It goes back to consideration. Take for example, the urban cubicle warehouse, where people work close enough to each other to catch every virus but often don’t know one another well at all. Work is conducted over the phone or computer and there is only limited contact with colleagues who happen to be in the office. One sad effect of this non-personal work environment is that we don’t develop friendships at work, and as a result we don’t really care two figs for the people that we work with, especially folks who are more than a couple of cubes in either direction. Instead, we see angry signs taped over the kitchen sink with heavy underlining and red exclamation marks that say “Clean Up After Yourself!!” and “Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here.”
Last week, the ultimate fridge insult occurred. Somebody actually had left over soup in their bowl, and had to make a mad dash back to their cubicle to avoid being late. The criminal balanced said bowl on top of a bag of creamers in the crisper drawer, then went to their desk. The soup was incapable of resting flat in the drawer; how could it be, left as it was on a bunch of creamers? Once the door of the fridge closed, the bowl tilted and lazily oozed its contents all over the creamers. The boss issued an email that said something like “hey, dork, go clean up your soup and while you’re at it, replace $16 worth of creamers.”
I don’t have to make this stuff up – it really happened. Why? I think it goes back to my post last week, about negativity in the workplace. If we don’t care about what’s happening at home, how on earth will they care anywhere else?