Confusing queues
We’ve all come upon the scene: There’s Mr Smooth, elbow cocked up on the butt of the water bottle, chatting up Mrs Coy – a road block between you and the sweet nectar. So you wait, reluctant to intrude on their conversation but unsure when it will break up and you’ll be free to get your water or tea or lemon water or coffee or hot drink! Not good.

Lax jug replacement
Few things are more irritating to a parched person than hitting that blue lever with no results. Why, oh why, do our office mates feel justified in draining the last of the water into their cups but neglect to replace the empty jug?

Water spillage
This one’s always fun. Your brawniest colleague sets about his or her civic duty of swapping out the 9ℓ bottle. Good job, responsible co-worker! But it all goes awry the minute he flips the bottle over and a quarter of its contents end up on the break room floor. Mayhem and carnage and wet, soggy carpet. Ugh.

Dirty spigot
It doesn’t take a germaphobe to be disgusted by the sight of a colleague’s personal water bottle getting too cosy with the spout as they fill up. Just guzzle directly from the nozzle, why don’t you? It’s equally unappetizing to see the sludgy remnants of a coffee mug in the tray beneath the water spout.

Some tips:

If you cause a spill, sop it up. If tea splatters from your mug when you go in for a hot-water refill, wipe it up. Nobody wants to see a Jackson Pollock installation on the water cooler.

Don’t touch your water bottle’s mouthpiece to the spigot. No wonder the black plague makes its way through the cubicle farm with alarming regularity.

Don’t crowd the cooler. If you’re done filling up, back away and continue the conversation with your office crush at a respectable distance from the water spout.

If the well has run dry, you must re-supply. Even if there’s a thin trickle of water coming out of the spout, acknowledge that you’ve reached the bottom of the tap, and don’t leave it to the next thirsty soul to replace the bottle.

If you’re physically unable to replace the bottle, ask for help. Weak upper body strength is no excuse to be a lazy water cooler user. Let’s all band together to keep the water cooler the friendliest spot in the office.