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Office Madness (In which I rant. A lot.)

FIrst of all, I was *very* busy today. I've been proud of myself all week because it's been kind of a challenging week. We've had several people out for various reasons and been shorthanded, so some of us who've moved up in the world (okay, not "up" but at least into our own offices...) came out of hiding to work the front counter. So I've been very busy this week, which has been kind of exciting.

On the downside - there's been some crazy anonymous-note flame-war going on in our breakroom. It is mostly about unwashed dishes. Really, what office breakroom doesn't have unwashed dishes. I always wash my dishes, but it doesn't kill me if others don't. I've even occasionally cleaned out the sink for others, because that's life sometimes. I agree that people ought to clean up for themselves, but I don't think insulting, unsigned notes are the answer. I'm sure at some point in my life people have cleaned up after me when I've messed up. We're human. There were some other things referenced (people leaving advertisements and personal items) but the mess was the main complaint. I'm not sure how many different note writers were involved - I'm guessing at least five. One of the five has handwriting similar to mine, so I got accused of being one of the note leavers. Grrrr. I was not. I use the breakroom every day - I eat for about ten or fifteen minutes then go for a walk around campus for the rest of the hour. I leave my ipod case, my soda, my washed out dish, and sometimes my jacket while I walk and then pick it all up when I return. One day I found someone moved my soda over to the sink. That ticked me off. I hadn't finished it. It was marked with my name. I've been doing this waking routine for two years, so everyone knows it. I recycle the cans. So I do have some anger directed at whoever it is that's been complaining about the state of our breakroom as I feel like I've been undeservedly violated in a small ways. Anyway, after a month or two (or more?) of these escalating and cowardly notes, there's been a lot of bad energy built up. People are trying to figure out who the notewriters are. People are gathering in little circles talking about "have you seen what they wrote today?" Some people are writing *signed* notes back saying "this is my bowl. it is clean. stop telling me where i can leave my bowl." If the notewriter was complaining about having an "unpleasant work atmosphere" because of the messy breakroom I wish they could feel how unpleasant the work atmosphere is when their notes are discovered. It had to stop, so a few of us asked our supervisor if she knew about the notes. She didn't. Now an email has come down to our entire building with a list of rules for the breakroom and while many of the rules are good ones (cover a bowl when you microwave, do not use the break room for yard sales, announcements go on the bulletin board not the table, if you bring a dish to a sharedish clean it and take it home, etc.) - there are a few refrigerator related rules that are negatively impacting a lot of us who did nothing wrong. We cleaned our plates, we wiped off the table, we made sure things didn't spill in the microwave, and we didn't leave our food in the frig for months like some people did. Now we cannot leave food overnight in the frig. It's a full sized frig. I live 30 minutes from work and can't afford to go out for lunch every day, so on Sundays I make a container of broccoli or cabbage and take it in on Monday to eat for the next three days instead of bringing lunch every day. It takes up 4x4 inches of the frig. Now, I have to bring it in Monday, take it home, bring it back Tuesday, take it home, bring it back Wednesday instead of just leaving it there. Does that make sense? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - And I'm convinced the notewriter was only in it to mess with people or vent spleen because everyone knows unsigned snarky notes don't do anything but incite and enflame. I work with a real life troll.

OH - and on Supernatural someone has a note above the breakroom microwave telling people what to do!! Ha!

EDIT _ I did make a sign that said "I will pull this breakroom over if you kids don't behave!" but I didn't hang it up. I just stuck it up against the window when some of my friends were gathered in there reading the latest note. It got a big laugh - so at least that was cool.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
I have to say I HATE it when people leave their mess forever, but it's not worth pissing off the whole place over. I wouldn't leave tons of pointless notes over it. Of course I also work with really young people, so the stuff that's left is like... someone's leftovers for 3 days. On the table. So yuck.... but again, I don't leave pissy notes. I usually just gather up all the junk and pile it up on the trash can lid.

The thing about not leaving anything overnight is goofy. Most places I've been it was one week. I've left stuff in the work fridge for a few days. I eventually eat it or toss it out.

I think you should have posted your note.
Mar. 27th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
One of my coworkers has a minifrig. She's letting me leave my container in her frig along with her stuff, so I have a way out of the take home/bring back thing. But if she's ever out and her office is locked, I'm out of luck! LOL!

I think the *injustice* of it all is what really bothers me. It was such a stupid petty thing. And hypocritical, too. If someone was upset about a coworker's actions inconveniencing them and negatively affecting their disposition how ironic is it that their action in response has now inconvenienced and negatively affected *a bunch* of their coworkers. How is it that her feelings are that much more important than the rest of us that only her feelings matter and it's okay for her to mistreat others but not for her to be mistreated.

We definitely have a problem with people leaving stuff in the frig for waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long!! I admit to occassionally being guilty of that... I try not to, however!! It's always accidental and doesn't happen often and I feel terrible guilt over it. (I can count the number of times on my hand, at least.)

Some of the people in the office do end up doing more than their share of cleaning. What's funny is one of the people who was citied in an accusatory note of leaving her dishes on the side of the counter (they were clean and out of the way, but that doesn't matter) is one of the people who most often cleans the breakroom! She's one of the good guys and got slammed. I remember last year she even came in one Saturday and cleaned the breakroom from top to bottom to be helpful!
Mar. 27th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
I've been the one to clean the breakroom top to bottom more than once.

I'm betting that the person who was leaving the notes didn't even think she was negatively effecting people. More than likely she thought she was preaching the holy truth and that most everyone saw it her way anyway. She more than likely only thought she was upsetting the offenders.

Sadly most workplaces have these problems. If everyone was just considerate of everyone else.... this world would be wonderful.
Mar. 28th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
This all sounds so tragically familiar. We actually lost a frig at work over this.

If you aren't aware of it though, this reminded me of this: http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2007/07/19/to-each-his-own-microwave/
Mar. 28th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
I love the microwave notes in that link!!! I'm going to have to check out more of those when I have time. :) :) :) That cheered me up immensely!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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