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Old 08-07-07, 03:20 PM   #1
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workplace etiquette?

Am I just way too sensitive?

I am an office manager. When I was interviewed for my position, I was asked if I minded making coffee. I said no problem. It turns out that making the coffee also means cleaning up the kitchen. I just washed a sink full of mugs, glasses, and silverware, wiped the counters clean, etc. I've done this every day at work, sometimes twice a day, for the last 2.5 years. Am I being overly sensitive about this? It really pisses me off that it is beneath other people here at work to wash their own dishes, but somehow it shouldn’t be beneath me to wash their stuff for them.

What do you all think? Am I overreacting? Some people say it all pays the same, so why should I care what I’m doing at work as long as I am compensated. It doesn’t bother me to do any number of other tasks for my bosses and co-workers, just this one thing.

Do others of you wash your own coffee cups/water glasses at work? Or do you leave them for the office peon like me?
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Old 08-07-07, 03:31 PM   #2
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I would just start throwing away the dirty cups at the end of the day or after a day. They will learn soon enough.
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Old 08-07-07, 03:32 PM   #3
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First, you said you are the office manager. How does "the manager" get the peon jobs? Am I misunderstanding your position?

Are these employees personal mugs/cups or company owned? If they are owned by the people, I surely wouldn't be washing them. I would hang up a sign in the kitchen that says "please clean your own glasses. Dirty dishes will be trashed at the end of the day".
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Old 08-07-07, 03:45 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=KingTermite;5020811]First, you said you are the office manager. How does "the manager" get the peon jobs? Am I misunderstanding your position?

It is a small office, only 7 of us. I wear a lot of hats. I answer the phones, I type correspondence, I take care of mail, order all supplies, set appointments, process tax returns, edit business valuations, do occasional payroll/minor bookkeeping, and about a million other things.
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Old 08-07-07, 03:46 PM   #5
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Hmm... Probably depends on the office.

The two I've worked in so far had nobody washing your stuff, and if you left it in the sink, it gets thrown out at the end of the month. Both have signs up that say so. I suggest you do the same.

Where I work now, there's a dish washer that everyone is expected to place their dirty dishes in, regardless if they're personal or not. The admin's or secretaries here straighten up, make coffee, and run the washer every week but I don't think they wash any dishes. I think thats a little humiliating unless it was directly in your job description.
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Old 08-07-07, 03:59 PM   #6
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i'm in a large office and people are expected to clean up after themselves. it works pretty well for the most part. angry emails emerge if the kitchen is left in disarray, and this usually motivates people.

personally, i don't think an office manager should be washing dishes or changing people's diapers. in the context of an office, they're about the same thing as far as i'm concerned. get your boss to change the "policy" on the kitchen, then start throwing away dirty coffee mugs.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by juliebeanpie View Post
Am I just way too sensitive?

I am an office manager. When I was interviewed for my position, I was asked if I minded making coffee. I said no problem. It turns out that making the coffee also means cleaning up the kitchen. I just washed a sink full of mugs, glasses, and silverware, wiped the counters clean, etc. I've done this every day at work, sometimes twice a day, for the last 2.5 years. Am I being overly sensitive about this? It really pisses me off that it is beneath other people here at work to wash their own dishes, but somehow it shouldn’t be beneath me to wash their stuff for them.

What do you all think? Am I overreacting? Some people say it all pays the same, so why should I care what I’m doing at work as long as I am compensated. It doesn’t bother me to do any number of other tasks for my bosses and co-workers, just this one thing.

Do others of you wash your own coffee cups/water glasses at work? Or do you leave them for the office peon like me?

Yeah, I'd have people clean up their own crap.
I would clarify with YOUR boss to determine what was implied by 'making coffee'.

There is nothing wrong with having people wash their own dishes. Even if you do wind up having to finish the kitchen....

I am in a small office, I keep track of my own dishes, utensils, etc. Our receptionist usually makes coffee.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:22 PM   #8
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NO!

At college we share a common little kitchen in my area - and with any society of people there are the clean, kind people who clean up after themselves, the nice people who are scatterbrained though and forget about their moldy food in the fridge, the clean sorta people who think there's a food disposal in the sink and there isn't, and ye ole slobs. The slobs leave their dishes in the sink - sometimes for days, or on the back of the sink for weeks (wonder if they know mold grows fast) - and spill their stuff in the fridge and leave it (I've picked my stuff out of orange goo more than once and was NOT happy) - and always nuke their food uncovered.

The office manager tried setting up a list for when one person a week was in charge of cleaning the common kitchen, etc (not do dishes) - but that fell thru as the slobs never did it, and personally I think it's up to the user to pick up after themselves. I've gotten mad and stormed in - threw out containers of rotten food (yep, bye bye Tupperware) and cleaned - no one has ever said anything about missing a container either.

And then the fridge broke. Come to find out - this is not a supplied item. We all had to chip in $20 for a new fridge. I balked at that one - phooey I tend to make my lunch at 10 am anyway and eat slowly for a while - so fridge wasn't necessary (course yogurt was eaten for breakfast on my granola anyway).

But I was new to the department and my boss, a gung ho woman, was the first to put in ... so I caved.

