Here’s one of those things which gets my dander up. A small thing, admittedly…
Here at work, they set us up with free coffee and free soda and free bottled water and so on. It’s one of those perks which really came in strong with tech companies in the early 1990s and hasn’t gone away (like some benefits have). Amongst that free stuff is packets of hot cocoa (which I like to mix into my coffee).
Every now and then, I reach into the drawer (where the cocoa packets are kept) and find an open packet (which is typically dribbling cocoa dust all over the drawer, counter, and floor). Presumably someone only wanted half the contents and put the rest back — not wanting to be wasteful — but come on, what were they thinking?
This partial packet contains how much? The cocoa comes in measured amounts, but how much is left now? Half, a third, 80% of the original? No thanks, I’ll just take one where I know what I’m getting.
How long has it been sitting there? Did I not see it the last time I took a (whole) packet? Has it been there 5 minutes, two hours, a week? How fast does cocoa mix go stale? No thanks, I’ll take one expected to be fresh.
Is it only cocoa mix in there? Not that I think my co-workers are spitting in it, but did they drop it on the floor and pick it back up? Did they spill some on the counter and sweep the extra back in the packet, along with dust and coffee grounds? (Or God forbid, did they intentionally lace it with Anthrax spores or something like that? Again, not that any co-workers would actually do that, but pick up a leaking packet of cocoa and see what runs through your mind these days!) No thanks, I’ll take one expected to be untainted.
So use the whole damn packet. Or take the half-packet back to your desk to use the next time. Or just throw the unwanted portion away! Because I guarantee you, no one else in the company is going to want to use your left over 1/2 ounce of cocoa powder!
Updated on February 4, 2011
Problem solved: I now longer put cocoa powder in my coffee. Don’t need the calories.
These days, I bring my own 1/2 & 1/2 from home — and hope no one spits in it, heh — because I hate opening several of the plastic packets the company provides, which would put that much more plastic in the landfills.