Thursday, October 9, 2014

Communal Food Is Gross

As some of you know, I work in an office. Specifically, in a dinky CUBE in an office. I've detailed the glories of toiling in a cube here: Working in a Cube Is HELL.

Anyone who's ever worked with others knows the delights of SHARING: sharing cramped quarters, sharing a fridge, and sharing a bathroom. Let's not forget sharing food. And I'm not talking about the "sharing" that happens when you bring in yummy leftovers and store them in the fridge, and a rude coworker decides he wants to "share" them. (For the record, Sir HelpsHimselfALot, that's "stealing," not "sharing.") No, I'm talking about communal food. I suspect that almost every office has The Bowl of Rejected Candy in the kitchen. You know, a giant vessel with a grimy coating of crumbs and wrappers at the bottom, partially filled with anything that's not chocolate. So, the Runts, the Gummi-anythings, the lollipops...yeah, the shitty candy.

This has been sitting in a pathetic pile at my workplace for roughly 152 years.
Another office staple? The Canister of Crappy Snacks.


Yep, that's a plastic container with the remnants of some pretzels (in the kitchen for approx. 36 yrs.). Who the hell likes pretzels? And who the hell likes pretzels that 47 other people have sifted through? Okay, you know what? To this I say, NO! I've just been in the bathroom with you, and I know that you barely used soap and you for sure didn't wash for the 20 seconds that hygiene rules dictate. So, madam, please don't plunge your filthy hand in that bowl of pretzels, swish it around vigorously to find the verybestone, and expect me to follow suit. I'll be in my cube, muttering and slathering on antibacterial gel.

As you gazed hungrily at those pretzels, your eyes surely were drawn to the Toblerone candy bar to the left. I know what you're wondering. Did someone leave that in the kitchen by mistake? Why, no! Apparently, that's a candy bar for everyone in the office to share!

Mmmmm, I hope you used your mouth to break off that section.
Yes, indeed. The communal candy bar! Who in their right MIND would want to snap off a piece of that after dozens of filthy fingers have groped all over it? I admit, when I first saw the candy bar (and it was sealed), I had an urge to whisk it straight into my purse to enjoy later. Then I decided to not be a pig and let someone ELSE have it. But I expected someone to take the whole bar, not just nibble/pry off bits [shudder].

In the kitchen where all this food sits around, there are bound to be roaches rats hobos dirty dishes and crumbs. Fortunately, there also are cleaning supplies! Like this sponge!
Yeah, the dishes were cleaner BEFORE you used that sponge.
  And this dish drainer!
This exact collection of dishes has been here for at least a year. I'm thinking of painting a still life.
I spy with my little eye...something unpleasant lurking beneath the dish drainer! Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Dorito, circa 1987.
There's no mistaking that neon-orange glow! Who the hell brought in Doritos? And why don't we have THOSE out rather than the f***ing pretzels??

When discussing office sharing, it's impossible to avoid the topic of the beloved potluck luncheon! You know the drill: signup sheet in the kitchen; Jill with her famous meatballs that everyone secretly hates; me uhhhh, Amber, who always brings something with cat hair in it; Andy and his purchased-5-minutes-before-the-lunch bag of cookies...

The thing about potlucks, apart from the crappy food and stilted conversation, is that one can't help but think about just HOW that food was prepared. Here's a handy tip that the germaphobes in your office will surely appreciate you following: when making food for the office potluck, please, for the LOVE OF GOD, do not enlist the aid of your children. While I'm totally sure your son is the most adorable and sweet child on the entire freaking planet, I suspect he's also picking his nose and licking his fingers nonstop.

Please....NO. 
You know who DOES make a fantastic kitchen helper? Capt. Nap!!!

He totally washed his paws after this picture.
My frequently shedding, counter-lurking fur-baby is as clean as a whistle! That's why we let him lounge around on our clean clothes!

"Can a cat get some PRIVACY? I'm trying to pee!"
So if you see a cat hair or 20 in the food I bring it to the next potluck, not to worry! My cats are the cleanest, sweetest, most adorable kitties on the entire freaking planet!

36 comments:

  1. I worked in an office once where two control freaks organized the potluck lunch. They not only told everyone what to bring, but how to prepare it. They handed out recipes for us to follow, for gawd's sake. I said I would bring my dish the way I always prepared it and if they didn't want to eat it, they didn't have to.

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    1. Hey, Debra, I didn't tell you HOW to prepare it, just that should under no circumstances should children be involved. And that recipe I gave you was fantastic!!!

      Wait...you're not talking about me. Uhhh, never mind. :)

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  2. Well...grateful I do not work in a cube, Ms. CrankyPants, never have and probably never will. However a law school professor once told us (the class) never use the word never. I like your blog, your attitude, and your spunk. Yes. I said spunk. My friends tell me I am a contrarian, naturally, I disagree with them.

    JE

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    1. Naturally! As a crankypants, I'd disagree with them too.

      Thanks for the nice comment! Not sure anyone's ever said they like my spunk before. (And I've managed to make it sound naughty.) (Oh, wait, that's just me again?)

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  3. Ewwww! But, in my adventures of working with builders, I can guarantee you they are ickier. They leave random bits of their sandwiches/pasties/butties all over the place, then come back to them a few hours later and trough them down, dust and all. It's not unknown for me to lift a floorboard and find a shriveled chicken sandwich from 5 weeks earlier. Take my advice, if a builder offers you a biscuit or a piece of cake, stay well away.... B

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    1. Thank you for the advice; no food from builders: check!

