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Every surface in our company lunchroom has at least one demeaning sign on it.
  • "Clean up after yourself. We're not your maids."

  • "Make sure the refridgerator door is SHUT when you leave. This means pushing it closed."

  • "Don't take things which don't belong to you."

  • "Do NOT leave canned sodas in the freezer."

Now, two thoughts struck me this morning, looking at that last one.
  1. Rather than put up signs that treat us like children, why not fire those responsible for the events that inspired these?

  2. Our vending machine actually dispenses bottled sodas...

In response to that first point, I can think of two possibilities:
  • These signs are retaliatory, designed to feed and perpetuate their maker's negativity. Each person to walk into that kitchen is treated as an enemy because they are an enemy. Look down on them, for they are not the sign maker.


  • Those who go around eating others' food and leaving the refridgerator door open with canned soda in the freezer and food smeared on the walls and wrappers strewn across the floor? They outrank us. We're addressed as a group to avoid embarassing upper management.
Either way, this isn't good for morale.

And in response to the other point? We'll just have to try it, see if that's acceptable.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2003 03:18 am (UTC)
I wish we could put up signs. But the only one I'm permitted warns that a fridge purge is coming up, so take out what you hold near and dear.

I really wish we didn't have a kitchen. Or, given we're not losing the kitchen, that we had a cleaning staff that would clean it. Plates pile to dangerous levels in the sink. People do science experiments in tupperware containers. And yes, people bring sodas from home, and in a rush to have a chilled soda they put it in the freezer.

I can't blame upper management. I've watched the culprits. We -all- do it. We all forget our food, or wait for the invisible mom to come along and clean up after us.

Oh yes, and there's the second sign I'm permitted, but it's only on my pizza boxes when I order pizza.

'I licked every damn slice. Then sneezed.'

That solves that food stealing issue right there.
May. 24th, 2003 03:05 pm (UTC)
I think the thing to remember here is that these signs don't help.

It's fine when you're reminding folks of special instructions, like if a door takes a little extra work to seal properly. But, when you're asking for common courtesy, the cuprits already know they're being disrespectful. All you accomplish with a blanket accusation is extending justification for that disrespect.

The signs carry no weight. Ignoring them holds no consequence.

What you need is just one sign...
    This room is under camera surveilance, and the following penalties will be enforced if you don't clean up after yourself.

    • First offense:
      One day's Cleanup Duty

    • Second offense:
      One week's Cleanup Duty, and a write-up on your permanent record.

    • Third offense:
      Your kitchen priviliges are revoked until further notice. Failure to comply will result in immediate job termination.
Anything short of that is a sign of weakness. It doesn't target the guilty, or spare the innocent. These are the angry flailings of a helpless child.

So, yes. That's my recommendation. Shut down the kitchen. Install a camera. And offer kitchen access to those willing to sign their name to a statement agreeing to the terms you set forth.

It's facist, but it solves the problem. Employees need to understand where their rights end and priviliges begin. Or they need truly inspiring leadership to compell them to pitch in for the common good. But, that's harder to come by.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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