More office politics!

Posted on: September 8, 2014

So here we are again with another of those typical office politics questions. This time it is about the office fridge! Who is responsible for cleaning it out?

Having worked in small offices (of 6-20 people) and offices with as many as 300 people I know the state the office fridge can be in. Fridges tend to get smelly and overcrowded and the science experiments in many of them are enough to put people off their lunch. In a previously company myself and the rest of the admin/office support team monitored a yoghurt in a fridge to see how long it would stay there. We monitored it for at least a year and it is probably still there as it was when I left the company. That company was an engineering firm and at least half of the 300 staff weren’t office based. I can almost forgive them for bringing something in on their office days and then forgetting about it (not completely but almost). But now I work in an office with 20 people who are all office based and it is almost as bad!

About a month ago I encountered mouldy hummus and Sainsbury’s basic seafood sticks that had gone off about a month previously. I am NOT good with mould, it makes me retch so it is not something I wish to see when reaching for the milk to go in my cuppa. As the office manager people come to me to complain when they see something in the fridge. Today it was mouldy sandwiches that someone else had to throw away for someone who forgot about it. I honestly get that one could forget they had put food in the fridge – I have a yoghurt that has been in ours for a week – but it is still in date! I have sent emails galore asking people to take their food and pots home but it doesn’t happen. The only solution is for myself and my member of staff to be the ones emptying out the fridge!

So I have arranged for it to be cleared out twice a month and have told staff that anything that looks questionable will be thrown out regardless of what container it is in. This is probably going to upset people but they are adults and should be able to look after their own property! If they can’t manage to take their unwanted food home with them or wash out their dishes then tough luck!

Let me know your thoughts on the office fridge!!


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