Comcast's Official Water Jug Changing Policy

In today’s go-go economy, savvy companies know it’s important to draft official policies for a variety of circumstances and surprises that can crop up in the middle of a busy workday, clearly communicated and readily available.

There need to be documents employees can refer to, pantra-laterally, to help steer their decisions through times of uncertainty and deal with rapidly fluxing global business enterprise environment.

Like when you need to change the water jug.

Inside, Comcast’s official water jug changing policy and instruction manual…

When you notice there is no coffee left, and/or you have used the remainder of the water, please follow these steps to replace the empty water jug with a full one.

1) Locate a full water jug from the stack and place it on the floor.

2) Take the empty jug from the cooler and place it in the full jug’s previous location.

3) There are 2 options to prepare the jug to be placed on the cooler:

a. Less water will come out from the opening:
(Recommended for less spilling)
i. Peel back the plastic tag
ii. Poke the stopper down into the water

Or use the other option:

b. More water will come out from the opening:
i. Remove the entire lid by peeling the blue portion hanging from the lid.

4) Lift the jug. (Use your legs, not your back).

5) Aim the jug opening towards the center of the water cooler opening.

6) Gently place the water cooler to fit into the large opening.

The water has now been replaced.





Edit Your Comment

  1. Toof_75_75 says:

    Wow…I want to be the guy who is in charge of their “Stupid Policies” department. I’ll take pictures of people picking up a water jug, sweeping floors, dusting cubicles and eating lunch.

  2. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    I’ve run into a fair number of people who didn’t know how to replace the water jug.

    Also, #4 from the top list (lift with your legs not your back) certainly makes a lot of sense. At least trying to avoid worker’s comp issues. I don’t have any trouble lifting the water jug up but I am sure somebody might.

  3. Is this an actual “policy” or is these just instructions on how to do it? There’s nothing really wrong with having instructions on how to change the thing.

    Making it policy would just be…odd.

  4. zentec says:

    Oh for cryin’ out loud, just drink tap water.

  5. Manok says:

    Probably need to have it in place so if someone screws up their back, they can avoid liability.

  6. enm4r says:

    @public enemy #1: Truth. Being a younger male in an older environment not too far from the water, I find myself often replacing it. However, I was surprised the first couple months when I was actually asked by people who asked if I could do it because they didn’t know how.

  7. MalichiDemonos says:

    The how to take a dump policy….
    Step 1… I’ll let you fill in the steps.

  8. Jean Naimard says:

    You obviously never worked in a place where the tap water smells like a swamp…

  9. DashTheHand says:

    Water Coolers (Jugs) are a waste of money. A much better solution is to place a separate water filtration system in place of it.

    Maybe thats why Comcast rates are so stupidly high.

  10. 3drage says:

    Oh yeah, this is an article that is consumerist worthy. ugh.

  11. niteflytes says:

    And I care about this why?

  12. Dan says:

    First time I ever tried to change the water at my old office, I ended up smashing my finger in between the jug and the water dispenser: pretty equivalent to slamming your finger in a car door. Had to go to the ER, and I’ve still got a nice little scar under my fingernail. So maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all…

  13. HeyThereKiller says:

    well thats just comcastic

  14. 82300sd says:

    I wonder if Comcast has an Official Toilet Paper Replacement Policy for when someone runs out of toilet paper?

  15. @zentec: In the area I work in the tap water turns orange/brown every time it rains hard enough (and not that hard either) from rust. By area, I don’t mean just the building either. I mean if I wanted to go down the street and buy a fountain soda I can’t because everyone’s water is screwed up.

  16. Mojosan says:

    A) People (especially new employees who have never done it) do not know how to change water jugs and invariably do not expect all the water that sloshes out all over them and all over the floor.

    b) By telling them to lift the jug the proper way they have some backup if an employee sues saying they hurt their back lifting the water jug because they were not instructed on how to properly do it.

    c) someone needs to invent a little “sliding board” type gizmo that would allow the jug to glide into place and then pierce the covering at the bottom.

