Office kitchen politics
State of play
Working in a team is a bit like the mother of all share houses.

You can’t afford a flat by yourself and while the camaraderie is great, your flatmates leave laundry in the washing machine, don’t do their household chores and play tragic music before breakfast.

You work because you need the money, and you might enjoy Friday stubbie club, but you also have to share physical space with people you wouldn't necessarily get up front and personal with: 9 to 5.

Car parking, your work cubicle and the office kitchen are the sites of so much workplace stress they should be specifically recognised in the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995

The office kitchen can turn good people crazy, and people who should know better, into slobs. That's the power of anonymity. It's not limited to chat sites and blogs. You can get away with all manner of inappropriate behaviour in the shared space that is the office kitchen.

'HAA! I don't have to clean up this mess! I don't have to do anything I don't want! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!' It's some kind of primal rebellion.

Yet office kitchen war continues to be waged against an unknown enemy.
A sign of the most recent kitchen meltdown 
And it's not even freakin' news. 
The rules of office kitchen etiquette have been described previously

It's a serious enough issue that professional development organisations write about it

It's been the subject of poetry

It's made people crazy enough to film footage for You Tube

There is nothing new under sun

The office equivalent of the Western front
Anywhere tea and coffee is made and food can be prepared and eaten is contentious in the workplace.

We’re unlucky enough to have three: the kitchen proper; a lunch area on the ‘dark side’; and a tea and coffee area on...well, on our side.

On any day at any of these sites, you can find one or more of the following:
(A) Open
(B) Empty
(C) Contents spilled
(D) All of the above

Just one of the many signs in the kitchen office etiquette litany 

It doesn't stop there. Other challenges include:
Eating other people's lunch is not appropriate, even if it looks like your's/looks better than your's

There's no justice - just us
Office kitchen politics have brought the most strategic and intelligent members of staff unstuck at some stage.
There was the famous episode when a delightful friend went a little nuts after her fork was pilfered. We're not saying everyone on the floor was strip searched, but it was awkward.

There have been a plethora of signs – “If you use it, wash it up” “Don’t expect the kitchen fairies to clean up after you” “The next person found leaving their crap in the kitchen will be publicly humiliated” etc etc etc.

The latest office kitchen meltdown caused a almost nuclear reaction. The point being - it clearly is rocket science.
"If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate them," Sun Tzu 

“In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.” 
Sun Tzu
There is no simple solution but here are some things you can try. You can take the low road:

#Could be fun.
*Will not work.

**Okay, that's just plain evil!

Or you can take the high road:
You can let it upset you or you can choose not to get involved. If you're unfortunate enough to have more than one kitchen space, you're fortunate enough to have another space to go make your cup of tea or heat your lunch.

And because you can't win every war and there are some battles that are just not worth fight.

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”