The 14 Essential Rules of Office Kitchen Etiquette

There are rules to coexisting in a work kitchen, and you should be following them.
05/28/2014 02:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Your office kitchen can sometimes feel like a lawless, post-apocalyptic desert littered with empty K-Cups, spilled Sweet'N Low, and stale donuts from the last time someone brought in donuts (January 2008). But there are rules to coexisting in a work kitchen, and you should be following them. Obey the 14 commandments below to avoid future altercations by the water cooler.

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1. This is not the space to update your work friends on personal stories

Besides, it's a bad career move if your boss overhears your tale of how you just took a three-hour nap on the toilet.

2. If someone shares their baked goods with the group, you're taking just one cookie, slice, or brownie

Otherwise, people will be rage-whispering about the Two-Blondie Incident of '14 for days.

3. Respect the limited fridge space

You might've scored a sweet deal on a case of Zevia, but you're only keeping one or two cans in there at a time. People have actual lunches -- and actual sodas! -- to chill, too.

4. Do not forget about the perishable foods you stashed in the fridge, either

Remembering you put some leftover guac in there a week ago is six days too late.

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5. No stealing people's lunches, snacks, or fancy coconut waters

You are not Janet, and you know it. Go around the corner to the deli like a decent person.

6. On the flip side, milk, spreads, and condiments are fair game

Unless Janet also marked the 1 percent as hers -- in which case, Janet is a tyrant -- you can grab that stuff without a second thought.

7. If you drained the coffee pot, you're filling it back up

Where were you raised, a barn? Or worse, a barn without coffee?

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