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5 office food rules everyone should obey

Career advice  

Office Etiquette , On the Job Advice , Career Advice , SEEK

There’s nothing cool about opening the office fridge to find an empty space where your gourmet leftovers once sat. Meal times are there to take the edge off another hectic day at the front. By implementing this five-step guide to intra-office food harmony, you’ll ensure the on-site kitchen never becomes a warzone.

  1. Coffee mugs are sacred artefacts. If Jenkins from IT catches you drinking from his “World’s Best Dad” coffee mug, don’t be surprised if your computer system suddenly starts running a little slow. Your best bet is to sip from the generic mugs provided by your employers. Better yet, bring your “World’s Best Workmate” mug from your last job along.
  2. There's no such thing as hot chips for one. And as you walk back into your workplace with that deep-fried, salt-encrusted goodness wafting behind you, everyone within 50 paces will cock their nose to the sky. Plan ahead and upsize your serve, because you just know your workmates will be on you like a flock of seagulls once you're seated.
  3. Some things aren't meant to be shared. Bread, milk, butter and condiments are open slather in the work fridge, much as they are in a share house. But if it’s a home-cooked meal, packed lovingly in a vacuum-sealed container, with “BOB’S - PLEASE DON’T EAT” written in magic marker on top, it’s off limits. As for steamed rice in takeaway food containers with condensation on top, you’ve got to ask yourself if it’s worth the risk.
  4. Birthday cake doesn't last forever. It may be tempting to keep Jenny from Accounts’ cake in the fridge so people can graze on it at their leisure – it was delicious, after all. The novelty will wear off after a couple of days, though, and someone will have to take charge and toss it out. Dry sponge and spoiled cream do not constitute comfort food, especially once they start showing signs of intelligent life.
  5. Your mother doesn't live here. Nor does your husband, wife, frustrated housemate or those magical elves who emerge from the pantry while you sleep to clean up after you at home. Crumbs on the office kitchen bench, pieces of dirty cutlery in the sink and half-finished cups of coffee on your desk should be wiped, washed or tipped out and placed in the dishwasher. It’s easy, if you try.