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Business Refrigerator Etiquette

Business Refrigerator Etiquette

Business Refrigerator Etiquette

Refrigerator Etiquette for the Workplace, So You Can Work Instead of Fighting over the Fridge.

Advice Seeker :
Dear April Masini,

One of the biggest arguments we have at my office has to do with our office refrigerator. It's not very big and we all like to keep our lunches in it. Sometimes it gets so full because people don't throw their old food out. But then when someone takes the initiative to clean out the fridge, other people get mad that their food gets thrown in the trash. Also, some people don't understand that they can't just eat anything they want in the refrigerator, and they take other people's lunch food! And some people bring the smelliest food in everyday and the office stinks for an hour after they heat it up. Is there any office refrigerator etiquette we should be following?
Fights over the Fridge


April Masini's Advice :

Dear Fights over the Fridge,
Want tips and advice on how to keep people from stealing your lunch, and the rules to good office refrigerator (and coffee pot) etiquette? You should be getting work done while at work; not fighting with each other over the fridge.

Here are some tips for keeping the peace in the office: 

  • Label your food. You can’t expect other people to know it’s yours if you don’t label it clearly.
  • Don’t take anything that doesn’t have your name on it.
  • Be generous. Bring extra food to share now and then. If you cook, bring in a plate of cookies and leave a note out — Happy Thursday, courtesy of "Your Name." Or bring a six pack of water bottles or sodas and place the same note on it.
  • Clean up your old food. Don’t leave stuff that’s yours in the refrigerator. Rotten stuff smells bad.
  • If you take the last cup of coffee, make a fresh pot of coffee.
  • Wash your cup out, don’t just leave it in the sink.
  • Thank anyone who does something nice for you in the kitchen with a note that everyone can see. If someone dumps the trash you forgot to dump, leave a note that says — Thanks for cleaning up after me when I forgot! You’ll inspire like acts.
  • Be mindful of smelly food. Don’t bring it everyday if you really have to have it, or order it and eat it at a restaurant out of the office kitchen.
  • Post a list of etiquette for employees to follow so that everyone is on the same page.