Office Politics

If you work in an office then you will undoubtedly have experienced some kind of office politics. These can range from disagreements between how to progress a project or who is responsible for such and such a task, to the much more important issues of who has dumped their dirty dishes in the sink and why did she say blah blah blah what a bitch.

My office is on the second floor and while I’m part of a team of eight, we share the floor with around forty other people. We have a small kitchen area, with two fridges, a hot water machine, cold water machine and a variety of tea and coffee.

Over the last few months there has been issues with people leaving gone-off food in the fridge and it stinking the place out. I came in one day to an email saying that something was stinking the fridge out, which it was, and requesting that the culprit remove said item. After a few hours and the smell getting worse and infiltrating into the office, I took it upon myself to investigate. I discovered a four pint bottle of milk, or at least that’s what it said on the label. The contents resembled nothing whatsoever matching milk. I disposed of the milk in the external rubbish bin and all was good with the world again. As far as I am aware, the owner of the former-milk was never found.

A few days ago, another email was sent out, requesting that everyone clear any out-of-date food they have left in the fridge. Today, another email came out saying that a rotting lettuce and a mouldy yoghurt had been disposed of this morning. We have now been told that all food left in the fridge on a Friday afternoon will be binned.

Needless to say, that has caused utterances among the camps. Some agree that food should be removed on a weekly basis. Others, like me, cannot afford to buy different food every week. Yesterday I bought margarine to go with the bread and cheapo chicken slices I decided would be my cheap lunch this week. The margarine has a best before date of 3rd May 2014, and I fully intend to be able to use it up until this date. In fact, it’s unlikely that it will even be finished by that date.

So does this mean that my brand new marg will be chucked away by the time I arrive bleary-eyed on Monday? Someone suggested that everyone should put their initials on their food, and so food without initials could be gotten rid of and anything out-of-date with initials on can be brought up with the appropriate person.

In previous offices I have written my name on any food I put in the fridge. Usually because a) it stops others from pinching it and b) it stops me forgetting that I put it there in the first place. Nothing worse than being desperate for a cold can of Diet Coke, seeing one in the fridge that has been there for weeks and wondering if it was mine…

Unfortunately it seems the decision has been made that the fridge will be emptied once a week, and if this does not happen it will be emptied daily. If this does not happen then there will be no food allowed at all!

I don’t know what will be the outcome of the fridge wars. While I appreciate my employer providing a kitchen for my use, I can’t afford to buy new food every day, and I am slightly too lazy to make pack up. Which means that I will buy food to last, which won’t require refrigeration, that I can store in my desk drawer, meaning no doubt a less nutritious option.

Much is made of the work/life balance these days. It remains to be seen what will happen with the work/lunch balance…

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