Break Room Etiquette

Soooo in an effort to be as healthy as possible most of the time, I try to bring my lunch to work most days. I reserve eating out for lunch to lunch dates with my friends. Needless to say, I have spent my fair share of time in break rooms over the years. With all that time spent, I think maybe perhaps we all need a lesson in break room etiquette.

The Microwave – Ahhh yes. The good old nuke ’em machine. Did you know that it is not OK to let your food explode inside of it without cleaning it up? It is rude to the next person that uses it. My husband likes to do that at home. Pisses me off. But you know what….at least it is in our home where just the two of us use it. In public, not cool.

You know what else is not cool, leaving your food in the microwave for a LONG time. There are other people that would like to use it, and don’t want to be rude and touch your food. If you are cooking something for 5 minutes….then you need to be back in the kitchen in 5 minutes 1 second to collect your shit.

The Dishwasher – It is 2013 and we shouldn’t be strangers to how this appliance works. Unless you are my sister, she doesn’t believe in them. That is neither here nor there. But seriously. The concept of the dishwasher is that it is going to wash your dishes for you. So do yourself and most importantly, your coworkers, a favor and put your dishes in the dishwasher. DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN THE SINK. Or on the counter. Or at the table. Or wherever else they don’t belong. You aren’t a five year old, and your wife mom isn’t here to clean up after you. Rude.

Food – It is not OK to take food out of the community refrigerator that is not yours, or understood communal food. Just because there is a container of hummus in there…it doesn’t mean it is free for the taking. Someone is probably counting on eating off that all week. No, you cant have “a taste.”

While on the subject of food, if your break room doesn’t have a door to shut it off…don’t be bringing your stinky ass fish or other nasty smelling stuff up in there. NO ONE wants to smell nasty food all afternoon while they work.

Talking – It is ok to have friendly chatter with your co-workers while they eat. It is not ok to come bother them with work related stuff. They are on the break for heavens sakes! Also, if someone is reading, and they don’t acknowledge that you walked in….they probably want to be left alone. Leave them alone!

Manners – Smacking and eating with your mouth open are things that we learned not to do around the same time we learned how to clean up after ourselves. Just don’t. Please and thank you.

I think that wraps up the basics. If we all follow along by these unspoken rules, we can all enjoy our most coveted hour of the work day.

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  • Reply Kathy @ Vodka and Soda August 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm


    my lunches are sacred; it’s the only time in a crazy day that i have a second to relax so don’t even be coming at me with work shit because you’ll just be totally ignored. same with scheduling meetings during lunch – you’ll get a big fat DECLINE.

    and once, i walked into the kitchen to get my lunch and this person was legit sitting at the table EATING MY LUNCH. seriously, WTF!!! i was so mad i actually yelled out WHAT THE FUCK?! grabbed my lunch, said: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! and threw the whole thing out.

    people!! sheesh!

    Vodka and Soda

  • Reply Ashley August 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I have some of the rudest coworkers… they do everything you mentioned above. It seems like common sense and common courtesy… but sadly most people don’t use the brains God gave them.

  • Reply Darby Hawley August 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Yes!!!! I completely agree! Especially with the microwave!!! I mean how hard is it to put a paper towel or something on your food before heating it up?

  • Reply SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph August 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    So funny, I was thinking of doing something about this this morning as I was refilling the coffee creamers that no man in this freaking office can refill.

  • Reply Helene in Between August 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    oh my God YES! people can be soooo gross!

  • Reply CraftyHope August 23, 2013 at 3:10 am

    I’ve worked in a few places with a common break/lunch area. I once worked in a web design company with all men and you have no idea how often I was in there washing their dishes. It was awful. But, I do just want to add one point. I know you mentioned not smelling up the area with something stinky, but it’s also not so cool to tell someone that their food is stinky. That’s what they’re eating and trying too enjoy. I was eating something (in my own office even) once and my boss walked in and asked me what had died. She wasn’t kidding. We often had animals die in the walls there. I’ve also had co-workers who would heat up something from their country of origin (like curry) in the office and other co-workers would ask, “How can you eat something that smells so gross.” Not cool. I personally can’t stand the smell of pickles but I would never gag over someone else’s food about it. Just my two cents.

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