Silent but deadly lunchroom fails

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ALT-FrolicHawaii-2015-11By Steve T. Yeti, ambassador of Real Jobs Hawaii

In Hawaii, the holidays mean potlucks. And that means a whole lot of leftovers. But be mindful of what you Tupperware to work the next day. When the aroma of leftovers in the lunchroom microwave causes a gag reflex from your co-workers, you have no one to blame but yourself. Offensive smells in the office are a big no-no. Here’s a list of foods you should never bring to work… no matter what time of year.

Reheated fish: It’s the number one smell-offender across all offices in America. Reheat a fish in the microwave and have fun eating alone.

Kimchi: Rule of thumb: don’t bring anything with the word “fermented” on its label into the office. There’s a reason why true Koreans have their own dedicated kimchi refrigerators in the garage, outside.

Indian food: Curry may taste great, but the only one really enjoying it in the lunchroom is you. Also, any food that could potentially give you indigestion, gas or require an emergency visit to the restroom is a red flag.

Mexican food: See Indian food. Substitute “curry” with “chalupas.”

Cuttlefish: Yes, it’s a tasty, childhood snack. Yes, no one will want to talk to you after you’ve eaten it. Leave the cuttlefish, abalone and all other crack seed shop purchases at home.

Microwave popcorn: We all love popcorn at the movies. But this isn’t the movies. This is work. And it’s hard to work when you have the smell of burnt popcorn assaulting your nasal passages.

Natto: Locals either love it or hate it. Either way, leave your natto leftovers where they belong — somewhere far away from other human beings with noses.

What’s the most offensive food your co-worker has brought to work? Comment below or on our Facebook

Steve T. Yeti is the ambassador of Real Jobs Hawaii, a free, online job board for both Hawaii employers and job seekers. If you’re ready to say goodbye to the olfactory offenders in your office, go to