Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: Syfygeek on August 02, 2013, 10:59:51 AM

Title: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Syfygeek on August 02, 2013, 10:59:51 AM
On Tuesday of this week I sent out this email-
Friday morning the fridge will be cleaned out. Anything not marked with an employee name, or anything that has grown fuzz will be tossed. All half empty drinks, suspicious containers, and anything with an expiration date that is in the past will be tossed.

I also posted a sign on the fridge. You know where this is going, right? Cleaned out the breakroom fridge this morning. Tossed 3 year old cans of V8; 2 year old mayo, and a bunch of clear plastic containers I was not opening- if I couldn't identify the contents through the plastic, I was not opening them to see if they smelled ???

One hour after cleaning, coworker comes down the hall- where's her tunafish? She says it had only been there a "few days", I should have known it was hers. No name, no date, how was I to know? (and it did not look like tuna in the container)

Is there any way I could have been clearer?  She did go retrieve her tuna from the trash bag.

Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: MrTango on August 02, 2013, 11:10:16 AM
I don't think there's reason why your message needed to be clearer, however I would suggest an alternative method.

Next time, send an email on Friday a full week before your purge.  For example, if you were to send it today, say:

"On Friday, [date of cleaning] at [end of the day], the refrigerator and freezer will be emptied.  All personal posessions must be removed from the refrigerator and freezer by [time] or they will be thrown out.  There will be no exceptions."

Then, send a repeat of the email on Monday morning along with a printed note attached to the door of the refrigerator.

In the morning of the date of the cleaning, send out a final email.  Send it high priority with a subject line that says "FINAL NOTICE - Refrigerator Cleaning TODAY"

In the body, say "At [time] today, the refrigerator and freezer will be emptied.  All personal posessions must be removed from the refrigerator and freezer by [time] or they will be thrown out. There will be no exceptions."

Then, at the appointed time, empty everything out of the refrigerator into the trash bin.  Be merciless once or twice and people will catch on.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: camlan on August 02, 2013, 11:11:04 AM
I think you were pretty clear.

I think every office fridge cleanout needs this to happen at least once, so that everyone is aware that stuff does indeed get tossed.

Some people read signs and emails and follow directions.

Other people fish tuna out of the trash.

Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: alice on August 02, 2013, 11:18:53 AM
we usually clean the fridge out AFTER lunch.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: siamesecat2965 on August 02, 2013, 11:19:23 AM
I think you were pretty clear.

I think every office fridge cleanout needs this to happen at least once, so that everyone is aware that stuff does indeed get tossed.

Some people read signs and emails and follow directions.

Other people fish tuna out of the trash.

This. I honestly don't see the need to send out more than the initial email and a reminder. They are all presumeably adults, and if they think that exceptions will be made for them, oh well. Live and learn. maybe the next time they'll remember to either take it or label it.

Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: BarensMom on August 02, 2013, 11:45:12 AM
Cleaning the office fridge - the stuff nightmares are made of. :P

You could post notices in letters a foot high, send e-mails every day for a month, put fliers on everyone's desk, wait until dark oh-thirty on a Friday night, and someone will come to you and and pitch a hissy about you tossing their (fill in the blank).

It's a thankless task, but someone has to be the scapegoat do it.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: kherbert05 on August 02, 2013, 11:47:03 AM
At my school they do this at the end of the day not the morning. One reason is that people remove/finish stuff at lunch. What stopped the complaining was the principal let people who complained have it.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: blueyzca01 on August 02, 2013, 11:55:11 AM
I think you were pretty clear.

I think every office fridge cleanout needs this to happen at least once, so that everyone is aware that stuff does indeed get tossed.

Some people read signs and emails and follow directions.

Other people fish tuna out of the trash.

This. I honestly don't see the need to send out more than the initial email and a reminder. They are all presumeably adults, and if they think that exceptions will be made for them, oh well. Live and learn. maybe the next time they'll remember to either take it or label it.


Oh, if only they acted like it.  I work with actual rocket scientists who can't figure out that yes, I mean YOU need to remove your items from the fridge.   Every time I clean, someone goes to my boss to complain.  Thank the good Lord above that he backs me up. 
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Zilla on August 02, 2013, 12:06:21 PM
I agree with others, this is normally done at the end of the day.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: kckgirl on August 02, 2013, 12:06:36 PM
I think your only mistake was cleaning the fridge this morning instead of after lunch. Even without advance notice, you won't throw out someone's lunch if you do it after normal lunch times.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: MayHug on August 02, 2013, 12:43:02 PM
Cleaning the office fridge - the stuff nightmares are made of. :P

You could post notices in letters a foot high, send e-mails every day for a month, put fliers on everyone's desk, wait until dark oh-thirty on a Friday night, and someone will come to you and and pitch a hissy about you tossing their (fill in the blank).