Now I'm rather mad at the people who mess it up.

As to the people who left there dishes in the tiny sink - and made it hard to even run water in it for your own stuff. Well I rinsed my stuff out into their bowls and made some pretty rude mixtures. Peas, oatmeal, yogurt and pasta can make for a pretty yucky looking mess - add a little coffee and VOILA - instant barf. Took me doing it for a bit (couple other ladies knew I was doing this and were hysterical at some of my "concoctions"), but I don't see the dishes sitting there now like there was.

Stoopid people.

Everyone should pick up after themselves.

As for the coffee bit. Long time ago when I was a secretary, I had one boss - soo nice - elderly man who asked me a couple of times to get him coffee - would I mind - no I didn't. But it wasn't a part of my job description - and he only asked me when he was busy etc. Setting up meetings though and scheduling food - well that's where it became part of my job description.

Hehe, can you tell the kitchen slobs kinda irritate me?
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Old 08-07-07, 04:24 PM   #9
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Sign at a place I worked: "Your mom doesn't work here please clean up after yourself"

As far as making coffee, I'd make the first pot in the morning, but whoever empties it should make fresh.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:25 PM   #10
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Sign at a place I worked: "Your mom doesn't work here please clean up after yourself"

As far as making coffee, I'd make the first pot in the morning, but whoever empties it should make fresh.
Ohh I miss the days when we had the communal coffee pot - either paid a weekly fee or by the cup (in fact I took care of that at one job). I'd be afraid of what I'd see if we had that were I am now.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:27 PM   #11
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At my small company we have a dishwasher, and whoever opens it first when the dishes are clean "wins" and has to unload it, most of my co-workers will do everything in their power to avoid unloading dishes so just pile stuff up in the sink until someone gets fed up with it and unloads the dishwasher. But if I unload the dishwasher I don't put stuff from the sink into it. It's up to everyone to clean up after themselves at our office though. Angry emails get sent if this doesn't happen.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:30 PM   #12
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Our office is pretty small, 8.5 people. The policy is that if you use a dish, you wash and put it away.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:30 PM   #13
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Hehe, can you tell the kitchen slobs kinda irritate me?
never woulda guessed
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Old 08-07-07, 04:31 PM   #14
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Our office is pretty small, 8.5 people. The policy is that if you use a dish, you wash and put it away.
This guy?

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Old 08-07-07, 04:35 PM   #15
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Why don't you just leave them dirty?

They know you will wash it so they don't.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:37 PM   #16
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The girl who works for our owner is expected to make coffee and set up lunch meetings etc. I've never had a problem with helping her out and cleaning up after myself. So, it is part of her job but we don't make it her job exclusively.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:39 PM   #17
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I would never wash someone else's mug....let them do it.

Making coffee means making coffee, not doing dishes.
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Old 08-07-07, 04:43 PM   #18
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Sign at a place I worked: "Your mom doesn't work here please clean up after yourself"

As far as making coffee, I'd make the first pot in the morning, but whoever empties it should make fresh.
Bingo.

Cleaning up other people's **** is BS. I wouldn't even expect cleaning/janitorial staff to wash other people's dishes.
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Old 08-07-07, 05:11 PM   #19
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Sign at a place I worked: "Your mom doesn't work here please clean up after yourself"

As far as making coffee, I'd make the first pot in the morning, but whoever empties it should make fresh.
+2

I couldn't have said it any simpler myself. I work in a large office, and while we have one full kitchen and one half-kitchen area, there are signs telling people to clean up after themselves. As far as coffee is concerned, I agree with Stacey's post.

I used to work in a smaller office as well, with about 8 people, and the situation there was the same. For me, it's not so much an issue of office etiquette as it is an issue of general common courtesy. Plus, leaving your dirty dishes in the sink is just a nasty habit.
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Old 08-07-07, 05:28 PM   #20
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We have 200? people. Dirty dishes get thrown out. The fridges get completely emptied out every so often, and the microwaves get cleaned out when someone gets sick of the mess. Or if I mess up and have something explode all over the inside

Unfortunately no coffee. We do have a coffee machine, but that brews one cup at a time when you pay for it.
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Old 08-07-07, 05:29 PM   #21
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In my office everyone has to fend for themselves. I think that's how it should always be.
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Old 08-07-07, 05:34 PM   #22
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We have a really filthy moldy sponge.
The sign on the sink says, "If you leave your dirty cups and dishes here, it will be cleaned with this sponge."
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Old 08-07-07, 05:54 PM   #23
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Try this:

Coat the inside of their mug with superglue but leave it dirty. See how long it takes them to get the mug clean.

First thing though is checking with your boss, then if he agrees have him help with the problem.
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Old 08-07-07, 06:28 PM   #24
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I never understood what people have against cleaning. Its meditative and most people are very grateful when you clean up their stuff.

Edit- And I really hope none of the passive aggressive retribution suggestions are serious.
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Old 08-07-07, 06:53 PM   #25
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Try this:

Coat the inside of their mug with superglue but leave it dirty. See how long it takes them to get the mug clean.

First thing though is checking with your boss, then if he agrees have him help with the problem.
Coat the inside with hydrofluric acid. It'll burn AND kill them.
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