Microsoft’s Offices Have a Widespread ‘Orphaned Milk Carton’ Problem

One ex-employee said that the milk waste was indicative of Microsoft’s larger issues of ignoring easily solved problems
Microsoft’s Offices Have a Widespread ‘Orphaned Milk Carton’ Problem


“Don’t be one of those people… that puts the opened container on the counter or the drink fridge,” a Microsoft employee told a prospective candidate.

Microsoft, a global leader in technological innovation and design, has a problem with milk cartons, according to a strange and telling thread on Reddit.

After one candidate posted online asking for advice for an upcoming interview, current Microsoft employees chimed in with a seemingly small detail. “Don't be one of those people that takes a milk carton and uses just a little bit of it for your coffee/tea and then puts back the opened container on the counter or the drink fridge,” Redditor HelenAngel wrote.

“Trust me, no one is going to reuse your milk. The people who would have used it have long since been burned by reusing milk only to find out it is spoiled. Just use the rest of the milk or pour it down the drain and recycle the container. And yes, this is a global Microsoft phenomenon. The Orphaned Milk Carton culture is somehow deeply ingrained in our worldwide culture.”

HelenAngel’s passionate comment inspired other Microsoft employees to confirm that the Orphaned Milk Carton problem was indeed real, and in fact, has led to a popular thread called “Milk cartons of the Pacific Northwest” on Yammer, a social media network for individual businesses.

Former Microsoft employees even confirmed to Business Insider that the problem exists and that it represented one of Microsoft’s biggest overall issues.


“It's a problem that can be so easily solved, yet it prevailed at Microsoft for so long and there is no light at the end of the tunnel,” says an ex-Microsoft employee. “That says a lot about in general how things are done at Microsoft. And that led to my major frustration and decided to leave.”