If You Break, Fix It

If you break it, fix it or try to fix it. If you use the last one, replace it. That applies to home and the office.

We’ve all been in a rush, grabbed the carton of milk from the fridge to add a splash to our tea or coffee as we head to a meeting, only to see a dribble, drip, drip, into our travel mug. It barely changes the colour of our beverage. “Ugh! Who put an empty carton back in the fridge?” you demand, somehow misplacing your inside voice. Of course, you’re met by silence and innocent faces. Those gremlins are obviously at it again.

Still on a coffee quest you head to the office kitchen. Yep. Someone has taken the last cup and not taken the time to make a fresh pot. Is it time or consideration?

The frustrating and inconsiderate list goes on:

  • You arrive at the photocopier to see it flashing a demand to feed it paper.  Worse, it’s flashing to feed it toner. Once again, someone left it in its annoying, flashing mode.  If you don’t know how to do some of these things, ask a person who does know how to change/fix/repair. I admit that, in the past, changing the toner was an unpleasant task.  I distinctly remember, after battling with a balky toner cartridge, a necessity for nail clippers and dry cleaner.
  • Returning shopping carts falls into this category.  I’ve previously blogged about the frustration and inconsideration of leaving a cart in the parking lot, blocking access for others.  If you use it, return it. Simple.
  • Does your home or office look like it’s having a contest to see how much trash can be compacted into one trash receptacle?  If you press really hard then one more apple core will fit. Or you could just change the bag.
  • If you borrow someone’s car/truck/lawn mower/chain saw, before returning it (promptly), fill it up.
  • The toilet is sending those subtle signs that it is considering an episode in the near future.  Leave quietly and it will be the responsibility of the next person.  Great idea. That happened in the home of one of my friends. Everyone thought someone else should deal with it.  I emerged from their washroom, sheepishly mumbling, “I think I broke your toilet.” The exchange of looks within the family told me that it wasn’t me, but an I’ll wait for someone else to do something about it situation.

You probably have your own frustrations of home and office if I leave quietly no one will know it was me situations. Add to my list.

And then there’s that one square of toilet tissue that someone left on the roll. One square! Technically it wasn’t empty therefore did not require replacing.  Change the toilet roll. It’s not rocket science. It’s considerate.

About etiquetteottawa

Founder and Owner of the Protocol School Of Ottawa
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5 Responses to If You Break, Fix It

  1. Alessandro says:

    It’s so easy when everyone contribute. At the job we have a kitchen you have to see how many people leave a used cup in the sink when the dish washing machine is broken: who’s suppose to wash them? Mah?!?!?

    • Isn’t that frustrating, Alessandro? Sometimes you must wonder who cleans up after them at home!
      At the end of a workshop I usually suggest to my participants that we leave the room free of water bottles and coffee cups. Yes, sometimes that means picking up trash left by a previous group.
      And then there’s the washroom!
      Thanks for your input.

  2. karenhickman says:

    Well said, Suzanne. I think it is some of the smallest things that reveal our true courtesy I.Q.

  3. shanticonsulting says:

    I love this post, Suzanne. So true and honest.

    • Sad to say, it is true. I think most of us have done some of these things too. Why should I ALWAYS be the one to change the garbage bag at the office? At one office, many years ago, I started to empty trash cans in cubicles every other day since I was emptying my own. Within a few weeks others were doing the same.
      There is hope!
      Thanks for your comments.

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