Your dirty dishes are my problem

woman in office rolling her eyes

My response to most company policies….

Dear Senior Leadership Team,

Good morning. I’m writing to you today to express a grave concern.

I’ve spent many sleepless nights debating whether to escalate this concern to senior management. As a result, my work performance has suffered, and I’ve ordered way too many useless gadgets from the Home Shopping Network.

I feel I have no choice now but to voice my thoughts. Stoic silence is no longer an option. And though I often hesitate to make waves, sometimes you have to be the fat guy who does a cannonball into the pool.

My concern this morning is in regards to the company breakroom policy.

That’s right: the company breakroom policy. I don’t like it.

There. I’ve said it. I feel much better already.

As senior management is aware, all departments are required to take turns cleaning the breakroom. During a department’s designated month, employees must rinse dirty dishes, load and unload the dishwasher, wipe tables, restock the cleaning supplies, sweep the floor, and chisel Lean Cuisine explosions from the roof of the microwave. (At least I hope it was Lean Cuisine. But based on the mess, it could have been a cat. I’m not sure.)

The policy is applicable to all employees — even those who never use the break room and prefer to eat lunch in the privacy of their own car.

I myself am such an employee. It’s not that I’m not social (which I’m not). It’s that I like to spend my lunch where overbearing, imbecile co-workers can’t engage me in mundane, pointless chatter. The way I see it, if I’m going to be subjected to a spewing stream of never-ending twaddle, then I might as well be on the clock, so that my misery earns money.

I never eat lunch in the breakroom. Instead, I sit at my desk listening to soothing motivational CDs on my headset. My goal one day is to rise above this hamster wheel of demeaning mediocrity and make a name for myself, instead of trudging through life as a mindless corporate drone with no deeper meaning to his meager, futile existence. (No offense intended if being a mindless corporate drone is your thing. Obviously, if you’re in senior management, it’s worked out well for you.)

Because of the ludicrous policy implemented by clueless management (again, no offense intended), employees have no incentive to clean up after themselves. Unless it’s their department’s designated month, employees simply leave their dirty dishes in the sink (and their exploded Lean Cuisine meals in the microwave), because they know somebody else will be tasked with cleaning it up.

In other words, your dirty dishes become my problem.

I understand that the company seeks to instill in its workforce an all-for-one-and-one-for-all spirit of camaraderie. It’s pleasant to work in an environment where people care about the welfare of their co-workers (or at least do a decent job of pretending).

Unfortunately, the concept of teamwork seems to vanish when dirty dishes enter the picture. Especially when one of those dishes has charred Hot Pocket innards stuck to it.

My problem with the policy isn’t that it relegates me to the role of a menial servant who scrubs disgusting gunk off of chipped plates. Indeed, given the aimless nature of my job (and, in fact, my life — as we just discussed), wiping grease splatter off the oven might be the most productive — and useful — part of my day.

I also don’t mind the general nature of the policy, in that it affects all employees — not just those who use the breakroom. Employees tend to share a closer bond when they’re all subjected to the same degrading toil. We’re nothing if not united in our misery — so on that front, the across-the-board implementation is appropriate.

No, my problem with the policy is that it doesn’t go far enough. If we’re going to require employees to clean up after each other, then why stop at the company breakroom?

The way I see it, why not extend the policy to the restrooms, as well?

It’s not a leap in logic. In fact, from a management perspective, it makes perfect sense. (That’s assuming, of course, that anything from a management perspective makes sense.)

Therefore, I propose that all departments should take turns scrubbing the toilets. The shared responsibility will instill a deeper sense of community, which will result in happier, more productive employees.

After all, just as everyone enjoys a clean breakroom, I’m sure everyone will appreciate sparking toilets. I know I will — especially on days when the Lean Cuisine doesn’t agree with me.

And unless it’s my department’s designated month to clean the bathroom, I can take refuge in knowing that I don’t have to clean up after myself, because another diligent employee will be along to do it for me. That’s just the kind of thoughtful organization we run here.

Whether I dribble a little urine or drop a deuce and forget to flush, my dirty bathroom will become your problem.

It’s not a lot to ask, and if employees are willing to clean each other’s dishes, then they should be more than happy to scrub the toilets. All for one and one for all, right? In fact, I imagine that senior management will also be eager to participate.

(Unless, of course, someone eats a Lean Cuisine for lunch. Or a cat.)

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11 thoughts on “Your dirty dishes are my problem

  1. Gail

    Ugh! That really is a stupid company policy. They should mandate everyone cleans up after themselves and have a cleaning service do a thorough kitchen cleaning once or twice a month. And you can tell them I said so!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. James

    If it makes you feel better, I switched from being a corporate drone to a more vocational profession (sadly it’s someone else’s vocation) and I haven’t noticed any improvement in terms of the competency or likeability of senior management. And spending time with colleagues at lunchtime is just masochism. Maybe you should get the designated ‘cleaning team’ to do the interior of your car. It’s only fair.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      It does make me feel a *little* better to know we’re equally miserable. I guess the corporate grass is never greener. If it was, senior management would just make us mow it in the spirit of teamwork. 😐

      Exactly — lunch with co-workers is sort of like hanging out with a TSA agent after he gives you a cavity search.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. mistermuse

    Two words (unless you count what comes before and after them): PAPER PLATES!
    I realize that doesn’t solve all of your problem, but then I don’t charge very much. In fact, I don’t charge anything at all….but you could check out my blog if you want to return the favor (satisfaction guaranteed, or double your conundrum back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      Those two words are music to my ears. (They’re certainly more appealing than “kitchen duty.”)

      Some people might say that paper plates hurt the environment. Clearly, they haven’t seen the scum my colleagues leave on their dishes. It takes a chisel to pry it off, and I think it qualifies as a biohazard. The paper plates are probably the safest option all the way around.

      Looking forward to checking out your blog, and thank you for dropping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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