What Is That Smell in the Office?

This is an excerpt from The Thing About Work: Showing Up and Other Important Matters, by Richard A. Moran, permission of Taylor & Francis Group. I hope you enjoy his humor as much as I do.

The advent of microwaves ovens created a brave new world at work. The office no longer needed to reek of printer toner and whiteboard markers alone. The office could now smell of microwave popcorn!

Ah, but it didn’t stop there. We can pop something out of the freezer (with the notes on it about cleaning up after yourself) and cook a lasagna or chicken potpie. Going even further, the microwave is now the new home for cooking leftovers. How many of us have been distracted by what we know is a reheated bean burrito or beef chow mein that was nuked just a little too long? The smell of reheated burritos can be as distracting as the guy in the cubicle next door who talks to his mother all day.thethingaboutwork

I dare you to hold a serious meeting when the smell from the garlic in the clam linguini works its way through the halls. The mind wanders in the hope that we don’t sit next to that person in the next meeting. What was not eaten at the restaurant last night does not go home, it ends up in the office microwave. The odors are shared by all.

Some say that leftovers in the office create community when everyone goes out in the hall and asks, what is that smell? Who is cooking that? Leftovers allow colleagues to share their restaurant experiences, and leftovers are the inspiration for the ironclad rule about implementation: whatever is left in the refrigerator on Friday will be thrown away.

It is always good to know that inspiration about execution can come from new sources, like leftovers. And sometimes they are best left at home.

 

Excerpts fromThe Thing About Work: Showing Up and Other Important Matters, by Richard A. Moran, permission of Taylor & Francis Group.