Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Is cleaning the office kitchen a woman's job?
No, I’m not a cleaning lady or a nanny. I work in a professional job, and I just happen to be one of the only people at every office I've worked at who cleans out the fridge. In fact, I have never seen a male co-worker clean out a communal fridge since I joined the workforce in 2007.
Where I currently work there are approximately equal numbers of men and women who share the kitchen and fridge. In the past year, only myself and one other woman (let’s call her Nancy) have cleaned the fridge out. I know because there’s a signup sheet on the fridge that says, “Cleaning the fridge is a team effort! Please do your part and sign up.” The “team effort” for the past year has looked like this: Jennie. Nancy. Jennie. Nancy. Jennie. Nancy.
The dishwasher is another point of contention. A few more people contribute to turning the dishwasher on and unloading clean dishes, but by and large it’s done by women. That too has been a trend in every office I've worked at.
This got me wondering, just how widespread is it for women to do all or most of the kitchen cleaning in the office? I’m willing to bet that it’s pretty damn common, and I’m getting a little pissed off about it. Women already do the double shift (work 8 hours in the office then come home to chores, cooking and childcare) – we don't need to make it a triple shift.
Well, it only took us women decades of feminism to get men helping out in the home kitchen... do we have to wait another few decades before they’ll do their part in the work kitchen?