Ridiculousness · Super Hot Mess · Work

My Anonymous Breakroom Notice

Just 6 months ago, my company moved into a beautiful, expertly decorated office building. Though the commute is longer and blows beyond belief, the design could easily go up against that of Victoria Secret’s corporate office or Express. I can say this as I’ve either worked or had meetings in both.

The breakroom at work offers enough granite counter tops to make even the pickiest house hunter swoon. The windows are floor to ceiling, letting light pour in. One wall has a 60″ tv and there are several tables and chairs.

And yet, people leave messes everywhere and I don’t understand it. Even if the breakroom was a shit hole, you should clean up after yourself. It’s like they think a magical fairy will come along a few hours later and clean up after them.


Dear Coworkers,

It pains me to write and post this notice but I’m afraid it’s necessary. My assumption that we all share the same foundation with regards to cleaning and etiquette was clearly erroneous. For that, I apologize. In just the short 6 months we have occupied this wonderfully designed building, I’ve seen breakroom messes that would warm my little sloppy 9-year-old’s heart.

Because we learn by example, I would like to demonstrate why this notice is necessary.

Chapstick and Coffee

Though I’ve never had the urge to apply chapstick then drink coffee or vice versa, perhaps you have. We all have different grooming habits and I realize that but please make sure that not only do you throw your coffee away but you take your chapstick with you. Perhaps you were leaving it on the table for community use and though that is thoughtful we shouldn’t share chapsticks.

Coffee Pot

I am a huge fan of coffee too. If an IV drip of espresso was offered at Starbucks, I would be the first to order it on their mobile app. But alas, this isn’t Starbucks and we have to make our own coffee. This means you do not leave approximately 1 ounce of coffee at the bottom of the pot just so you don’t have to make a fresh one. This is on par with leaving 3 squares of toilet paper on the roll so you don’t have to change it.

Napkins on the Floor

I’m going to guess you were being very polite and placing your napkin on your lap, forgot it was there and got up. I don’t however understand when there are 4 used napkins on the floor by a chair, clearly dropped yet not disposed of. Now I completely understand if you are a diagnosed hoarder and trash is your life but here at work, you need to dispose of your trash.

Feet on the Table

Perhaps you don’t know this but I’ve read that it is rude in India to display the bottom of your shoes to others. It’s nice you feel so at home in the breakroom. You feel so at home that you put your feet on the very tables people break bread at with coworkers.

The Community Fridge

Like the feet on the table, I’m sure you feel comfortable enough to store your half drank Coke along with 4 meals you forgot you brought, in the fridge we must all share. It’s to the point there is barely any room. Take your stuff out, especially your Chipotle.


So that is the notice I would like to post, somewhere in the breakroom. Unfortunately, everything above is everything I’ve encountered. I just don’t understand why people can’t pick up their shit. It’s not hard.

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42 thoughts on “My Anonymous Breakroom Notice

    1. I just don’t understand why people think their mother is employed at the same company and will come along behind them and pick up. It’s ridiculous!

  1. Oh goodness! I’ve never understood how people can be so messy either! It’s so simple to just tidy up once you’re done!! And for adults to do it?! That’s insanity!

  2. It happens everywhere, people are pigs. At the last office I worked in , we all had to take Kitchen Duty every few months as a rotation. When it was my turn, I just pinned up a sign that said clean up your mess I am not your mother. If stuff was left out or in the fridge, I just threw it out. Eventually, I was taken off the rotation.

    1. See, they should have kept people like you on the rotation! When we hold their hands and clean up after them, pepoel aren’t learning to pick up.

  3. I am on the same page as you. Could the company post common sense and manners rules to be followed in the space? Like if you don’t take your food out of the fridge if it tossed at the end of three days (container and all). Sense of entitlement – drives me crazy. Good luck.

  4. My absolute favorite was the chapstick admonishment. Being respectful of shared spaces should be the number one thing on any job description. In Singapore, you can get in big trouble for littering! A third offense leads to a $5000 fine and possible jail time!
    I do have a love/hate relationship with the anonymous break room message. I keep wanting to take a picture of the one at my work that warns the kitchenette will be locked if it’s not respected. It feels like the third grade. It’s like people think if no one sees then it didn’t happen. Now, I’m not perfect. I’m certain I’ve had a soup explode and while I tried to clean it, I’m sure splatters may have missed my attention, for example. But, it’s as if we need to affix our names to a pledge of cleanliness allegiance.”I (state your name) promise to leave this place better than I found it. And to make sure I am not the problem. Plus, I affirm that I am an adult person and my mother does not live here. Signed (your name)”

    1. I like that! I really, really do. I think it should be part of the on boarding process when you begin at work. I may seriously suggest that to HR. With your permission, I may even add the part of confirming your mother does not live there. Some of the stuff I see that is messy is so blatent and terrible. It’s one of those things where you know it wasn’t an accident, they were just lazy.

      1. You add it! It’s all yours. I might suggest the idea of a positive affirmation to my HR people too! It could be such a simple thing–maybe behavioral scientist out there have done studies on this kind of thing. I know signing your name to a pledge, or reading the ten commandments before participating in an experiment that tests honesty where there are no consequences for dishonesty have reduced the frequency of cheating. So there might be something to that!

  5. I used to work in a (very!) small office where I’d get fed up with the fridge situation and go to my boss for permission to post that someone would be clearing it out promptly at five. Then, at five pm on the dot I would take a giant trash bag and chuck everything in there. Oh, you think you should have had at least a few days’ notice? Too goddamned bad, it’s not your fridge! We would also “decide the freezer needed defrosting” over the weekend and just unplug the damned thing, letting people come back on Monday to ruined whatever. The office is not your home and you were never given permission to store your groceries here. It’s for keeping today’s lunch or today’s leftovers cool, and the occasional potluck, and nothing else.

    1. AGREED!! That is what people don’t understand and they 100% deserve to have their shit thrown out. It’s gotten so bad I’ve considered finding a tiny fridge to fit into my cube. You are a brave woman to go into that fridge and throw it all out. Not b/c of the people but b/c of the nasty, expired stuff you probably find. I can’t bring myself to doing that.

    1. I know! It’s like they think that if they leave just enough to equate to a sip, they’ve done the right thing. Well they haven’t. Grow up and do the adult thing by starting a fresh pot. You would want others to do the same thing.

  6. Mine is now seeing lunchboxes in the staff room dishwasher (we have 40 plus in there). Rinse and bring home folks. See the big pile of clean, abandoned ones? Because of YOU

    1. Wait….people are washing their lunch boxes in the dishwasher? That’s on par with people who bring all their ingredients to a potluck and make it at your house instead of dirtying up their kitchen with the assembly. You’re right, that is something they need to do at home.

    1. Isn’t that just crazy? I guess I’m dumb to think that all of us are wired the same at the very foundation of our being to understand that this lack of cleanliness is considered disrespectul. You know?

  7. We have a break room but nobody ever use it, like ever! There is a sofa there so I slept on it when I was sick at work… Ill have to get my colleagues to go in there so I can see this madness in action!!

  8. Last month I was tidying up in our kitchen at work and came across moldy sandwich meat in the fridge and moldy bagels in the cabinet. The kicker… I WORK AT THE FUCKING HEALTH DEPARTMENT!!

      1. I’ve dealt with worse I suppose, but I did take a picture of them and sent it out to everyone asking if this is the level of decency we have sunk to. Of course everyone started pointing fingers at everyone else. I think I work with a bunch of toddlers….

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