Keeping a pantry clean seems to be a universal struggle in Mandeville. The building on campus Woudestein is open to many employees and students and some of them have taken a notice of the state of the pantries. “Every day the countertop is so dirty”, says staff member Patricia. She is one of the employees at Mandeville frustrated with the messiness of the workplace pantry, which is overflowing with dirty cups.

Behind the problem

rotzooi pantry keuken koffie mandeville foto Maya Barakova
On the nineteenth floor of Mandeville, staff hung up a photo of the mess. Image credit: Maya Barakova

Patricia thinks that the reason for the messiness of the pantry at the nineteenth floor stems from the laziness of students or employees, who even prefer to put their dirty cups among the clean dishes over cleaning out the dishwasher. “It seems like they have never heard of doing the dishes themselves”, she says.

Three floors below, the issue comes from people neglecting dishwasher duties which leaves cleaning the pantry to the same couple of people, staff members say. One of them, Manuela, writes: “I think it’s a shame that its always the same people, including myself, who fill and empty the dishwasher and clean the countertop.” Colleague Karin seems to share that opinion. “Fortunately, we have several colleagues who have no problem cleaning up the mess, but this is of course not the way it should be.”


Patricia thinks that employees are so careless because they expect that someone will clean up after them. “They think there are fairies walking around who will clean it up”, she says. Furthermore, it seems that the fairies are putting the dirty cups there as well, Karin says. “Yes, fairies. Because no one seems to know who left their dirty dishes unattended on the counter, so that must be the fairies as well”, says Karin.

According to Karin, the newly introduced prohibition of disposable cups seems to add more issues to the workplace pantry conundrum. “Since the ban, things have actually only become a bigger mess.”

Leaving notes

A solution seems to be reached at the nineteenth floor kitchen, however. Patricia: “After we hung up some photos of the messy kitchen last week, everyone is now cleaning the kitchen.” The same thing cannot be said for the situation at sixteenth floor. “Despite all kinds of notes, emails and remarks during meetings, the dirty dishes are still on the counter and the dishwasher is not loaded and turned on.”

A clean campus

Some commenters pointed out the messy state of the coffee stations could be resolved by better conditions for the cleaners. “Have cleaners visit places such as coffee machines more often”, said an anonymous commenter. Another suggested to give cleaners ‘a decent wage’. More machines at often frequented places, like Theil is another suggested solution.

When it comes to the keeping the office pantries clean, one employee shared a poetic poem: “Passive aggressive, don’t be obsessive. Roll up your sleeves, otherwise don’t make a fuss. Don’t talk, just clean!”

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