No stinky office lunch allowed under Aspen ‘fish stick clause’

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ASPEN, Colo. — Tuna salad, hard-boiled eggs and fish sticks are among the stinkiest and most resented foods that can be eaten in an office setting.

Sitting next to a co-worker during a smelly lunchtime feast can sometimes go beyond a slight annoyance.

But some Aspen employees are putting their foot down when it comes to odorous office offences.

According to the Aspen Times, employees at the city of Aspen or Pitkin County’s community development departments are banned from preparing or eating fish sticks in the office.

The departments worked together to reach an agreement regarding the ban last week and the prohibition was approved by the Pitkin County commissioners.

“The city shall provide office space, at no charge, to the county community development department on the third floor of City Hall in the current amount and general configuration on the condition that microwaving fish sticks is strictly prohibited,” according to a statement.

The provision is part of an agreement that covers building code changes, office hours and subjects that are less headline grabbing.

Brian Pawl, the county’s chief building official, said there was a “fish sticks incident” that sparked the ban and he was surprised the rule didn’t include Brussels sprouts.

While some employees say the prohibition is not a punishable offense if broken, it puts what is generally an office courtesy into writing.

“Yeah, people are cautious about what they microwave,” Pawl said. “There’s a peer pressure thing (now).”