employment

CEO's memo: Get the milk or get the ax

Sep. 29, 2011 at 12:31 PM ET

TODD PONATH / AP /
Got milk? If not, maybe you need to get a new job.

No one likes to be the person to find an empty milk carton in the office fridge, but one boss got so peeved that he threatened to fire the offending staffer over it.

Gawker reports that Keith Zakheim, head of a 60-person New Jersey public relations firm, sent an e-mail to his staff earlier this week after he came in early to find just a few drops of skim milk left for his coffee.

“I have repeatedly requested until I am blue in the face that the person that finishes the milk must replace the milk. It’s not complicated and is a simple sign of respect for fellow employees,” Zakheim wrote, according to the e-mail obtained by Gawker.

Zakheim went on to note that he pays for the milk and other office supplies, so he can’t understand why people can’t replace the supplies.

“So, I am gravely serious when I write this — if I catch someone not replacing the milk, or at least, in the case where the downstairs store has closed already, not sending an email to the office so the first person that arrives (usually Christa or me) can pick one up upon arrival — then I am going to fire you. I’m not joking. You will be fired for not replacing the milk, and have fun explaining that one to your next employer. This is not a empty threat so PLEASE don't test me,” he wrote.

Well, maybe it was a threat with just a few drops in it. A Beckerman official told Life Inc. there will be no pink slips for milk-related mistakes.

“No one has ever been fired or will be fired for not replacing the milk. The point of this memo was really about reinforcing that we have a culture of mutual respect and that this is a workplace that everybody contributes to,” said Allyne Mills, Beckerman’s general manager.

Still, Mills conceded that some might not have seen it that way.

“In hindsight I think Keith, our CEO, sees that perhaps some of the wording was a bit strong but really I think everybody here - people who know Keith, know our company - they understand the spirit in which it was intended,” Mills said.

Readers, what's your office pet peeve? Should office supply snafus be a firing offense?

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