Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This Week's Office Kitchen Etiquette Saga

Sent: 157p Wed 6/23


We’re experiencing a rash of ants and some flies over the last number of days which has been reported to our property managers and we’re waiting for an exterminator.     In a number of instances the last day or two, staff have put a lunch bag or groceries to store under their desks and within a very short time an army of ants has invaded the food.    To avoid attracting them, please clean up any food that has been around your area and avoid leaving any dishes/food/beverages/soda cans overnight.  It might help also to take a Lysol wipecloth and wipe down your desk each day before leaving.  In the meantime, I’d suggest not leaving lunch bags or groceries on the floor unless you don’t mind sharing your meal with these critters.


Sent: 1033a Thur 6/24

Do you know if you've left anything in the fridge that SMELLS or has EXPIRED?  I don't, because I can't find anything in there.

The fridge is NOT HAPPY and has filed a formal complaint.  The lucky department on duty this week is the Secretariat (plus our very own volunteer Alex Lopez!).  Because the fridge is on overload and emitting an unfriendly scent, we will do a PURGE on Friday late afternoon.  Please mark what you want kept, take home what you don't need to keep here or throw away what's expired/overripe.

And since we are a larger staff group these summer months, please try another way to store your lunch items.  Simply put, LARGE SHOPPING BAGS do not fit!  To help all of us find our lunches within the lunch hour time frame, please just to bring what you need for each day's lunch.


Sent: 907a Mon 6/28

Thank you to ALL who participated and worked so hard in cleaning out the refrigerator on Friday.  It took many to bring this fridge back to useable form and it’s very much appreciated.  I’ve never seen so many bottles of salad dressing!    Special thanks go to Joanne, Alex, and Adam and all the supporting cast who were dedicated to this effort.  Let’s all support their efforts by continued to keep the inside clean and to minimize the clutter and mess that builds up.

Refrigerator space is limited so please be considerate:   

In the summer, over 45 people could attempt to store a meal in the refrigerator on a daily basis.  Please store only daily meals (rather than weekly) in the refrigerator. 

For those using salad dressings, please have only one bottle of dressing stored at a time or use a tiny Tupperware cup to bring in enough for the day’s salad.

Avoid putting large grocery bags (plastic and cloth) inside the refrigerator.  Now that cloth grocery bags are more common, they are used for all types of storage and become unsanitary for putting alongside food items in the refrigerator.   (For your own health safety, wash or wipe out your cloth bags frequently to avoid bacteria building up inside, as reported in last week’s news.)

Set an Outlook reminder to take home any leftovers that are yours every week.

If your food has spilled, please take a moment to wipe it up to avoid others from needing to scrub later.

Because we’ve had spottings of flies and ants (and even a few mice!) these last few weeks, please don’t leave dirty dishes; utensils; glasses; mugs around your desk area and keep storage of food/drinks, grocery bags etc., to a minimum.   If your desks get sticky from drinks/candy or have crumbs from food items, please use a Lysol wipe to clean.   All this attracts critters and triples the chances of the rodent problem spreading through the office rather than keeping it within the kitchen area.

Thanks again to the Magnificent 7 – or how many it took to clean last Friday!

Sent: 9:47a Tuesday 6/29

Dear whoever finished the coffee, didn’t make more, but left the empty pot on the hot burner:

This is a bad idea.
In the future, if you finish the last drop of coffee in the pot, please brew more.
If you don’t know where to find it, please ask me. I will show you.
If you don’t know how to make it, please ask me.  I will teach you.

At the VERY least, please do not put an empty pot on a hot burner.
We do not want to burn down our kitchen during placement season & travel cycle.
That would be bad.

Thanks for your attention and compliance.

Sent: 1153a Tues 6/29

Ok, around 11am a pot with only about 2 ounces of coffee in it, once again was sitting on a hot burner.  Is there someone that is not seeing these emails?

Sent: 345p Wed 6/30

Okay Neighbors!  --  (includes All Staff:   Full-time; Summer; Night; Day; Temporary; Interns!)

Here is a bulleted list from a concerned Bethesda YFU citizen only minutes ago regarding how (s)he found the kitchen:

·         The coffee pot, yet again, had ¼ inch of coffee left in it. The machine was still turned on and the pot was sticking to the heating pad.

·         The tables were littered with crumbs, a couple of patches of dried sauce (or it could have been dressing).

·         Cutlery and crockery were left dirty in the sink and on the bench and the sink had salad and vegetable clippings left in it.

What happens next  ?? --

If necessary,  we’ll be conducting mandatory trainings and a test on kitchen etiquette, scrubbing, cleaning and food preparation given by the Master Chef himself Alex Lopez!!  He won’t let you get away with a CRUMB!    Or, we will require a check-off for everyone who goes to get a cup of coffee – yes; we want to avoid that.  Next is to install a roving kitchen camera – catching someone in the act of failing in kitchen KP duties, again something to be avoided.

Even though we have a team to clean up, it’s not their full-time job.   The expectation is that every individual will clean up after themselves to avoid any one person spending more than a minimal amount of time cleaning at all.   If there are people identified who are not doing their share, they will need to contribute mightily to the “Kitchen Kitty “, a donation box which will be established.  The message is – please keep this common area clean; safe and be considerate of your coworkers!


My comments:

I am glad I don't drink coffee.

If we had a Kitchen Kitty, we wouldn't have crumbs, drips, bugs, or mice.  Just cat fur.

I think I know who the main culprit is, but I can't prove it.

I do usually store stuff in the fridge, but with the increased staff right now things are disappearing.  So I'm not.

Other than that, life is dull.


Sent: 1011a Wed 6/30
As you’ll notice, the men’s and women’s restrooms on the first floor are out of order, both missing an important ‘piece’ in their usage!   Our restroom keys will work on the 2nd and 3rd floors.   At this time, the property managers are not sure when the 1st floor will be back in working order so please feel free to use upstairs. 

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