  17. TPIRman says:

    The initial “When you notice there is no coffee left” phrasing is so strange, and the copy in general so stilted, that it makes me wonder if this is a joke. Either way, it’s pretty funny. The question is whether some Comcast memo writer is in on the joke. I’m guessing not, but still.

    Re: “This isn’t worth a post! Waa! Waa!” posters — The armchair-editor shtick is getting REALLY old, people. Here’s a quick instruction manual to help you out in this situation:

    1. Locate a Consumerist article that you deem worthy of your precious attention and place it in your browser window.

    2. Take the bad, non-worthy article and remove it from your browser history.

    3. Gently place the bad article to fit into your large opening.

    – The bad article has now been replaced, and you can move on with your life.

  18. Meg Marco says:

    @Johnny: Yay.

  19. Fuzzy_duffel_bag says:

    my office just had to put something on the water cooler about changing the jug when it’s empty because only 2 or 3 of us ever did it.

    Oddly enough, we are a magazine which just ran a piece about how to change the water jug.

  20. MeOhMy says:

    Here’s why this is consumerist worthy:
    When you finally manage to get the Comcast tech to show up for your service appointment, you can now also ask him to change your water jug. I wonder if they also have procedures for waxing cars and mowing lawns? Hmmm….

  21. rawsteak says:

    ewwww you don’t have to stick your finger in the bottle… there’s a spigot in the water cooler that does that…

    also, anyone that has replaced a water jug knows that that there’s no way to place that thing “gently”

    no matter how strong you are!

  22. Fry says:

    @Johnny: Thank you, sir. However, you may choose to follow in Comcast’s steps and suggest they stretch their fingers before operating the mouse. Damn Carpal Tunnel…

  23. hoot550 says:

    If they are anything like the large company I used to work at, this was probably a very involved process:

    1) Group forms to present solutions to the water changing problem.
    2) Best practices for changing said water were defined.
    3) Instructions were drafted, discussed and approved by the group.
    4) Legal approved the instructions, possibly making recommendations, such as how to lift.

    Never underestimate how large companies can make a somewhat straightforward process very complicated. For instance, at my previous employer, there were instructions on the best way to wash surfaces in order to conserve cleaning solution and paper towels.

  24. DeeJayQueue says:

    “Leaks” Ha Ha, I see what you did there.

    Don’t most water jug systems have a needle or a spike in them that pokes through the foil and lets the water flow so that you don’t have to peel it off before you tip it over?

  25. mermaidshoes says:

    i’m totally phobic about changing the water jug, because i’m convinced i will drop it on my foot and/or spill water everywhere. fortunately, we have lots of nice strong boys who take care of it most of the time.

  26. attackgypsy says:

    Probably not stupid on their parts.

    I’m guessing they got sued or had a workplace injury from one.

    Hell, we used to get to work a few minutes early, log in, and have a few minutes to get all of our programs up and running so we can take calls at 7am.

    Until the company got sued by an ex-employee who said that he should have been paid for those 10-15 minutes.

    Now if you even turn your machine on early, you can get fired.

    We get sued for everything under the sun. All the cable companies do.

  27. Mike_ says:

    Two thoughts: (1) I’ve been asked to write less meaningful Standard Operating Procedures in my career, and (2) these instructions are intended for Comcast Employees. They probably have similar instructions for “how to dispense water”, “how to drink water”, and “how to expel urine”. They are all idiots, after all.

  28. Joe_Bagadonuts says:

    …Step 1: Cut a hole in a box…

  29. dalvenjah says:

    I’ll see your water jug changing procedure, and raise you AT&T’s Floor Sweeping Procedures.


  30. chimmike says:

    While this may appear a stupid policy, this will be a lifesaver in the event some wahoo who wants some time off and worker’s comp benefits tries to claim injury by not doing this right.

    This sets forth a specific procedure that prevents injury. If the procedure is not followed, the company is essentially not liable to pay worker’s comp benefits to the emplyoee should he become injured due to his own negligence in not following the policy.