It's a thankless task, but someone has to be the scapegoat do it.

POD!

Our office is small, 25 people on 3 shifts. We put out notices, put up notes, tell people and STILL someone will complain. And it's usually stuff that was so old it was unidentifiable as food.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: VorFemme on August 02, 2013, 12:52:29 PM
VorGuy works in a school - some of the fridges are cleaned out once a semester.....

Ookie....
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: cwm on August 02, 2013, 01:00:46 PM
We have notices in bright neon paper laminated and posted to every single fridge in the building (even the one that's not working) telling everyone when the cleaning will be.

We get emails a week in advance and the day before. We got four emails this week because the cleaning was supposed to be last week, but it didn't get done, so it's getting done today instead. These emails go to everyone in the building.

Without a doubt there will be someone complain, say they didn't know. They get told that it's posted, emails are sent, and if they can't read those, it's their own fault.

The only problem I see with OP is that it was cleaned in the morning. Usually in an office it's done after work on Friday, or if it's a shift job, at the end of the day some day. That way everyone has already had their meal break for the day and wouldn't be expected to find some other way to keep their food cold for that day.

Also, coworker fished her food out from the trash?  :o  There is NO WAY I'd ever do something like that. Ew. I don't care if it's sealed tight enough that it could survive a trip to space, I'm NOT fishing through the trash for it. *shudder*
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: SamiHami on August 02, 2013, 01:13:31 PM
I don't think it matters what time of day it happens as long as it's announced ahead of time, which this was. The complainer could have easily marked her food so it wouldn't have been thrown out. That is pure laziness on her part and I have no sympathy at all.

This is why I never, ever use the fridge at work. For lunch I have a really good Inner Cool lunchbag that stays nice and cold all day, and for beverages I have my trusty Bubba Keg...it's big and insulated so my tea is still nice and cold at the end of the day. I don't contribute to the fridge mess and I don't clean it, either.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Oh Joy on August 02, 2013, 01:28:17 PM
...Friday morning the fridge will be cleaned out. Anything not marked with an employee name, or anything that has grown fuzz will be tossed. All half empty drinks, suspicious containers, and anything with an expiration date that is in the past will be tossed.

...Is there any way I could have been clearer? 
...

Yes, you could have been more clear, with both procedure and wording.  By cleaning out at the end of day instead of at lunch, you could have avoided the 'Anything not...' exemption.  By not listing the things that were to be thrown (which sounds more like a rant than clarification), you could have kept the message shorter.

The fridge will be cleaned out Friday at 4:00.  All food and food-related items will be thrown away.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: WonderWoman on August 02, 2013, 01:41:30 PM
Uh - she got the days-old tuna out of the trash? And presumably ate it????????

So much wrong with that.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Amara on August 02, 2013, 01:42:11 PM
I worked for a while--this was some time ago--at the DA's office here as a temp. I made an offer to the office manager to clean out the refrigerator because I had noticed and become disgusted by the stuff in there. Some of it had obvious mold! So two weeks before the scheduled date of the cleaning I began notifying everyone via e-mail and by signs on all around the lunchroom and on the refrigerator. This continued up until the Friday afternoon around 2:00 when it was to be done. That day I also announced it twice via the intercom.

So ... there were complaints. Multiple ones. The office manager shrugged, pointed out the repeated notices, and told me not to worry about it.

Here, where I am now, the refrigerated things don't have mold, thank god, but some of them are seriously old. I mean they could probably apply for Social Security. She wants to have the refrigerator cleaned out, something I support. But I also have no doubt there will be complainers. I won't be among them; I have been skipping lunch but will be searching Amazon shortly for collapsible coolers and such. I don't like the state of non-cleanliness either so it's just easier to bring my own "refrigerator" each day (since we cannot have our own mini ones).
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Syfygeek on August 02, 2013, 02:28:46 PM
Uh - she got the days-old tuna out of the trash? And presumably ate it????????

So much wrong with that.

Out of the trash bag that had been outside for an hour. And she's the only one who complained.

...Friday morning the fridge will be cleaned out. Anything not marked with an employee name, or anything that has grown fuzz will be tossed. All half empty drinks, suspicious containers, and anything with an expiration date that is in the past will be tossed.

...Is there any way I could have been clearer? 
...

Yes, you could have been more clear, with both procedure and wording.  By cleaning out at the end of day instead of at lunch, you could have avoided the 'Anything not...' exemption.  By not listing the things that were to be thrown (which sounds more like a rant than clarification), you could have kept the message shorter.

The fridge will be cleaned out Friday at 4:00.  All food and food-related items will be thrown away.  Thank you.

