Workplace Etiquette: The Ongoing Garbage Saga

I have a new cubicle-neighbor at work. He’s participating in a job rotation, where you take over someone’s job responsibilities for a specified period of time, cross-training that promotes the company’s ability to function if, as my boss is fond of saying, you get hit by a bus tomorrow. So he’s not really a new employee, but he’s new to our area and, crucially, new to our floor. He used to work on the fifth floor.

The fifth floor has recently been renovated, gets great light (it’s high enough to be above the insidious shadows), and has multiple kitchen facilities (at least three that I know of). The second floor I like to refer to as the ghetto, not least because it is apparently rarely vacuumed, I am almost always cold, and the cubicles are so old that places on the partitions that are frequently touched are visibly grimy. Also, the entire second floor, comprised primarily of finance and IT personnel, must share a single narrow kitchen facility, the navigation of which, at lunchtime, becomes a Twister-like exercise in avoiding touching your coworkers. (We also have to provide our own dish soap.)

This last week, the “new guy” was getting a bit of training from the person who had his job before him when the subject of his garbage can came up, and he said, “Yeah, no one has been emptying my garbage.”

We all turned around and looked at each other. Heads popped up above partitions. He was somewhat mercilessly grilled about the fifth floor garbage situation as we explained how things work (or don’t, depending on your point of view) on the second floor.

Apparently, if you work on the fifth floor, your garbage gets emptied for you. Every day. And I’m just not sure what to say to that.

I consulted the office 8-ball; clearly it also was at a loss for words.

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One thought on “Workplace Etiquette: The Ongoing Garbage Saga

  1. Pingback: Workplace Etiquette: Noise Tolerance | Ms. Grammarian

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