General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Office kitchen etiquette?

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I don't know if this is true in your office, but in my office, the admins sort of police and control the kitchen. They put leftover communal food away, wipe down counters, order supplies such as napkins and paper cups, etc. So they generally know what's going on in the kitchen or at least know how to find out. So I would ask them first.

Barring that possibility, I'd probably go ahead and assume anyone can use them. I like Virg's philosophy. If it can be returned to its original state immediately after use, it's ok to use.

Outdoor Girl:
In our work kitchen, if it isn't communal property, it isn't left sitting on the counter.  We have a number of cupboards where people put their French presses or tea or whatever and it is generally known that they are not communal in nature.  Food left on the table or applicances left on the counter?  Up for grabs.

I'm with the majority.  If it's unmarked and sitting in the common space, it's up for grabs.  Even if it does belong to an individual, if they didn't want others using it, they wouldn't leave it like that.  I had a French press once, and didn't want others using it.  So I kept it in a cabinet with my name on it. 

Thanks, guys!  Given the near-consensus, I guess I'll start using one and see what happens.  I mean, it's just water, right?  There's not even anything to get dirty!

To respond to a few suggestions (that I agree would definitely make sense in some offices): there's an email list, but it would go to EVERYONE, not just the people on this floor, and that seems excessive for this tiny question.  I agree that admins generally know what's up, but they're all on the ground floor (it's not like in some places, where there are secretaries on every floor).  This new setup is actually rather isolating and not conducive to being social or running into people in the halls.


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