Trash had to be outside for pickup before cleaning staff went to another building. Other employees used the fridge in the other break room (one hallway over) for their food today. 
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Please pass the Calgon on August 02, 2013, 02:39:42 PM
we usually clean the fridge out AFTER lunch.
Our office waits til after 2pm.... Less chance of throwing out someone's lunch. We also have a pen/paper holder attached to the fridge w/ a couple sharpee's and post it notes. We had a lot of "I was running late and couldn't find something to label my stuff" complaints.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: shhh its me on August 02, 2013, 02:42:25 PM
we usually clean the fridge out AFTER lunch.
Our office waits til after 2pm.... Less chance of throwing out someone's lunch. We also have a pen/paper holder attached to the fridge w/ a couple sharpee's and post it notes. We had a lot of "I was running late and couldn't find something to label my stuff" complaints.
Oh thats a good idea.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: mandycorn on August 02, 2013, 03:16:51 PM
One of my coworkers suggested a fridge cleaning schedule that I think sounds brilliant, although we haven't been able to get facilities to agree to it yet. Hopefully it can help somebody, though, if I post it here.

We have two fridges, so she proposed that one fridge a month get totally emptied, that way people need to physically transfer their condiments and frozen lunches to the "safe" fridge (and hopefully check the expiration dates and look for fuzz) but they don't need to worry about being lunch-less or taking things home. It would be easy enough to label the "safe" and "to be cleaned" fridges with signs that could include the cleaning date/time.

I love the idea of hanging post its and markers near the fridge for labeling purposes also.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: artk2002 on August 02, 2013, 03:33:21 PM
Something to remember: Just because someone else gets upset, it doesn't mean that you've done anything wrong. You gave plenty of notice that this would happen. She chose to ignore that information. It's all on her. That said, issues around food come from our lizard brain, so people frequently become irrational about it.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Oh Joy on August 02, 2013, 04:19:41 PM
And one bit from a tactical standpoint rather than etiquette; I once worked somewhere that everything left in the fridge was thrown out every Friday night.  It was such a routine that it wasn't even worthy of mention, and no one grew accustomed to storing things in there.  Plus, it took only a minute since things didn't accumulate.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: YummyMummy66 on August 02, 2013, 05:13:56 PM
I also think it should have been done after lunch, not before.

I would stick a notice on the fridge and have a set schedule as to clean out of the fridge. 

Example, every Friday afternoon, the fridge will be cleaned out, or it could be Monday afternoon, as some can forget to take something in their excitement to leave for the weekend. 

I would clear out anything that does not have a name, looks like it could grow mold, etc. that is in throw away containers.  Anything in a plastic tub of some kind, take tape, mark it with a date (and throw it away by whatever method you determine.  Example, on notice you state a one week or two week period). 

Ketchup, mayo, things like that, I would keep in fridge until they expired.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: RegionMom on August 02, 2013, 05:44:49 PM
maybe bring a cardboard box with no lid, and place the unlabeled plastic "tupperware" containers in there for an hour or so, with a final e-mail-
"ok, clean-out was a success, if you want to claim your sealed, non-moldy container, you have two hours till trash can."

But you do not have to.

I can just see someone complaining that there's was an heirloom collectible one-of-a kind container, how dare you toss it!

(Years ago, in a summer camp, one teacher wrote a child's name ON the lunchbox.  Mom threw a FIT.  It was borrowed, from a neighbor, from DisneyWorld, so the school forked over $20 to replace it, and all the staff/teachers were cautioned to write names on a piece of tape-blue tape or masking tape, and never
directly on an item.) 
Oh, and yes, an identical lunchbox was spotted a few weeks later, after camp had closed, at...Walmart.  For maybe five bucks. ::)
 
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: kckgirl on August 02, 2013, 06:10:05 PM
Oh, and yes, an identical lunchbox was spotted a few weeks later, after camp had closed, at...Walmart.  For maybe five bucks. ::)

That doesn't really matter, though. No one can predict what will be for sale a few weeks later in a different store.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: snappylt on August 02, 2013, 09:04:11 PM
Cleaning the office fridge - the stuff nightmares are made of. :P

You could post notices in letters a foot high, send e-mails every day for a month, put fliers on everyone's desk, wait until dark oh-thirty on a Friday night, and someone will come to you and and pitch a hissy about you tossing their (fill in the blank).

It's a thankless task, but someone has to be the scapegoat do it.

I love your reply, BarensMom! I think you are right, however you announce it, some special snowflake is going to complain.

Two quick stories to share:

1.)  At my last office, once our breakroom refrigerator was cleaned out with five days notice to us all.  I forgot that I left a brown paper sack in there with two fresh apples and my good paring knife.  I didn't think of it until I was halfway home that night.

