascertain if this was indeed someone’s attempt at not wasting food -or- if this was Booger John’s bag. Seriously folks, every single office in America has pests. Use a paper clip and post it to leave a note to close it back up with the story as to why those chips were not completely consumed by you.
IV. Wash your hands before descending upon group food items and Use utensils or napkins to select your items.
This is tied in with number two. We don’t need that guy that digs in his nose touching every possible muffin before deciding on which one he’s going to eat. Even if your hands only plan to touch what you are going to eat, use a napkin or utensils as it will set an example for those who dig for gold and heaven only knows what else (licks their fingers, scratches their nether regions, etc.).
V. Clean your dishes.
Possibly, in your mind, you have a maid AKA receptionist that is tasked with cleaning up the kitchen. Ask her did s/he go to college and then accept this entry level job just to wash dishes. If s/he says yes, then I guess just leave them on the counter and every where else you typically do. But there’s a 70% chance s/he or he will say no. And in that event, welcome to Adulting. Rinse it out and place it in the dishwasher or wash it with soap and water and place it on the drying rack. Pretend that as soon as you leave the kitchen, Simon Cowell will walk in next, looking for a clean mug to drink from. If he would look at your mug questionably and proceed to make you feel like the scum that’s laced on the inside of your mug, then, it ain’t clean. Clean it!
It’s 2017. Please tell me your office has a recycle bin. I know composting is a hard ask right now, but if your office doesn’t have a recycle bin, may want to bring it up to your Office Manager. So many cans and bottles are being used daily across America. If they don’t have the desire to travel to the recycle center, they can always make arrangements with a local homeless person or kid raising money for his baseball team to pick up the cans and bottles.
VII. Don’t leave food at your desk and do your best to clean up fully after spills.
Unless cockroaches are on the payroll or you’re collecting them for dinner, you don’t want them clocking hours on your desk when you go home. Use cleanser after spilling things besides water. Make sure your chip crumbs aren’t piling up to be their own mini Mount Rushmore.
VIII. SAY THANK YOU!
Seriously, there’s someone who has to clean even though we all strive to keep the workplace kitchen clean. So when you see them, say thank you.
Do you have any tips for At work Kitchen etiquette? Share and Comment.