Awkward Moment #29: Mug-gate


The office kitchen.

A place of relaxation and a break from the computer screen, a tranquil yet delicate atmosphere is needed to maintain the balance in this breeding ground for awkwardness. Many unspoken rules command office kitchen etiquette, but the main ones are…

  • Don’t eat anything noisy or smelly
  • You burn it or accidentally eat it, you buy it
  • Never use someone else’s mug.

It was this final unspoken rule, my dear friends, that was callously broken in the office kitchen this week. And it wasn’t just any mug, oh no…

…it was my mug.

My favourite mug, no less. I can hear your gasps of horror already. I know. The nerve.

It was Thursday morning, about ten minutes before the monthly team meeting, where strong tea is crucial to making it through the three hours in full consciousness. Having attended five of these meetings since I started my job, I have discovered that timing the making of a good cup of tea right before the meeting can make or break you.

So, at ten to ten, I head to the kitchen. I go to the dishwasher, expecting to retrieve my orange penguin classics mug, denoting Jane Austen’s Persuasion, from the dishwasher.

But before I even reached it, something stopped me in my tracks. There it was, on the worktop.

Hmm. That’s weird. What’s it doing there? As I moved closer, what I saw shocked me to my very core.

Coffee granules. Waiting patiently to be bathed in boiling water and mixed with milk. In my mug. My bloody mug. My. Mug.

Oh hell no.

How can this be? Everyone knows this is my mug, my obsession with penguin classics is evident to all who know me. I collect them, I have a notepad…IT’S ON MY HANDBAG FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

Somebody is using MY MUG?!

I’m appalled. This is completely inappropriate. That mug should be used for tea and tea only. Who is this person that insists on breaking the rules? I demand to confront this vagabond of unspoken office kitchen etiquette.

And then, there they were. They swept in, took the mug over to the urn, made their coffee and off they went. The worst part? THEY’RE IN MY TEAM.

Crap. Now what? What am I supposed to do? Should I say something? How do people deal with this type of situation?

I stood there inwardly debating my next move long enough to almost miss the start of the meeting. In the end, I reconciled to a plain white mug they keep on the side for spares, like the singles table at a wedding or those without a date. relegated to the benches at a school dance.

My tea tasted horrible.

And so, for the next three hours, in the spirit of being dreadfully British, I said nothing but threw serious eye daggers as I sat across from my mug’s captor, forced to watch as they enjoyed their coffee slowly and painfully.

After the meeting, I waited for them to leave for the day before going in search. I found it abandoned in the sink, still harbouring the last of the cold coffee dregs.

Unbelievable. Couldn’t even finish their drink. No respect.

It’s safe to say, I’m never using that dishwasher again, that’s for sure. Now that I know it’s basically a prime spot for mug crime, my mug is now washed at home and escorted to and from the office every day.

That’ll show ‘em.

Awkward Moment #28: A Great Week


So, a few months ago, we found out that we're getting a brand new member of the family. That's right, I'll be Auntie Em to an inevitably awesome and well-dressed baby boy come November. The first grandchild in the family, it's akin to the birth of Christ and there is no limit to how much love will surround my future nephew. 

We found out on Mothers' Day, and to no surprise, Mum was on cloud nine. There were screams, laughter, tears (mostly from me), but there was no beating the sheer joy radiating from my Brother and Sister-in-Law. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of a great week for Mum.

"I mean, this is just the best week EVER!" She chirped over our Sunday morning cuppa. "I have waited so long for this moment, and now it's finally happening. I can barely believe it!" It was so nice to see her this happy. "…and after this long, and all that hard work, I didn't think it would ever happen…"

Wait, what? They haven't been married that long, what is she-

…"but now that it has, it's all been worth it to hear those magical four words…"

"Oh you mean, we're having a baby?" I guessed.

She looked blankly at me for a few seconds. "Oh of course, yes. Well, that too!" She replied.

What now? That too? I'm confused. Did I miss something? Did anything else life-changing happen this week? Did Trump get impeached? Did Poldark come back? Are Pringles half price!?!

I needed clarity. "What were you talking about if it wasn't the baby?" I ventured, curious as George. She held up her diary with a sticker on the back. It had big, silver writing: Slimmer of the Week. 

"I'm not being funny or anything, I'm chuffed about being a nan…but do you have any idea how long I have waited to be Slimmer of the Week?!?"

The struggle is real.