Did I have a hissy fit about losing my apples and my good knife?

No, I realized that I had been warned and it was my own responsibility that it slipped my mind.  (Hey - I'm not a snowflake, at least about refrigerators!)  :)

2.) About notifying people until you are blue in the face, and they'll still complain:

Almost 30 years ago I was a teacher for several years.  I remember the teacher ("Jane") whose room was next to mine came in one afternoon after school and said she just had to tell someone what just happened because she couldn't believe it.

A mother had come in for a conference and was very upset because Jane had given the woman's son an F in English with, the woman complained,  "absolutely no warning".  She complained, if only Jane had told the woman and her husband that Junior was failing, they would have helped Junior do better in Jane's class.

Jane said to me, But Snappy, I did tell them!  Over and over again!"

Jane pulled out her file folder about Junior and showed the woman where Jane had sent home a "completed work" folder every Tuesday for the whole marking period.  Every week, the woman or her husband had signed and dated the folder page where it said that they had reviewed Junior's work and grades - and where Jane had documented Junior's grades each week.  Jane had also noted in her file that she had called home twice and had spoken with Junior's father each time about Junior's progress.

Junior's mother's comment to Jane?  "Oh that?  We didn't think you were serious!"
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: RegionMom on August 02, 2013, 09:11:45 PM
re: uber special lunch box-

True, sales happen, but what we think really happened was that yes, the lunchbox was borrowed, but originally was from Walmart by the neighbor, and the mom made up the over-the-top "It is from DISNEY, irreplaceable, how DARE you mark it up!  You OWE me! $$!!"

Because Walmart is so Disney Couture, ya know!

We did take to heart the lesson about never writing directly on a child's possessions.  I agree that is important, and I cringe when I volunteer at church nursery and see no labels, or the paid worker writes in sharpie.  I always share that cautionary tale, and pull out the roll of blue tape. 

:)

As for teacher Jane and the clueless mom of junior, at least she had documentation!  Yikes! 

That is a Bang Your Head in Despair moment, for sure!!
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: rose red on August 03, 2013, 01:25:01 PM
Is it your job to clean the fridge?  If not and you were just being nice, I wouldn't bother after this and just invest in a cooler/ice packs.  It's very peaceful to have nothing to do with the community fridge :).  If it is your job, I like the idea of posting the exact date and time on the sign (This fridge will be cleaned out on Tuesday, August 6 at 10am).
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: JustEstelle on August 03, 2013, 11:30:44 PM
OP, the only mistake I see is that you did the purge early in the day rather than after lunch or at the end of the day.  When we did the "fridge purges" at my school, they were always done well after lunch so that there could be no question about anything left in the refrigerator.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Winterlight on August 04, 2013, 03:50:03 PM
Cleaning the office fridge - the stuff nightmares are made of. :P

You could post notices in letters a foot high, send e-mails every day for a month, put fliers on everyone's desk, wait until dark oh-thirty on a Friday night, and someone will come to you and and pitch a hissy about you tossing their (fill in the blank).

It's a thankless task, but someone has to be the scapegoat do it.

This.

We clean out our fridge at work when the ice starts building up. We, meaning me. I send out an email at the beginning of the week and one the day before. 2pm Friday it gets unplugged. Everyone deals, and nobody whines because my boss backs me up.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Jocelyn on August 04, 2013, 08:26:50 PM


Next time, send an email on Friday a full week before your purge.  For example, if you were to send it today, say:

"On Friday, [date of cleaning] at [end of the day], the refrigerator and freezer will be emptied.  All personal posessions must be removed from the refrigerator and freezer by [time] or they will be thrown out.  There will be no exceptions."
I think this would cause hard feelings. I wouldn't want to have to carry home my salad dressing or other condiments, to bring them back again on Monday. I think that letting people label their stuff, and leaving stuff that is obviously still good (say, an unopened can of soda) would be best.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: KenveeB on August 04, 2013, 10:53:47 PM


Next time, send an email on Friday a full week before your purge.  For example, if you were to send it today, say:

"On Friday, [date of cleaning] at [end of the day], the refrigerator and freezer will be emptied.  All personal posessions must be removed from the refrigerator and freezer by [time] or they will be thrown out.  There will be no exceptions."
I think this would cause hard feelings. I wouldn't want to have to carry home my salad dressing or other condiments, to bring them back again on Monday. I think that letting people label their stuff, and leaving stuff that is obviously still good (say, an unopened can of soda) would be best.

Yeah, we label and date our stuff, and at clean-outs anything older than a month gets tossed. If it's something you might want to keep for a long time, you can just write a new date on it before the clean-out.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Yvaine on August 04, 2013, 11:04:59 PM
Uh - she got the days-old tuna out of the trash? And presumably ate it????????

