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The Truth About Workplace Kitchens

Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith

Do you remember when you discovered that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy were not real (maybe I should have put a spoiler warning on that)? It may have been a gradual awareness. The cumulative affect of sneering older siblings and more worldly friends gradually wearing away at your naive accepting optimism that your parents would never lie to you. Maybe those same parents you trusted, sat you down and went 'cold turkey' on the truth. Either way, you find yourself here today wise to the fact that two of the indisputable truths of early childhood were built up by adults for years then revealed as frauds.

How much of our worlds cynically laced attitude can be traced back to this early lesson that what adults told us was truth, was really a lie? How did we learn to trust again? How many broken children now inhabit adult bodies and roam the earth having taken the money and presents and carried on with what they knew to be a charade.

And so we come to workplace kitchens, a place where at least three mythical characters we all know hide in the shadows. Are they real or not?

Well it's cold turkey time on the first one  – I might as well just say it – THE KITCHEN ELF DOES NOT EXIST. There, it's out now. You know the Kitchen Elf? The one who wipes down the bench after we missed what we were aiming at. The one who takes the tea bag out of the sink (where we left it) and puts it in the bin. The one who fills up the coffee and sugar containers overnight and puts the dishes we left in the sink into the dishwasher and turns it on. In the morning those same dishes miraculously find their way back into the cupboard. The Kitchen Elf eh? Class A real dude. Not like the fictitious Santa and the tooth chick.

I know its hard to believe, but all those tasks completed by the Kitchen Elf were done by humans. Occasionally workmates tried to tell us but we laughed off their allegations. They were just attention seeking and self promoting colleagues, trying to cash in on the Kitchen Elf’s good work.

If you don't believe it then get a motion sensor camera installed in the kitchen and see for yourself (and only in the kitchen please we don’t want ‘motion’ sensors in the loo’s - such things are self evident). I know that even then some of you will see the footage and still cling to the belief that the Elf exists in spiritual form, possessing colleagues and forcing them to clean up after us. The truth is at times hard to accept. 

There might be an added bonus to this clandestine spying though. You might just catch that other mythical but very real creature – the Fridge Goblin. The Fridge Goblin sneaks in when no one else is there and eats other people's food. Little is known about Goblin but his victim's pain is very real as witnessed in those venom laden (organisational language protocol breaking) emails that are sent to colleagues in the vain hope that the fridge goblin is hacking into someone else’s inbox. We know this is futile because the Fridge Goblin is illiterate. It is well proven that he can’t read the owners' names left on their food.

Even harder to catch is the Refrigerated Eco-Warrior. No relation to the recycling, worm farming, bicycle riding Eco-Warrior. The refrigerated Eco-Warrior has one aim alone – to create a compost heap in the workplace fridge. While the fruits of their labours are obvious to all, their motive is unclear. Do they just enjoy rotting things? Or do they have genuine scientific curiosity about what will evolve from the fungus?

So whatever our taste in kitchen behaviour we are now all reading from the same page of understanding – the Kitchen Truth and Reconciliation Commission is now in session. Get it all out now. What are your painful experiences of disgusting kitchen etiquette? What signature moves do you do to annoy the ‘clean freaks’ in your workplace?

Share away Voxy readers. Only until we get it all out can we find a way forward to a new path of kitchen consciousness, peace and understanding. Where everyone ‘gets off’ on cleaning up after themselves and yoghurt pots can sit unmolested on the fridge shelf waiting for their rightful owner to eat them. A place where rotting food and ancient fungi are banished to that great worm farm in the sky.

Is this workplace kitchen Nirvana within reach? - Or is it just another fairy story? You decide.   


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