Mouldy peas under the desk and why office-workers are disgusting | Jabbering Journo column

Crumbs, that's disgusting
Crumbs, that's disgusting

I’m not saying all people are disgusting but the recent discovery of a bag of mouldy one-time frozen peas under the desk of a dearly departed colleague (he’s not dead, he left for a new job) means evidence points that way.

To elaborate, this discovery was made more than a month after the individual left the business and in the meantime, nobody had dared approach the abandoned desk for fear of what they might catch.

It was an arbitrary kick of a foot that split open the bag, leading to several hours of a mysterious foul odour within the newsroom, the source of which was later tracked down by yours truly while working late and taking to my hands and knees to investigate.

I took one for the team and regretted it immediately, gagging at the discovery of erupting foul pea mould amid the remnants of years of desk-meals including a rancid satsuma.

I haven’t had to do anything quite so disgusting in the name of work since my previous career as a pool lifeguard, when we did ‘paper, scissors, stone’ to determine who would have to leap in and collect’ floating’ objects.

The incident made me realise quite how obnoxious shared working space could be and I realised the culture of skipping lunch breaks in favour of eating at our desk is worryingly obnoxious.

And I’m not claiming to be an innocent myself.

If you turn my keyboard upside down you would find enough stale crumbs for an e-coli cheesecake.

I doubt this horrible habit is geographically specific but a survey out this week, conducted by Flexioffices, claims 28 per cent of the North West say they’re burdened with too much work to have a proper break, with one in 10 eating lunch ‘al desko’ to give the illusion we are working hard.

So not actually working hard, I see.

A quarter of Northerners say they can’t complete their work if they take a full lunch break and one in 10 only manage to have a full lunch break once a week.

What’s wrong with us?

No wonder there’s a mental health epidemic if we’re eating on the go on rancid desks more likely to spark gastroenteritis than proactivity.

Cheesecake anyone?

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