So much wrong with that.

She may well not have eaten it, but wanted her container back.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Cherry91 on August 05, 2013, 06:07:01 AM
It was in student halls, not at work, but a few years back I was sharing a fridge with some disgusting individuals that seemed to think that fridges were magical and could keep something fresh forever.

One of them once left a pizza box on the shelf for almost a month. I was desperately trying to avoid getting into the habit of cleaning up after them, but eventually I could take it no more. The box took up an entire shelf, and the contents were blue, furry, and honestly looked like they were a day from getting up and walking off. I threw the box and its contents away, but as it was a large pizza box, it stayed near the top of the bin.

Not even an hour later, Slob demands to know who had thrown away his food. I informed him it wasn't food anymore and hadn't been for several weeks now, but he insisted it was still good and he had intended to eat it "any day now".

So I got a bit mean. I went to the bin, pulled out the box, put it in front of him and told him if he wanted the argument to continue, he had to take a bite of the pizza, right there, right then, in front of the gathered hallmates.

He went slightly green and conceded the point.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: VorFemme on August 05, 2013, 09:15:21 AM
VorGuy started a new job here in July 2005.  In July 2010(? might have been 2011), after his first co-teacher retired, they decided to let the mini-fridge in their office "thaw" overnight.

Who knew there was an ice tray in the little freezer section?

Amazingly enough, without a solid block of ice in the top - the fridge actually keeps water bottles colder!
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 05, 2013, 10:36:47 AM
OP, you were fine.  People at my work put their lunches in the fridge loose - a sandwich container with a couple of yogurts and and apple, just floating around.  Put it in a bag, people!  Drives me nuts, it does.

I've cleaned out the fridge in the morning before.  The only guy who was mad was the guy who couldn't read.  I had to move one container from where it was.  When I moved it to clean underneath it, the lid popped off and I couldn't get it to go back on so I fit it the best I could then moved the dish to a level spot so the lid wouldn't fall off again.  And sent an email to the office so the person would know exactly where it was.  I happened to be in the lunchroom when he started whining that I'd thrown his food out.   ::)

I just can't figure out why people bring food in and just leave it there in the fridge.  If you didn't eat it today, why wouldn't you take it home for dinner or eat it tomorrow?  I've done that a couple of times when I ended up going out for lunch unexpectedly.  But then, my lunch is in a cloth bag so when I see the next morning, at home, that my bag is missing, it twigs me that I already have lunch in the fridge at work.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: siamesecat2965 on August 05, 2013, 11:55:51 AM
OP, you were fine.  People at my work put their lunches in the fridge loose - a sandwich container with a couple of yogurts and and apple, just floating around.  Put it in a bag, people!  Drives me nuts, it does.

I've cleaned out the fridge in the morning before.  The only guy who was mad was the guy who couldn't read.  I had to move one container from where it was.  When I moved it to clean underneath it, the lid popped off and I couldn't get it to go back on so I fit it the best I could then moved the dish to a level spot so the lid wouldn't fall off again.  And sent an email to the office so the person would know exactly where it was.  I happened to be in the lunchroom when he started whining that I'd thrown his food out.   ::)

I just can't figure out why people bring food in and just leave it there in the fridge.  If you didn't eat it today, why wouldn't you take it home for dinner or eat it tomorrow?  I've done that a couple of times when I ended up going out for lunch unexpectedly.  But then, my lunch is in a cloth bag so when I see the next morning, at home, that my bag is missing, it twigs me that I already have lunch in the fridge at work.

I iwll sometimes stick a yogurt or something packaged in the fridge, sans bag, but i always put myu initials on it, and usually eat it within a day or so. but anything i put in my own container, or a piece of fruit, gets put in a bag.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 05, 2013, 12:10:29 PM
A labelled yogurt is cool.  But we constantly have people eating other people's yogurts because nobody labels them and people think they are grabbing their own, not remembering what flavour they brought.

Not an issue for me - I can't stand the stuff!  I kept trying but I couldn't find one I liked.  I've given up.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Chip2 on August 05, 2013, 06:45:54 PM
I put together a cheerfully worded sign that included the words "Everything will go!"

I followed that up with "Yes, new stuff, old stuff, and Tupperware! If you want to keep it put it in the other fridge."

E-mails, signs, and verbal warnings went out. A sign went up on the other fridge:  "This fridge is safe!"

My boss at the time (who was an idiot) said people wouldn't understand the signs and that I'd be dealing with too many complaints. I said "I don't care; the fridge is getting cleaned."

On clean-out day there were zero problems.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Bluenomi on August 05, 2013, 10:00:19 PM
I have learned that no matter how many signs you post and how many emails you send and how much warning you give, someone will always complain when you clean the fridge. Thankfully my boss' opinion is people were given warning, it's their own fault if they didn't heed it.

