The Milk Leavers

I have discovered a certain phenomenon over my years of working in offices in Sweden.

This is the problem of the Milk Leaver. The Milk Leaver is a person who desires to use the milk in the fridge, but discovers, when they lift up the carton, that it is about to run out.


So, instead of actually using up all of the milk  and being forced to take responsibility for it (having to fold it up, throw it in the bin, locate more milk and open it) this sad example of humanity simply leaves a tiny amount of milk in the carton, not even enough for a squirt in a small cup of coffee. This neatly passes the problem onto somebody else and allows them to use the “Who, me? But there was milk left!” defence with a clear conscience.

Milk Leavers are annoying, in a low-key kind of way. Sure, it saves time for them, but it is laziness, and laziness of the worst kind – anonymous laziness that can not easily be discovered or blamed on anyone.

And I wonder – does this concept exist in other countries, or in other offices, or is it only me that gets irritated by it? And if it doesn’t exist elsewhere else, then what DO people consider to be the most annoying office misdemeanour?

Spill your guts, people!

/ paddy


16 thoughts on “The Milk Leavers

  1. My kids don’t even bother to leave a drop of milk. They use up what’s left and then put the empty carton back in the fridge!! They do it with the orange juice too.

  2. Eeeeww, I HATE that. Especially, when, as the primary food-shopper, I look in the fridge, and think, “Oh there’s still milk left!” And then come home later, and… one teaspoon of milk. Grrr! Hateful, lazy behaviour. Milk-leavers are despicable.

  3. I guess they don’t wanna through away paperboxes in the common bin or don’t reflect.

    Myself, I hate those who leaves a plastic bag full of food etc (often non-invisible white) and then forgets it. And then it starts to smell and the person who can’t put up with that is after a week is starting to locate the smell and has to go through many white plastic bags and open each one of them since many of them smells. And then still not through it away since someone migh get upset. That is a Swedish phenomena! No conflicts. Before the bag is starting to smell, it takes lots of space so people has to squeeze in bags and the fridge become icy and full.

    I guess it’s only Sweden having a huge traditon of home made lunchboxes. But then I don’t understand the micro wavers either, they load the freezer instead with fat, slobby, nutrient-poor imitation of food.

  4. My husband does that in the spirit of waste not want not…

    Also, you forgot to say that they don’t want to wash out the milk carton, fold it up and then put it into the appropriate recycling container….

  5. Yeah, you got a point there, or they have “köksvecka”( kitchenweek” if it is a small workplace and don’t wanna empty that bin to often.

  6. Earthpal: Little savages!

    expateek: Yes they are!

    Helena P: Microwave food isn’t all bad! Some of the soups are very nice.

    ladyFi: Really, do people still do the folding/washing/sorting stuff, even with single-stream recycling in such widespread use..?

  7. Then there are those who are scared to death of “one-day-to expiration date”, but they do think othere people don’t mind and open a new one.

  8. Пора переименовать блог, присвоив название связанное с доменами :) может хватит про них?

  9. это английский блог!! ты спам или проститутка?? может быть, это не играет роли, здесь He заинтересованная аудитория!!!

  10. I avoid being a milk leaver. I make sure to leave a teeny bit left in the carton. That way the next person will finish it and have to throw it out.

    Why? Absolutely no clue. Maybe because I feel bad about using up all the milk.

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