Solutions to Everyday Problems at the Office: The Disgusting Fridge

There is no room in the office refrigerator for your lunch because it’s full of your coworkers old lunches.

Send an email to everyone in the office with the subject line, “Our refrigerator is disgusting” and in the body of the email write, “What should we do about it?”

Have one of your colleagues write back, “What are YOU going to do about it, Bob? ;)”

Grab a blank piece of paper from the printer and write a passive aggressive note reading, “If you can please go through the fridge and throw away anything your no longer eating/is growing mold on it that would be wonderful,” and tape it to the fridge.

Come back an hour later to see a note taped over your note reading, “Stop writing passive aggressive notes, Bob. Also, it’s ‘you’re’ not ‘your’.”

Sit at your desk and instead of doing your work, make a list of people who you think wrote that note about you. Was it Liz from accounting? Blame Mark. It always ends up being Mark.

Go over to Mark’s desk and ask him if he wrote that note about you. Watch him as he says, “What are you talking about, Bob?” and then begins to chuckle.

Eat your room temperature sandwich at your desk. Furrow your eyebrows.

Have Margaret, your boss’s assistant, come up to you halfway through lunch to ask you, “Bob, did you write that note and put it on the fridge?”

Think carefully and say, “Um, no?”

Have Margaret, your boss’s assistant, say, “Because if you did, I agree with you. The refrigerator is disgusting.”

Receive an office-wide email from Margaret later that day that says, “We’re instating a new policy: All food stored in the refrigerator must be consumed by the end of the week, or it will be thrown out. Today after work, Bob and I will be cleaning out the fridge.”

Hear, from across the room, Mark laughing. Probably at you.

After work, help Margaret clean out the fridge. When she holds up an old container of moldy potato salad and exclaims, “This is disgusting! People are disgusting!” don’t mention to her that it belongs to you.

Blame Mark.

 

B. Benson is an office drone. Photo: PV KS

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13 Comments / Post A Comment

bgprincipessa (#699)

My office fridge sends me into apocalyptic fits on the daily.

Our office fridge smells like old dried yogurt but I have relegated it to Do Not Care, Not My Problem status. As the youngest female person in the office, if I took responsibility for the office fridge it would likely open the door to all sorts of other assistant-y tasks I have no interest/time for. (Also I don’t leave anything in the fridge overnight, so none of the mess is mine.)

bgprincipessa (#699)

@cuminafterall Ugh seconded to all of those statements, which is why I haven’t taken it on either. Every once in a while I surreptitiously throw something out.

andnowlights (#2,902)

I periodically do post a note/send out an email that I’m going to be emptying out the fridge on Friday unless things are dated/have a name on them (I’m also the youngest person in my office and a girl, so while the precedent is set, I’m also NOT willing to put up with a disgusting fridge that I have to put my lunch in). And then I do it and people get irritated- THAT’S when it becomes “not my problem” since they’ve had a full week’s notice. I like cleaning stuff out, and I do it to be nice, but I do NOT put up with people getting mad at me for going above and beyond.

It’s also why I won’t eat anything at work potlucks. People are filthy and I don’t want to think about or eat anything that’s been in their kitchens at home.

ATF (#4,229)

They have a very strict every other Friday throw out policy for our fridges. I enjoy it even though I’ve inadvertently lost groceries to it. I’d rather take the hit than have to deal with moldy, smelly leftovers.

swirrlygrrl (#2,398)

I have definitely succumbed and sent an email saying “Imma gonna throw away everything in the fridge at 10 am on Monday, including your nice containers full of new food. Take your stuff out Friday if you are a good person, and don’t put your lunch in till 11 if you don’t want it to be mistaken for moldy potato salad.” This was in part because the other people who break down and clean the office fridge every few months tend to do it at 2 pm on Friday, so the old food sits there all weekend until garbage is collected Monday at noon. My self righteousness was tempered when I found a container of gross soup that was mine shoved to the very back.

On a more positive note, I absolutely took home a really nice Corning Ware container that was full of horrid – I considered it a tip.

Allison (#4,509)

@swirrlygrrl I can’t say I understand why you or anyone would do a clean out before lunch.

lizard (#2,615)

@swirrlygrrl so you take the food out you know is someones lunch for that day? on a monday?? clean it out friday after work

NoName (#3,509)

@lizard @Allison Because, as @swirrlygrrl said, the moldy food sits around all weekend until the trash is picked up on Monday. The only thing worse than moldy food in the refrigerator is moldy food at room temperature in the trash can.

selenana (#673)

@swirrlygrrl So, people can’t use the fridge for its intended purpose, to keep their food from spoiling, on Fridays? Putting it in at 11 is pretty pointless if it’s had to sit in your desk all morning.

Stina (#686)

Weirdly the worst office fridge was one for a agency that I worked for that fought a disease (not specified to somewhat preserve my privacy). We had a every two week clean-up scheduled among the staff and even with that in place I always had to fight the heavies to get that thing cleaned out.

The only explanation I could come up with was that our staff was so devoted and/or such absent minded professor types in fighting this disease that we could not be bothered with remembering to eat or clean up after our work lunches.

nf (#949)

Fucking Mark.

NoName (#3,509)

Our office is located near three specialty grocery stores, so people at work often do shopping at lunch and store their groceries in the fridge until they go home at night, which is fine, until someone forgets to take them home and half the bottom shelf of the fridge is taken up by their Costco-size flat of chicken wings, which proceeds to go bad and stink up the break room.

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