I'm pretty generous. In date stuff stays, I'll emtpy all but the grossest containers and put them in the dishwasher. If I know who owns something really gross I'll let them know it's there before tossing it (especially when it's their wife's good tupperware). But still people pout.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: camlan on August 08, 2013, 03:18:38 PM
A labelled yogurt is cool.  But we constantly have people eating other people's yogurts because nobody labels them and people think they are grabbing their own, not remembering what flavour they brought.

Not an issue for me - I can't stand the stuff!  I kept trying but I couldn't find one I liked.  I've given up.

Someone once grabbed a yogurt out of our office fridge. Took one huge spoonful and then started gagging. Then, when he could talk again, he accused "somone" of planting deliberately foul-tasting yogurt in the fridge. You know, the way sometimes people suggest putting hot sauce in food to foil fridge thieves?

Only it was my yogurt, properly labeled with my initials. And it was perfectly fine. He'd just never tasted plain, unsweetened yogurt before.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: VorFemme on August 08, 2013, 05:56:11 PM
If anyone ever grabbed VorGuy's cottage cheese out of the fridge and took a big spoon full - they'd know he was born & bred in the Southwest!  And they'd never touch anything with his initials on it again....  It would contain lots of chopped jalapeno peppers & raw onion laced to the max - he loves hot food (born in Tucson, Arizona - raised in Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, and a side trip with his parents to someplace in Southeast Asia before going back to Thailand as a young man during the late pleasantness there (1960s & early 1970s - deliberate riff on the way old timers in the American South referred to the American Civil War 1861-1865, for those not conversant with American History - think Gone With The Wind). 

He has been known to complain that I don't put enough jalapeno bits in it when I make it for him....
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Syfygeek on August 09, 2013, 08:27:56 AM
Sort of an Update-

It's been a week, and the fridge is still clean. Containers have initials, and the fridge no longer smells.

BUT- there is a ziploc baggie of cut veggies in there. Last week, during the purge, I chose to leave it because they looked freshly chopped, still firm. The baggie is still there, the veggies now have started to decay, look brown and slightly liquified. I want to throw it out, but it belongs to tuna co-worker. I know as soon as I toss it, she'll complain that I took her lunch.

I'm on vacation next week, and I'm willing to bet the bag will be there when I get back.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Alias on August 09, 2013, 08:43:27 AM
Sort of an Update-

It's been a week, and the fridge is still clean. Containers have initials, and the fridge no longer smells.

BUT- there is a ziploc baggie of cut veggies in there. Last week, during the purge, I chose to leave it because they looked freshly chopped, still firm. The baggie is still there, the veggies now have started to decay, look brown and slightly liquified. I want to throw it out, but it belongs to tuna co-worker. I know as soon as I toss it, she'll complain that I took her lunch.

I'm on vacation next week, and I'm willing to bet the bag will be there when I get back.

I'd be very tempted to toss it as I walk out the door for vacation.  Then by the time you get back, it will hopefully be forgotten.

And *ewwww*
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Cherry91 on August 09, 2013, 08:44:16 AM
Sort of an Update-

It's been a week, and the fridge is still clean. Containers have initials, and the fridge no longer smells.

BUT- there is a ziploc baggie of cut veggies in there. Last week, during the purge, I chose to leave it because they looked freshly chopped, still firm. The baggie is still there, the veggies now have started to decay, look brown and slightly liquified. I want to throw it out, but it belongs to tuna co-worker. I know as soon as I toss it, she'll complain that I took her lunch.

I'm on vacation next week, and I'm willing to bet the bag will be there when I get back.

Why not put a post-it note on the bag saying please remove it from the fridge by *date* and then she can't claim that no one told her to move it?
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 09, 2013, 09:15:50 AM
I'd pitch it and let her whine.  Then give her the Spock eyebrow.  'Really?  You were going to eat liquified peppers and celery?  If you'd throw out your own decaying food, I wouldn't have to.'  And walk away.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: rain on August 10, 2013, 10:23:29 AM
Sort of an Update-

It's been a week, and the fridge is still clean. Containers have initials, and the fridge no longer smells.

BUT- there is a ziploc baggie of cut veggies in there. Last week, during the purge, I chose to leave it because they looked freshly chopped, still firm. The baggie is still there, the veggies now have started to decay, look brown and slightly liquified. I want to throw it out, but it belongs to tuna co-worker. I know as soon as I toss it, she'll complain that I took her lunch.

I'm on vacation next week, and I'm willing to bet the bag will be there when I get back.


