Today’s post is specifically for all of you out there that are managing the office & break room services (call it office manager, HR, facilities manager, administration, or even president). For the purposes of this post, we’re going to call you the Workplace Superhero (WS). Did you think managing the break room was going to be easy? Turns out it can sometimes be the most stressful part of your job. In our business, we speak with a lot of you who have a hard time corralling the break room into a livable area. Here’s the Top 11 expectations WS’s have, compared to what actually goes down...

11. People Who Have Health Restrictions:

Expectation:

They’ll manage their health concerns, whether it’s a crash diet or a gluten intolerance, by being aware that they may not be able to partake in office food and will have to be satisfied with the alternative.

Reality:

Hell hath no fury like a gluten intolerant person on pizza day, or a lactose free coworker denied the soy milk they need for their coffee. This person goes 11th on the list however, because their restrictions aren’t their fault and we’d all be cranky when denied pizza or coffee.

Life Hack: Check out our lactose free milk options, we have enough to please any health need.

 

10. Office Supplied Food:

Expectation:

People will realize that communal food is for everyone, and that they should only take what they need.

Reality:

The kitchen becomes their own personal supermarket and the good food is hoarded in secret compartments in desk drawers and boxes of sugar packets are slipped into briefcases to take home.

9. People Using Cell-Phones:

Expectation:

People will use their cell-phones respectfully and will moderate their voice to an acceptable volume.

Reality:

The whole office hears a very messy break up between Cindy Cellphone and Bossy Boyfriend over lunch and as she is telling him:

“we are never ever ever ever” you have to interrupt with:

“Cindy, can you please refrain from using your cellphone in the break room? You’re disturbing the office”.

“ever ever ever getting back together”

8. Pungent Food:

Expectation:

People are generally aware that certain foods, like tuna, cabbage, or burnt popcorn, could have an obnoxious smell, and so keep it contained. Similarly, other coworkers are tolerant of different tastes and quietly avoid an area if a food’s smell disturbs them.

Reality:

People in the office have become so sensitive about anyone who might dare bring in tuna, that a petition has gone around to institute security checks before sandwiches go into the fridge. You’ve typed up a list a mile long of foods that people “should try to avoid bringing to work as it may offend others”, but every day it seems some food or another is added to the hit list.

7. Where The Cream Belongs:

Expectation:

After people use cream in their coffee, they’ll put the cream back in the fridge so it doesn’t sit out all day.

Reality:

The cream often sits out for so long it has literally become a living thing.

6. The Coffee Pot:

Expectation:

If someone takes the last cup of coffee, they’ll make another pot. Similarly, if someone sees coffee that’s been sitting all day, they’ll brew fresh.

Reality:

Everyone, at one point or another, has had a lot on their plate and not been able to brew a fresh pot. But then the other coworkers tend to turn into Liam Neeson and hunt the offender down with a particular set of skills...

Life Hack: Get a single-serve system, check out some options here.

5. The Garbage:

Expectation:

When a garbage bin is full, someone will change the bag. Or at the very least, not put their garbage into it.

Reality:

With this one, a picture really is worth 1000 words

4. Dishes in the Sink:

Expectation:

When people use a dish, they’ll rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. If they have to wash it by hand, they’ll at least rinse it so it doesn’t sit all day.

Reality:

The poor person, usually the WS, who has to clean all these dishes at the end of the day turns into Liam Neeson again. Apparently he comes out at work a lot.

3. Other People's Food:

Expectation:

If someone sees another person’s food in the fridge they leave it alone, since it’s clearly not theirs.

Reality:

People have resorted to crazy measures to keep their food safe; one story we heard about was a woman labelling her milk “breast milk”… and it still went missing. When food (a.k.a. precious gold) does get stolen, there’s a lot of yelling.

2. Food In the Refrigerator:

Expectation:

When food is past it’s prime, the person who brought it in will throw it away.

Reality:

Be Afraid. 

1. The Microwave:

Ok, this one is #1 because it’s a HUGE pet peeve so this is a bit biased. Nevertheless, according to some of our WS friends, it is really an annoying problem for others as well

 

Expectation:

People will cover their food before heating it up, and wipe up messes that may be made.

Reality:

Well, you know what happens...