Ummm Why?

The more I think I cannot be caught off guard by the “ummm why?” of those people with whom I share the office floor, the more those people – and note I did not say co-workers or colleagues, but those people – are determined to prove that I in fact can be caught off guard.

Exhibit A: I walk down the hall at work and encounter this: someone left their dishes in the water fountain.

Okay, “dishes” is bit of a misnomer. It’s not as if there is a stack of plates with remnants of mom’s spaghetti. [Dammit – and here comes Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” to rattle in my head for the next hour.]

I’ll even give credence to the fact that despite the literal dishwashing implement in the dirty mug in preparation for cleansing, clearly the incredibly rude person who did this was only storing the items there momentarily-likely while the used the nearby loos- before they could be taken to the sinks in the pantries. Regardless, that was just wrong.

Yes, there are water coolers -with better tasting, colder, better filtered water- located elsewhere on the floor that most people use. Those water coolers are located in the pantries that bookend the floor. As my floor hosts about 400 seats, 80-90% of which are occupied on any given weekday; the coolers are literally a full street block apart from one end of the floor to the other. This classic water fountain is centrally located on the floor. Regardless, that it is used much less often, it remains a working fountain, I have seen people use the fountain as intended – to drink from.

I can only imagine the utter repulsion of the poor souls who wanted a quick sip at the moment without going to polar ends of the floor to do so and encountered that nonsense. I know I shuddered at the thought.

So typical me, printed a sign and taped it above water fountain: This is not a dish rack. It is a working water fountain. Just because YOU don’t drink from here does not mean others do not.

The fact that I saw the dishes, got annoyed, created and printed the sign and the items were still there when I returned to the fountain to post said sign proved its need for it (in my humble opinion – and some of you know how humble my opinions are). Sign printed and posted I forget about it.

When I left for the day I pass the fountain and note the dishes are gone, but the sign remained. Only now in tiny print in a corner was scrawled Oops Sorry. This morning the sign was gone.

I have no idea if the offender knows I posted the sign. Unless I see the person with the mug I will have no idea of the offender’s ID.

I do have an idea that at least that person will not be so presumptuous about turning fountains into personal dishracks.


Day 4 of 31 – Come see how the rest of us are slicing it up this Friday!

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

7 thoughts on “Ummm Why?

  1. Sometimes people need a gentle, or not so gentle, reminder about acceptable behavior. I know you have a difficult time sharing your opinions with others so I know that leaving a reminder must have been traumatic. It seems like more and more people think only of themselves and their own convenience and not how their actions affect others.

  2. This is actually really funny to me. I know this was annoying to you but it makes me think of Seinfeld episodes. The show about nothing. I am not saying your annoyance wasn’t warranted. However, often we don’t extend grace in situations that need it. Maybe this person is just a complete idiot or maybe they were called out somewhere quickly, emergency style, and left their teetering load of dishes on the “safest” spot whilst they took care of said emergency or crisis. Or maybe they are just a jerk, using the fountain as a sink.

    • Oh, I fully concede it’s a little ado about nothing. And even I laughed at my own silliness when I saw the ‘Oops sorry”. Emergency or not, the scrawled apology was enough for me to believe it was just someone who did not think that one through. It was meant to be funny. Thanks.

  3. Nobody used to do the dishes in our staff room sink, but thanks to Covid people have added washing their own dishes AND removing them right away into the routine. I’m so glad! I can’t imagine them ending up in the water fountain! I’d have posted a sign too. 🙂

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