Mind your Manners: Five Golden Rules for Office Pantries
The Unwritten Code of Ethics
“You stay not because of the job, nor the pay, but because of the people you work with.”
No one wants to work with a rude person.
Be it our boss, our co-workers, or even our subordinates – let’s be honest and admit that there had been times when we want to pull our hairs out because of frustration. Deep, anger inciting frustration because we find ourselves with people who for some unknown reason had found it convenient to leave their manners at home.
Unnecessary bantering in the conference table, putting up smelly feet on desks, cutting the lines in the photocopying machine – these are just some examples of bad behaviours that irritates most of us in the office. In every corner of our office premises, there would be one or two shameless office mate who will display their absence of common etiquette.
But perhaps the common area where most manner issues arise is in office pantries. Every now and then, some employees will complain about someone being messy or unmindful with their actions in the office pantries.
As a dutiful employee, it is imperative that we consistently mind our manners to avoid conflict with our co-workers. Even in office pantries where we can freely joke around with our teammates, there are golden rules that we must carefully observe to avoid awkward workplace disputes.
Five Golden Rules for Office Pantries
There are offices with formally establishes pantry rules; and you will most likely find it posted in the walls and corridors of their office pantries.
But even without the printed rules, there are certain unspoken codes of conduct that we as decent human beings should see to. Here are the five golden rules that you should keep inside office pantries.
No. 1 : Practice Good Hygiene
Always wash you hands first before eating, and keep your nails clean. In office pantries, it is a common thing for people to share food and have a taste of other people’s meal. It would totally be gross if you touch your co-workers food with unclean hands and dirty fingers.
Wash your hands, or at least wipe them with napkins before using appliances in the pantry; especially if you’ve been down with messy tasks like fetching items in the storage area or fixing the photocopying machine. Leaving stains and grease marks on office pantries would certainly upset your co-workers.
No. 2 Observe proper use of appliances
The microwave, the fridge, and the coffee maker – these appliances weren’t put in the pantry just for you. If you’re going to use them, make sure that you do it well and that others can still benefit from it after you.
Microwaves are sure box-office hit during lunch-breaks. Many of your colleagues, and probably someone from another department, are waiting in line to heat their food in it. If you want don’t want to eat cold lunch, then follow their lead and patiently wait for your turn. Do not cut lines or tell your co-worker in the front to heat it up for you.
And here’s the biggest “No-No”. If you have to put something in the fridge, store it efficiently and allow space for other’s food. Never put out others food without permission, or squash other people’s meal just because you want to put yours in the refrigerator. If there aren’t any space, ask them nicely to organize their meals and put up a space for your food or beverage.
Lastly, don’t expect others to clean up your mess for you. Make it a point to wipe out stains and finger prints right after using the microwave or coffee maker. If you accidentally splashed your juice in the fridge, make sure to clean it all up including the affected floor area.
No. 3 Keep your Voice in check
It’s a common scene for office mates to banter in the office pantries; it’s a sign of healthy relationship. Good conversations over lunch meal is stress-relieving, it even helps to increase one’s appetite.
However, loud talking and making nonsense noises can also be annoying, especially if there are colleagues from another department. If it is just you and your teammates, then there shouldn’t be any problem; you can laugh your heart out or joke noisily about your friend’s mishaps. If there are other people, then it’s best to keep your voice at a proper conversational level. For all you know, you might be disrupting other people’s conversation or agitating someone’s migraine because of your noisy chit chats.
No. 4 Never Steal Otherâ€™s Meal
Lastly, never take someone else’s meal. At least, without obtaining permission.
No matter how delicious or tempting that meal is, your dignity should probably cost more than that meal. Others would see it as trivial, but the act of stealing the smallest things, even someone else’s yogurt in the fridge, could build tension and distrust among co-workers.
You have to consider yourself as a low-life creäture if you think that taking away others food is just okay.
No. 5 Clean up after yourself
It’s definitely annoying if someone leaves their trash behind after eating. Worst case scenario: someone knocks the indisposed trash over and you have to eat your lunch on sauce-stained, dripping wet tablecloths.
Have regards for the next person who will occupy your seat and dispose your waste properly. And by properly, it means you have to follow company recycling protocols and put the right garbage on the right bins. It shouldn’t be so hard since most companies have mini single-stream recycling hoppers in canteens and pantries.