Author Topic: Finding My Polite Spine  (Read 1836 times)

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Sparkle Star

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Finding My Polite Spine
« on: October 22, 2012, 09:00:39 AM »
I know I need to address this.... I just keep copping out on doing so, so if anyone can help me find my polite spine then feel free to comment!

We moved into a shared office building a few months back. (DH and I run our own company.) It's on a lovely, newly-developed rural business centre and we're in a building that naturally splits into two halves. A furnishings company has the whole of one side & is completely self-contained.

On our side, we have the upstairs - there is DH and myself, 1 employee and 1 part-time intern, and 2 associates who share the space with us. Downstairs is a business with three people - two guys (one older, one mid-40s I reckon) and a woman (also mid-40s). They were in situ for some time with nobody else in the building before we came along.

The shared kitchen is opposite their office suite. When we moved in, there was a fridge, microwave and toaster; the drawer was full of cutlery and the cupboard was filled with an entire 12-place dinner service, casserole dishes etc. Nobody explained this wasn't communal so we used it to begin with.... Turns out the only shared items are the microwave and fridge and the rest is theirs. When we found out, we apologised sincerely and purchased our own. (We had to ask them to let us have some space in the cupboard - we now have a half-shelf!)

At lunchtimes they often let their dirty dishes stack up in the sink. Someone will wash them later and then leave them on the draining board. This doesn't always bother me as we often take sandwiches, but on days when we eat 'proper' lunches (like today we had chilli & rice with salad) then I often have to clear up their crocks so that I have room to wash & dry our own.

We don't see a lot of them - the younger guy and the woman are friendly enough when we pass in the hall, the older man is more stand-offish. None of them has said anything about the kitchen but I'm getting more annoyed at having to clear up after them. I guess they got used to having the building to themselves (on our side) & don't think about how leaving their stuff lying around affects others.

There is one other empty office suite in our building - opposite Other Business, next to the kitchen. Somebody viewed it last week - if they move in, OB will have to relinquish some space as at the moment there is no room for anything else!

So....I need to ask them to start clearing up after themselves at lunchtimes, or at least not leave their dishes and cutlery lying around taking up all the space in the sink/draining rack. Just need to find that spine.....
Love, dance and chocolate fudge cake - what more do I need?

Oh Joy

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Re: Finding My Polite Spine
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 09:07:25 AM »
I'm assuming you all work with the same landlord or leasing agent.  The potential new tenant makes this an ideal time for them to redefine and communicate the expectations for the shared kitchen to everyone, regardless of the space hogs' behavior.  I suggest starting there.

Best wishes.

kansha

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Re: Finding My Polite Spine
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 11:34:52 AM »
get a cheap plastic dishpan, to stack their dirty dishes etc. into and free up the sink for you to use?  then their stuff is still their problem instead of yours...

Sparkle Star

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Re: Finding My Polite Spine
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 11:49:19 AM »
Joy, thank you - perfect opportunity, just hadn't seen it. Even without knowing if the new tenants are coming, I will still use it as a chance to start the conversation next time I see one of them.

"Did you know people were looking around the empty suite last week? If they move in, we'll need to make sure we all clear up our dirty crocks straight away so the sink/drainer doesn't get overloaded.... The cupboard and fridge will need sorting out too so they have some room for their items."  ;)

Kansha - my hothead instinct is to dump it on their desk or outside their door, but I don't think I'd made any friends...and we plan on being here for a long time!
Love, dance and chocolate fudge cake - what more do I need?

DaDancingPsych

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Re: Finding My Polite Spine
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 01:57:19 PM »
You're right, the new tenant is a great opportunity to address the issue.

Maybe a bit more bold, but maybe something like a cheerful, "Excuse me. We need to use the kitchen area, who should I speak to about removing the dirty dishes from the sink?"

bopper

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Re: Finding My Polite Spine
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 01:57:28 PM »
Call the landlord or the real estate agent and say "I noticed you are showing the other suite.  I think you may find it helpful to talk to Annoying tenants about keeping the kitchen area clean so it will look presentable for potential leasees.  On that topic, I don't think the Annoyers are used to sharing the kitchen...When there are new tenants we will have to address a more equitable sharing of the cabinets and  guidelines for keeping the sink empty and clean. Do you have any thoughts on how best to do that?"

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Finding My Polite Spine
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 05:37:00 PM »
My first reaction is with Kansha--get a dishpan, clear a dishpan size space in a cupboard and when you have to, stash their stuff for them to deal with later while you go ahead and use the place to eat your lunch.  As to new tenants/potential tenants seeing their mess--let them!  I bet when the landlord misses a good tenant, things will change.