Your Office Break Room Is a Cesspool of Filth

Illustration for article titled Your Office Break Room Is a Cesspool of Filth

Every morning you cruise into the office, set your bags down at your desk, and then head to the break room/kitchen/communal area. You may think you're there to get coffee and shoot the shit with your coworkers, but it turns out you're basically just there to soak yourself in germs for a few minutes. What a lovely way to start the day! Seriously though, it is fucking nasty in that break room, according to a new study which found that 75 percent of the faucet handles in break rooms had "a high degree of contamination." The microwave handles and refrigerator doors were also crawling with infectazoids, a clinical term that I just made up. So basically, you ought to be wearing protective gloves, and possibly a hazmat suit, at all times.

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While we're at it, that sponge you always use to clean out your coffee mug is covered with E. coli, and your desk is also a total filth swamp. It likely has more germs on it than you'd find on a toilet seat. Mmm, definitely go ahead and set that pastry down on your desk while you open your email. What's the worst that can happen? Actually, you know what — don't touch anything.

As if all of that wasn't foul enough, the coworkers you encounter in the break room are also highly infectious because they sneeze and cough into their hands and then attempt to spread their ickiness onto you with a handshake. University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba, who consulted on the study, says, "you'd be better off kissing each other than shaking hands." Well, you know what you've got to do! Sure, being the person who walks around in a rubber suit trying to kiss your coworkers might create some difficulties for you from an HR perspective, but at least you won't get one of those nasty summer colds.

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Buggy break rooms: Study reveals office ick [MSNBC]

Image via StockLite/Shutterstock.

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DISCUSSION

nothereanymore
Not here anymore

This drives me nuts. Working in public education, nothing ever gets cleaned properly. The custodians refuse to clean desk surfaces, shelves, or door handles. Basically anything that isn't the floor or a chalk board gets ignored. Also, our school has an operating budget the size of a game show prize, so we are out of kleenex for the entire year by January. Kid snerk and snot covers every suface, I swear. It is insane. When I start to think about it, I get all icked out and ragey. So I rarely think about it. As for the staff room/my office, I'm sure they're e coli-infested dumps too, but again, not much can be done except wash your hands a lot and clean your desk when you get the chance.

I guess I have a pretty good immune system...what hasn't killed me has made me stronger (???) Still, it's a shame we stick our kids in buildings like this all day every day. WTF is wrong with society? Sigh.