An unsolicited endorsement

November 23rd, 2012 · 28 comments

Clarissa in Portland, Oregon dutifully passed along this e-mail from her boss. I normally don’t like to encourage this sort of thing, but, well, ’tis the season for shameless self-promotion. So, uh, take from Mel?

“Seriously, I have their calendar and I love it.” —Melanie, Administrative Projects Coordinator

I dislike sending these emails. But, <insert judgmental tone of voice here> apparently we need a reminder that this is a wash-your-own-dishes office. Thank you to whoever washed that nasty sink full of dishes this morning. I can assure you that I did not do it it, because I will not be washing your dishes for you. I don't hand wash dishes for other people, and if you want to know why, I will give you my parents' phone number and you can have a nice, long chat about it. But suffice it to say, in the meantime, wash your own dishes. p.s. i would be delighted if this ended up here: Seriously, I have their calendar, and I love it.

related: Ceci n’est pas une note passif-agressif

extra credit: The PAN 2013 Page-a-Day Calendar. Seriously.

FILED UNDER: all-staff e-mail · dishes · meta

28 responses so far ↓

  • #1   infanttyrone

    Melanie’s father says please don’t say nothin’ to make her start cryin’ and stay
    And the operator says forty cents more for the next three minutes…

    Apologies to Dr.Hook

    So, if you call & have that nice, long chat with Pops…
    are you going to hear a rant about infectious cooties ?
    or some gibberish based on a misreading of Atlas Shrugged ?

    Nov 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   t-rex

    Dear Boss:

    Buy a dishwasher. Stainless steel not black.

    Nov 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Li

      Won’t work. Either the lazy party …

      a) won’t use it,
      b) will load their dishes but never run it, and/or
      c) will never, ever, ever be the one to empty it.

      We know. We tried.

      Nov 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   t-rex

      Oh I know that, but it will make the work easier on whomever does the dishes.

      Nov 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Bug

      A is clearly the right answer here.
      B is not quite right; stupid may not run, but lazy won’t even load.
      C is obviously wrong; lazy has no problems emptying, one dish at a time of course (Hey, saves cupboard space!).

      Nov 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   SeeYouInTea

      Am I the only person that doesn’t trust dishwashers to actually fully clean dishes? My family never had one, and I’ve never used one.
      And no, we weren’t poor, nor am I too old to have grown up in a house with a dishwasher.

      Nov 24, 2012 at 9:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   shepd

      Don’t bother. We have dishwashers at work. Nobody cleans them so they don’t work properly and are nastier than the dirty dishes going into them.

      Nov 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.6   redheadwglasses

      SeeYouInTea, dishwashers work GREAT. They *sanitize* with hotter water than your hands can stand. As of this month, I’m living without a dishwasher for the first time in 20 years and I am looking into getting a portable dishwasher. I do not want to wash the dishes the cats eat out of. They belong in a dishwasher.

      Nov 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Poltergeist

    Melanie seems like a cool boss. I’m moving to Portland.

    Nov 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Julia

    Team Wash Your Own Dishes.

    I hate washing dishes as much as anyone else, but it has to be done, it doesn’t take that long, and it’s not that big of a deal. Just do it.

    Nov 23, 2012 at 6:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Meme

      I agree, if you want to eat using dishes then clean ‘em when you’re done. If you don’t want to wash them then don’t make them dirty.

      Nov 24, 2012 at 9:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Brian H

    Only allow paper plates, plastic utensils, and disposable cups.

    If that doesn’t work shut down the kitchen. Pull out the fridge, shut off the faucets, screw down the cabinets and drawers.

    If it’s that much of a problem then it doesn’t belong. It’s a business not a dorm.

    Nov 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Jami

      Problems with those -

      1: One or more people will start whining about how bad for the environment all those disposable things are. Especially the plasticware.

      2: I’m sure someone could sue saying that it’s inhuman to not make a place to eat available.

      Nov 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   The Elf

      Yeah, we don’t have a kitchen so I wash my oatmeal bowl and coffee mug in the bathroom sink, as do the forty or so other women. This is why, on any given day, at least one sink in the bathroom is stopped up.