I'm not sure about etiquette (help me out folks), but could you "date" it with a permanent marker?  Or just email her about them?
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: RegionMom on August 10, 2013, 12:57:37 PM
slap a labeled date on it, and just leave it be.

post any updates, here!
 ;)
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: YummyMummy66 on August 10, 2013, 08:30:17 PM
I would not put a label or post it on the baggie, as that can just be taken off and thrown away.

Sharpie on the baggie itself with a date. 
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Syfygeek on August 19, 2013, 10:40:28 AM
First day back, just went into the breakroom and you guessed it, the baggie is still there and looks nasty.

At the end of today, as I leave, it's going in the garbage! But, 2 weeks after the great purge, the fridge still looks good (except for the rotting veggies)
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: ladyknight1 on August 19, 2013, 11:04:11 AM
We have periodic events at my office that require the refrigerator to be cleared so food can be stored for the event. After we clear it, there is always someone who is looking for something that wasn't in the fridge in the first place!

My favorite is when people bring their food in on an event day, when they have been given prior notice that we are having lunch on XX day at XX time, then are mad that there isn't sufficient room. We can usually make it work.

I agree with Art that people can become very irrational about food.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Amara on August 19, 2013, 11:44:48 AM
You know what always strikes me as weird is that it appears the people who leave food for days (or longer) seem to like to waste food as long as they can use someone else's space to do it.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: --- on August 21, 2013, 06:06:23 PM
I don't bring in a lunch that needs to be put into the fridge, and not because of the potiental that it'll be thrown away. No, I don't do it because I don't want my food to be in a place where mold was at -- trust me, even with the fridge being cleaned out every week, I STILL can not get the image of a very moldy frozen dinner out of my head. A frozen dinner that was over THREE years old.

Management has the fridge and table cleaned out once a week, every week, and WILL throw out everything that doesn't have that day's date on it and someone's name on it. Management has a strict rule that if the food isn't going to be consumed that day, it either needs to be taken out or it'll get tossed. The reason behind it is that I had a former co-workers who went GROCERY SHOPPING and put all their food in the fridge. This left no room in the fridge for anyone else and management gave this co-worker an ultimatium: take the food home right now or it gets tossed and they get a write-up for abusing company-purchased materials.

They took their food and never came back.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: weschicky on September 04, 2013, 08:10:04 AM
A coworker kept some medical drugs of an intimate nature in the office fridge, which I found during my own fridge clean out and quietly slipped back into the fridge as I'd found them.   I probably wouldn't leave intimacy drugs in the office fridge, but who am I to judge? We had an office cleanup on a day he was absent, and one of my colleagues went to town on the fridge.  She started to open the plastic bag containing his drugs, gagged at the smell (there was some plastic-y container in there that smelled like chemicals), and tossed the bag without looking inside.  Because, really, who keeps expensive medical drugs in a plastic bag from the neighborhood sandwich shop in the office fridge?

There is now a zippered, official-looking pouch in the beer crisper. 

I used to work in an office where anything not labelled with initials and a recent date could be thrown out without notice (make room for catering, someone's lunch, whatever).  If you wanted to keep your salad dressing or ketchup in there, you just kept changing the date.  It was a brilliant system that liberated everyone to toss fuzzy food with impunity.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: spookycatlady on September 06, 2013, 08:27:42 AM
I worked in an office with a once a month cleaning rota.  Everyone on the floor took a turn, whether you used the fridge or not.  The schedule and rules were firmly established.

Except people were too afraid to follow the rules: sentient? No date? No label? No keeping.

I was ruthless in my disposal of foodstuffs, but I took the time to wash the plastic containers and left them on the counter for claiming.

The weird part?  No one complained about dumped food, but the last month's designated cleaning person came into the kitchen repeatedly to "comiserate" about how ruthless he was was and how much he had tossed the last time. 

Uh huh.  That's why I was finding 4 month old yogurt and 2 year old, open juice boxes.

What I did get criticized for? Washing the plastic.  I heard more than one person say, "No way I would have washed that.  I would have tossed the whole thing."  It actually felt like judgement, to be honest.

I bring non-refrigerated lunches now and leave the fridge to the amateur micro-biology enthusiasts.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: siamesecat2965 on September 06, 2013, 11:40:34 AM
I worked in an office with a once a month cleaning rota.  Everyone on the floor took a turn, whether you used the fridge or not.  The schedule and rules were firmly established.

Except people were too afraid to follow the rules: sentient? No date? No label? No keeping.

I was ruthless in my disposal of foodstuffs, but I took the time to wash the plastic containers and left them on the counter for claiming.

The weird part?  No one complained about dumped food, but the last month's designated cleaning person came into the kitchen repeatedly to "comiserate" about how ruthless he was was and how much he had tossed the last time. 

Uh huh.  That's why I was finding 4 month old yogurt and 2 year old, open juice boxes.

