June 15th, 2008

Mind Your Office Refrigerator Etiquette

by Jacqueline Whitmore


According to a survey by executive job site TheLadders.com, the worst office faux pas is someone eating someone else’s food from the communal refrigerator. Office workers are very protective of their lunch. If it’s not yours, then leave it alone. I once heard a story about a person who took someone’s salad out of the office refrigerator, ate half of it, and then put it back in the refrigerator for the owner to eat. What nerve!

I recommend that the office refrigerator be completely cleaned out every Friday. Yes, and I do mean everything must go! Otherwise, that week-old tuna fish sandwich will smell much worse than it did when the owner originally placed it in the refrigerator.

Furthermore, people don’t like to see their lunch mashed, mangled, pushed around or treated disgracefully as a result of another worker’s general lack of office refrigerator etiquette. Please be kind to your coworker’s lunch when placing your own in the fridge. If the fridge is crowded, then instead of shoving aside everyone else’s food, try putting some of your great organizational skills to use and gently rearrange some things. Chances are you’ll find some room and everyone’s lunch will still be able to share space in relative harmony.

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Comments

One Response to “Mind Your Office Refrigerator Etiquette”

  1. Maxine Barnett on February 17th, 2010 1:19 pm

    Recently I was doing some resaearch on Civiility in the the workplace and was blown away when i was told about the poor refrigerator etiquette in a particular workplace.In this case the meat was taken and the rest of the lunch put back in the refrigerator….cardinal sin! This actually happened.

    During my research I also learned tha this refrigerator incivility problem crosses cultures,genders,industires. Amazing!

    Corporations need to remember that the workplace is a melting pot for folks from all walks of life.Perhaps including refrigerator etiquette as part of the orientation program may help.

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