Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Office Refrigerator

If our world is ever invaded by another species, they won’t be from another planet or solar system…nope, they’ll be home grown, in our office refrigerators!

It seems that no matter where you go, the story is always the same. The road to a non-smelly office refrigerator is paved with good intentions and yummy leftovers, but we never get there. Why? Because food is abandoned, left to fester both labeled and unlabeled for days, weeks, months, and yes, probably years before anything is done.

I’m sure nobody means to forget about that half an egg-salad sandwich that they leave in the fridge for a month, it just happens…but it does happen. In offices all across America, leftovers are brought in daily, presumably for lunch consumption. For some, the routine never changes, you come in, you leave your lunch, you pick it up round noon-time, you eat and you return the next day and repeat. But for others, the process is not nearly as easy. Two questions immediately jump to mind here. First, what made you think that an egg-salad sandwich would be good as a left over…or in some cases a first-over to begin with? Second, how does one just forget his or her lunch? I mean, it’s almost like the people who just leave their luggage on the conveyer at the airport. Where the heck are those people? One day, sure, I get that…maybe even two. But I can’t imagine that someone would put something in a refrigerator and then just forget they put it there…what kind of sense does that make? What about the next time you put something in…you might see it or at the very least, have your memory jogged. I gotta tell you, it nearly sounds intentional, like food terrorism.

At a previous employer, the refrigerator was to be “cleaned out” on the first day of every month, yet surprisingly, on the second day of the month; the fridge looked just as full and smelled just as gross as it did on the last day of the previous month. Curious isn’t it? Not only that, but whenever we would have corporate lunches, there would usually be an excess of leftovers, which is fine, BUT, someone has to take responsibility for those items…you can’t just leave them in there wily nilly…they don’t just get up and walk into the trash can themselves. (Although if you wait long enough, they might.)

Then there’s the things people leave in the office fridge. Let’s be honest with each other for a second here folks, are you really going to go back and eat that mushy apple, banana, half empty (or full for the optimists) carton of yogurt, or non-covered “works” slice of pizza? From the refrigerators I’ve seen, the answer is a resounding “no!” One time, a buddy of mine and I threw a way in MAY a carton of milk from FEBRUARY. Now again folks…milk isn’t wine okay? It doesn’t get better with age…in fact, the opposite happens. It gets worse, AND it stinks. One time, a power outage forced a complete dump off all the fridges in the office. Best thing that ever happened to that place (besides me).
Then there is the issue of the lunch container. I’ll make this brief. Folks, it’s called a cooler for a reason, you put a couple of those ice things in it and you are golden. What you don’t need to do is take your tailgate-sized cooler and place it in the fridge for several hours, restricting the space for the non-cooler folks, you know, the considerate ones. If you do that, you need to take some kind of cooler 101 class and you probably need a good whack on the noggin.

Finally, we come to the issue of theft. I firmly believe that just as much as you remember what you put in the fridge, you also remember what you didn’t put in the fridge. Over the years I have had two or three of those healthy choice lunches stolen out of the office fridge. I’ve also had my labeled butter swiped occasionally…and I may have even had the thief actually tell me I was running low. Most recently, I left a sealed Diet Dr. Pepper in one of the fridges in my office accidentally right before I took some time off to be with my family and our new addition. Soda is fine you see, because it is sealed and doesn’t stink with age! When I came back, it was gonzo. Again, how do you open a fridge, see something in there, know you didn’t put it in there, and take it? How does that work? “Boy, I sure am thirsty, hey! Look at this! A free diet DP! Eureka!” I did not leave a note, but I wanted to. If you are ever in a situation like that, I suggest leaving one like this:

Coming soon: The Office Bathroom

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