      Team wash your own dishes. That said, I recognize that Melanie will never be able to resolve this. There is no winning scenario, because lazy people are lazy.

      Nov 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.3   kermit

      There are no winning scenarios but you can give people warning that dirty dishes that have been there for days on end will be thrown out, and then follow up on that threat. The Friday throw-out rule for food in the fridge helps keep the fridge clean and I bet it would work for dishes, too.

      Nov 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   germangirl

    Get TWO dishwashers, obviously. Now you can just move the dishes/cutlery from one into the other – and whenever the ‘used-dirty’ one is full, run it!

    Nov 24, 2012 at 1:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   kermit

      That would work if people were disciplined enough to put dirty dishes in one dishwasher only. There will be peace in Middle East and African kids will stop starving before that happens.

      Nov 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   anonymous


    Nov 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Pandora bang

    What if there are only personal dishes and cups, so everything is marked with a name? Then it would be clear whose dishes are dirty.
    Yes, it’s childish, but so is not doing your dishes.

    Nov 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Eversist

      People would just use each other’s dishes. :/

      Nov 26, 2012 at 8:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   OCnative

    Am I the only one who ever just throws nasty dishes in the trash? Been there more than two days? Buh bye.

    Our office sink tends to stay clean now.

    Nov 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Brian

      That’s the official policy in my office. Any dirty dish in the sink for more than 2 hours (a reasonable amount of time it might take someone who got distracted by work to realize they left their stuff in the sink) is assumed to be trash.

      Nov 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   My name is Princess!

    Melanie’s last name must be “Malfoy”. “Wait until my father hears about this!”

    Nov 27, 2012 at 8:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Slerte

    Dear Boss,

    Hire a cleaner.

    Nov 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Brian

      Between calls for a dishwasher and this; I have to know: Is that really what people see as an answer to bad behavior? That the company should spend money to offset the childish mindset of workers?

      Only a fool rewards bad behavior.

      Nov 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Amy in Toronto

    I’m one of those odd persons who doesn’t mind doing dishes. In fact, I find it quite cathartic to do them. Ironing, on the other hand, is a task I despise so much that I’d rather be cleaning toilets.

    At my workplace, we have a small shared kitchenette. I will often leave my used breakfast bowl and coffee mug to soak for a few hours on the counter until my oatmeal is no longer dried and stuck to the bowl, to make cleaning easier. On many occasions, I have returned to the kitchenette to wash my dishes and found them already washed and sitting on paper towel to dry. I have left notes for this Dish Washing Fairy with offers of Halloween candy and other treats for doing me a favour, but have never met this mysterious person.

    In turn, whenever there are dishes left soaking on the counter next to our sink, I pay it forward and just wash them all (it’s usually less than 5 things unless there’s a potluck going on in the office). We tend to have a very civilized office in terms of kitchenette etiquette. On the other hand, our women’s bathroom is on a whole other plane of existence. Apparently, people go primal in there and lose their minds along with all sense of decency. I have no idea why.

    Nov 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Jennifer

    Amy in Toronto seems to have the right mindset (and also, the best kind of colleagues). To start with, OP’s weird childhood-stemming zero tolerance for NEVER washing another person’s dish is a little awkward and I think Melanie seems like a little bit of a difficult person for it. I think washing your own dishes should always be the protocol but if there ever are some dishes left from others, I would absolutely and happily wash them, provided that I would be treated to the same kind of flexibility and kindness should I ever happen to leave a cup or porridge bowl in the sink. I think naming your own cups and plates is silly and common sense and consideration for others should make the dish-system work in any office (provided there is nobody there that is really weird about dishes-like Melanie-or never washes them).

    Nov 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Annoyed

    Our floor has not one but TWO breakrooms. Someone choses to either wash their dishes in the sink in the ladies room – or they’re bathing in the sink, based on the amount of water they leave on the freakin counter. It’s a POND.

    Dec 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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