I’m still trying to decide if there was a polite way to handle an issue that happened at work.
Last week was a co-worker’s birthday and someone left a frosted cake in the break room for everyone to share.
My co-worker “Jane” (not the birthday celebrant) was heading out to a different office and I followed her into the break room (where our lockers are) as we finished a conversation. As I watched, Jane took a piece of cake, then ran her finger along the cake server to remove the frosting. She licked her finger, then flipped the server over, ran the same finger along that side and licked her finger again. Jane then casually set the server on the cake and left.
I grabbed the server and washed it thoroughly, but couldn’t figure out what to do with the portion of cake it had touched. The server had rested against about five slices, so simply tossing them out would have made an obvious dent (there were only about 12 slices total). Announcing to my remaining co-workers what had happened seemed cruel to Jane. She’s already not well-liked by some of our co-workers and this wouldn’t have helped.
In the end, I did nothing. I tell myself the cake probably wasn’t affected much, but I realize I’d want to know about something like this before I ate.
So, what SHOULD I have done? 0522-16
What you say as she is about to finish licking the other side of the server, “Please wash that before placing it on the cake again.”