    May seem dumb, but to those of us in the insurance claims industry, policies help us out a lot (because then attorneys can’t dispute heresay instructions…policies are set-in-stone writing.)

  31. Ickypoopy says:

    This just sounds like they are CYA. If people are going to do it, they have to make sure they do it the “approved” way so not to get sued.

    At previous places I worked, we were not even allowed to change the bottle. Only the janitorial staff and the water bottle delivery guy were allowed to change the bottle.

  32. zaky says:

    I work for a company that recently started receiving water jugs and let me tell you: when water runs out, folks have NO idea what to do.

  33. Recury says:

    I admit, I have no idea how to change those things and it isn’t really worth risking spilling water all over the place for me to do it. Even now after reading this, I think our water bottles are different so I’m still not going to do it.

  34. Pipes says:

    Man, I am so glad my company provides us with bottled water (along with fruit juice, V8, Coke and Pepsi products…no water jug for me!) I think I’d be scared of changing it, directions or not.

  35. porterism says:

    I’m the guy who actually writes things like this for my company, and it sounds like someone’s cute way of getting someone else to replace the water jug for a change… but in my experience, if someone put out their back lifting one of those jugs, then it’s not inconceivable that management decided to write a ‘safe work practice’ in regards to doing this. If that’s the case (someone put their back out) then the compensation board and/or government safety officials probably made writing a procedure a recommendation.

  36. bradym80 says:

    Too bad they dont have a manual on how to change my address without switching me between 5 different departments.

  37. RottNDude says:

    This reminds me of something similar I did at my office. Using the company logo, I made a very official-looking form called the “Microwave Oven Usage Log” which requested that those who used the microwave note the date, time, power level and total cooking time, accompanied by their initials. A stack of these forms were attached to a clipboard and left hanging on the wall in the lunchroom. Nearly a full page of microwave use had been logged by the end of the day.

    Someone figured out it was a joke and whined to the suits. Management failed to find any humor in it whatsoever.

  38. acambras says:

    My thoughts EXACTLY.

    LOTS of workplaces could use a policy like that. :-/

    Back when Ellen DeGeneres had her sitcom (I think it was called “Ellen”), there was a very funny scene where she’s in her kitchen trying to change the jug on the water cooler. Great physical comedy reminiscent of “I Love Lucy.”

  39. acambras says:


    That is AWESOME. I wish you worked in my office.

  40. Pec says:

    Once upon a time is seemed rediculous for employers to post signs of how to bend your knees while lifting, or how to saftely decend a ladder too. This is mearly a similar tutorial of how to not hurt yourself cleaverly disguised as instructions of how to replace the water jug, to potentially be used in court against injured employees.

  41. BStu says:

    So, there is a way to put on the new jug that doesn’t spill water and a way that does spill water. WHY are they even suggesting the way that DOES spill water? Its like saying “there is a right way to do this and a wrong way” except acting like the wrong way is a serious option. They merely “recommend” doing it the right way.

    That troubles me way more than having instructions. Heck, some fool probably drenched the break room so the instructions were drawn up in part to mock their failure. But to detail how to do it wrong is just foolish. My office has the same style jugs where you peel off a plastic cover and then drop the thing onto a spigot that pierces the plastic. There is NO smart reason that I can see for pulling off the plastic part.

  42. TNT says:

    Wow. Yet another, um, leak about the secret inner workings the evil cable empire. Oh, this is juicy… I can’t believe broadbandreports hasn’t picked up on it yet.

  43. @dalvenjah: OMG, it’s more than one page!!!

    They specifiy which brush to use!
    There are different classes of sweeping!


  44. stre says:

    wait wait wait wait wait. they’re instructing their employees to push the tab in on the cap? that just ensures that water will spill out and negates the good of sealing up the water for sanitary issues.

    NEWS FLASH FOR EVERYONE HERE WHO’S SPILLED WATER ON THEMSELVES CHANGING THE WATER JUG: don’t stick your finger in there. there’s a lovely little rod that does this for you when you lower the jug. it’s more sanitary and less messy. and comcast should make sure the people that are writing their policies know what the hell they’re doing.