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What to Do When a Co-Worker Uses Your Coffee Mug

Coffee
Sean Gallup, Getty Images

It amazes me at how rude people can be, especially those you work with, when given the opportunity to choose between going hungry or thirsty, or taking what is not their’s. I worked in a professional office before this job for five-years and one of my colleagues resorted to putting a mini-frig in their office just so no one would use their half-n-half.  If you didn’t buy something and physically place it in the community refrigerator, than it’s not for your use, right?  I mean, yes, it is a community refrigerator, but it only falls under “community use” in the sense of the refrigeration aspect.  Items being community refrigerated are not for community use.  They are solely in there for the use of the buyer/owner.

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Kitchen
Casey Danton, WGNA-FM

With that said, here at WGNA-FM or Townsquare Media rather (since we share things amongst our sales staff and our sister radion stations), we have a community kitchen — same idea as a community refrigerator.  Sometimes things are left out on the community table for the distribution tactic of first come, first serve.  However, some of us responsible users of the community kitchen do not want their items placed under that “first come, first serve” category.  So we have carefully placed items such as cereal, flavored tea, personal coffee mugs, etc. in a community cabinet in the community kitchen for one purpose — to fullfil our personal hunger or thirst.  Kind of goes with the saying:

“Character is what you do when no one is looking.”

This morning however, I found my personal mug in the sink this morning, not washed out, with reminisces of whatever this selfish person decided to put in my mug.  I KNOW I washed my mug out yesterday and placed it back in the community cabinet.  What kills me, is there is a drying rack, if that’s what you want to call it, of community mugs to the left of the sink.  The culprit obviously likes the fact that my mug has good hygiene and is guaranteed to not be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Last week I thought I was being paranoid in thinking someone was using my mug and so I gave the benefit of the doubt and blamed my imagination.  But yesterday, I made a mental note to wash the mug after eating my oatmeal out of it, drying it thoroughly and placing it back on the same shelf I always store it.  Obviously, hiding it is not the solution, but what would be a quick remedy?

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Cornell Mug
Casey Danton, WGNA-FM

After a consensus via Facebook, here is what some people thought I should do:

1 - Coat the inside of the mug discretely with a laxative so I know who has been using the mug when I see constant “runs” to the bathroom.  The only problem is that I leave the building no later than noon.  An afternoon or evening on-air personality could be the suspect so it would be hard to sit and wait all day.

2- Leave a note inside the mug calling them out.  This is a great idea that I’ve contemplated, however; it’s not much fun and I don’t think they will a) take the hint and/or b) own up to their offense.

3 - Surrender this mug and get a new one along with the new hiding spot.  I would love to do that, but this mug has special meaning.  While competing on the Siena Equestrian Team in college, I won this mug at a horse show hosted by Cornell.  Despite it saying “Cornell,” I still love the mug because I earned it.  A new hiding place might just be the ticket!

4 - My favorite — get red paint or something red in color and decorate the mug so it looks like blood.  This is quite extreme for sure, but I like it!  Very creative and would easily turn anyone’s stomach from using my mug.  I might have to hit up the party warehouse a little earlier than Halloween this year.

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What would you do if someone was either eating the food you had placed in your work refrigerator or taking something you use every day and using it for themself (such as a mug)?

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