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  4. Hehe, of course! You know, this post does not only apply to cube-ism, in which I totally identify. I work in one of those places. This post also applies to restaurants-- you know that bowl of candy up front some places insist on providing customers with... usually its peppermint red and white striped candy in Mexican restaurants. I have not put my hand in any of those bowls since I was a child. Just think... any number of people reached into that bowl as they were leaving the restaurant? They may not have washed their hands after going potty. They may have had their fingers in their mouths at some point, to dislodge a piece of food or something. ANYTHING. And then they reach into that bowl that is supposed to be for everyone?

    UH, no thank you.

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    1. Oh, gross! Yes, the bowl of candy!! The WORST are the unwrapped after-dinner pastel mints (might as well call them "before gastrointestinal illness mints"). I agree: avoid at all costs...

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  5. Someone needs to take those candy bowls and throw they in the trash. Ewwww!

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    1. There's a restaurant near me that actually has gummy bears in a bowl, unwrapped, for countless grubby hands to root around in. The gummy consistency makes sure germs, etc., stick around a good looooooong time!

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  6. I'm yet to find a lunchroom mug or bowl that looks safe enough to eat or drink from.

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    1. That's because they don't exist! I had to look for sugar this morning, and contemplated for .5 seconds using the communal sugar canister. Then I came to my senses.

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  7. I hear ya! I don't even use the communal salt shaker. The thought of all those licked sticky fingers holding the shaker before me grosses me out. And if I have to leave my lunch for a minute ('cause a hotel NEVER stops), I always cover it up with a napkin or close it back up in its container. Can't bear the thought that someone may sneeze on or around it while I'm gone. So yeah, a communal gummy bear jar? No thanks.

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    1. The communal salt/pepper shaker always look sticky, and they have random crumbs stuck to the top. God knows what's inside (the ones here are opaque). Lawd!

      Good call on covering your food!

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  8. I never eat any food that is communal, you never know what or who has been at it before hand :/ I do get dirty looks when I pass up the food and pull out my own chocolate bar/cookie/junk food but I don't want other people's germs/snot

    and I like runts! :D

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    1. Send me your address -- I have Runts for you! (You don't mind if they've been here since 1986, do you?)

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  9. Where can I apply?
    Good eats...Camaraderie...Sounds like a pleasant work environment.

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    1. Haha! In spite of my cranky reports, it's a nice place. I'll send you an application right away.

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  10. I'm strangely craving some cat hair potato salad now.

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    1. Not...strange at all! I am sure just about anything in my cube has cat hair on it. No potato salad, but I do have an ancient apple I could give you, or some wizened tangerines??

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  11. You know what I always hated about the community punch bowl full of shitty candy? That someone would invariably fill it with something like Starbursts, and after a grand total of about an hour it would be reduced to nothing but a huge bowl full of the yellow ones - AKA the one that no one likes, everyone else having picked out the others. And that bowl would still sit there, forever, with those awful yellow ones just being ignored while its owner somehow thought, "Hmmm, I'll just keep these out in case someone magically starts liking this awful flavor."

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    1. Ooooh, Starbursts are a hot commodity 'round these here parts. Even the yellow ones. But that's probably because there is even SHITTIER candy. Hang on while I check the punch bowl...

      Jolly Ranchers! There are a few of those lurking in there, along with some nasty-looking items called Sour Punch. These gems are thick, short Twizzler-shaped candies that no one is brave/foolish enough to try.

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  12. You have really nailed the food issues working in an office.
    That poor sad little Dorito, I hope you gave it a decent burial.
    It will be Halloween soon, and all my co workers will bring in the cheap candy that no one wanted.

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    1. Hahaha -- the candy in the bowl in the picture above is quite likely from *last* Halloween!

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  13. Replies
    1. Birdie! I keep telling myself to and then...don't. I will muster the energy soon, promise! Nice to hear from you.

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  14. Happy Holidays Ms. CrankyPants...

    JE

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    1. You too, Mystery Poster (wracked my brain for "JE" and came up totally blank)!

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  15. I missed this one! But that's not odd because I was a tad inconsistent with the blogging last year.

    Anyway, I hope things are going well for you; that you didn't give in and partake of the Dorito or any of the other "goodies" pictured here and catch something.

    Thanks for the laugh. Happy New Year!

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    1. ummm, yeah, I've fallen apart when it comes to blogging. Gah! Happy new year to you, too! (No, I didn't eat any of those treats.) (Okay, JUST the Dorito.)

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  16. Love your blog, hope you have the energy to get back to it soon :)

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    1. Thanks, Tina! I'm working on it. (The energy, not the blog. Yet.)

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  17. Glad to know you'll be back to blogging once your energy returns. You're a terrific writer and always get me laughing, which is a daily necessity for handling life with MS!!

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    1. You know, MLN, it's comments like this that make me...feel like complete SHIT for being a lazy slacker. hahahahha! Just kidding! Really, I appreciate it, and I swear, I am almost thisclose to starting to maybe think about considering drafting an outline for a post. :)

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    2. Oh my gosh, you totally freaked me out for a minute!! Phew!! I'm so impressed with your writing and creative approach to serious and sometimes sensitive symptoms. Like I said before, you can always help me the funny side too. I would love to start blogging but I've got at least 4 things holding me back: time/energy, confidence, know how and cognitive problems. So, I'm very happy to hear that you are thisclosé to getting back to it!

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    3. hahaha! Sorry for freaking you out! I hope you will give blogging a try one day; it's really great to connect with other bloggers. It's a nice community. Of course, I hear you on the challenges. Ugh. MS... :/

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