There is a new starter within my team at work. This new starter has joined as a senior employee but completely has a lack of respect for the workplace and other colleagues outside of our team.

This person constantly leaves dirty bowls/plates/cutlery on the sink basin to soak all day and occasionally leaves them over night before washing them. There has been multiple complaints about this by numerous different people but he has never owned up to it even though everyone on our team knows it's him.

I caught him putting his crumbs and bits of sweet packets onto the floor. I asked "Why are you just throwing things onto the floor"... His reply was "The cleaners are paid to tidy it up".

I found this completely disrespectful and diminishing towards the cleaners who have their jobs to empty the bins, clean the toilets.. etc... none of which are the most glorious of tasks but they complete them and this colleague is out here making their job more difficult.

What's worse is he often notices that his desk area has not been cleaned up and is first to complain that the cleaners have not done their jobs when it really isn't their job to begin with. We as colleagues are given the responsibility to keep all facilities clean and tidy (including our desks).

My Question is: How can I tell this colleague that this opinionated colleague is in the wrong and is acting extremely disrespectfully and should keep his own area tidy in the first place, without causing a scene or any drama?

P.S I don't want to alert my manager as I feel this issue is not important enough to be raised. I've also looked at other questions How can we keep a shared common area (kitchen) clean?

But this is about an individual employee who is not respecting the culture of our organisation.


2 Answers 2


I don't think telling him he is wrong is the right approach, I think instead, you should talk to him about your workplaces etiquette.

I agree with you, this is totally disrespectful to the cleaning staff, but based on the information provided, I think it is safe to say that your co-worker does not care about that. What I would do instead is tell try to explain this is not typical in your workplace.

Next time he does it, just politely say,

here at company X we believe that everyone contribute to a clean and tidy work environment. Could you please do your best to clean up after yourself.

Confrontation will almost certainly make it worse. If being nice an explaining it does not work, I would say going to your manager is only thing left.

  • Someone tried this, He said that he takes all his stuff off the desk and wipes it when he is done. But this still leaves half the rubbish on the floor that he has added for the cleaners
    – Twyxz
    Dec 3, 2018 at 12:31
  • 3
    maybe adding on to what I said, explain that also applies to the floors and everywhere else. if it does not work, I think you should go to the supervisor. Dec 3, 2018 at 12:32

Personally, I would tell my manager. I'd say "He's a slob and it needs to end, it's irritating everyone." Because while it may seem trivial, how someone acts in the smallest of tasks sometimes echoes in larger tasks. Will he "ignore the crumbs" of his work? When I see someone who is so brazen about their disorder, I bring it up. Teams need to collaborate and get along. If you're grinding everyone's nerves because you live like an animal, then that's a problem. It WILL boil over into the work you're doing.

  • 3
    might want to use less hostile language. Remember, this is a workplace environment and regardless of how disrespectful this person is being, OP should still be expected to act professional. Calling a co-worker a slob is not very professional. Talking about the factual issue however would be a good thing. So telling your boss that this co-worker is making a mess on the floor. That is a fact that does require name calling. Dec 3, 2018 at 14:15

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