What I did get criticized for? Washing the plastic.  I heard more than one person say, "No way I would have washed that.  I would have tossed the whole thing."  It actually felt like judgement, to be honest.

I bring non-refrigerated lunches now and leave the fridge to the amateur micro-biology enthusiasts.

I would have been ruthless too, but I don't know that I would have cleaned anyone else's plastic. If its my science experiment at home, sure, but to be honest, the thought of cleaning someone eles' squicks me out. But, I wouldnt have said anything; I just would ahve done it, and if someone else chose to wash them, so be it.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Outdoor Girl on September 06, 2013, 12:06:56 PM
When I'm doing the fridge clean out, if the plastic ware is Glad or Ziploc or one of those kinds that are reusable but meant to be disposable, I just pitch the whole thing.  If it is Tupperware or other higher quality plastic ware, I'll dump it and put the dirty ones in the dishwasher.  Unless the contents are blue and fuzzy or completely liquified when it should be a solid.  Then I just pitch, even if it is expensive plastic ware.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: esposita on September 06, 2013, 07:00:09 PM
A coworker kept some medical drugs of an intimate nature in the office fridge, which I found during my own fridge clean out and quietly slipped back into the fridge as I'd found them.   I probably wouldn't leave intimacy drugs in the office fridge, but who am I to judge? We had an office cleanup on a day he was absent, and one of my colleagues went to town on the fridge.  She started to open the plastic bag containing his drugs, gagged at the smell (there was some plastic-y container in there that smelled like chemicals), and tossed the bag without looking inside.  Because, really, who keeps expensive medical drugs in a plastic bag from the neighborhood sandwich shop in the office fridge?

There is now a zippered, official-looking pouch in the beer crisper. 

I used to work in an office where anything not labelled with initials and a recent date could be thrown out without notice (make room for catering, someone's lunch, whatever).  If you wanted to keep your salad dressing or ketchup in there, you just kept changing the date.  It was a brilliant system that liberated everyone to toss fuzzy food with impunity.

This is making me giggle. ;D Is it possible the meds were needed so many hours before he um, got home?  ;)
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: POF on September 07, 2013, 08:59:28 AM
When my group was in a different suite - I ( the director ) cleaned out the fridge every Friday at 4:35  ( most people left at 4:30 ). It was on my calendar and everyone knew it.  Nothing was allowed to stay over the weekend. I tossed everything and then the weekend cleaning crew cleaned it thoroughly.

It was fun for my secretary to see people scurrying at 4:15 to get their stuff.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Chip2 on September 10, 2013, 02:20:47 PM
I worked in an office with a once a month cleaning rota.  Everyone on the floor took a turn, whether you used the fridge or not.  The schedule and rules were firmly established.

Except people were too afraid to follow the rules: sentient? No date? No label? No keeping.

I was ruthless in my disposal of foodstuffs, but I took the time to wash the plastic containers and left them on the counter for claiming.

The weird part?  No one complained about dumped food, but the last month's designated cleaning person came into the kitchen repeatedly to "comiserate" about how ruthless he was was and how much he had tossed the last time. 

Uh huh.  That's why I was finding 4 month old yogurt and 2 year old, open juice boxes.

What I did get criticized for? Washing the plastic.  I heard more than one person say, "No way I would have washed that.  I would have tossed the whole thing."  It actually felt like judgement, to be honest.

I bring non-refrigerated lunches now and leave the fridge to the amateur micro-biology enthusiasts.

The guy we just had scheduled to clean out the fridge was a bit hesitant about being ruthless, but I gave him a pep talk. I showed my Army Sergeant First Class retiree ID card, and had him show me his. I said, "This is our license to be ruthless! AAAAAAH!"

Everything except for an unopened case of diet sodas got tossed. The other fridge gets hit this Friday.  >:D
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: EllenS on September 10, 2013, 05:17:47 PM
We get this note from our facilities coordinatior every Thursday:

REMINDER:  Refrigerators in Ground Floor Kitchen will be cleaned at 2:00 pm today!

If you have items stored in the refrigerators in the ground floor kitchen that you want to keep, please remove them before 2:00 pm today.  Any items left in the refrigerators/freezers at 2:00 will be placed on the counters in the kitchen at 3:00 pm anything still on the counters will be thrown out (including containers).

I don't know how many complaints she gets, but I don't think it could be any clearer.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: rose red on September 12, 2013, 11:14:25 AM
I worked in an office with a once a month cleaning rota.  Everyone on the floor took a turn, whether you used the fridge or not.  The schedule and rules were firmly established.

That doesn't seem fair.  But I understand office politics and wouldn't make waves.  I would just bring gloves and dump everything without analysing each item to check for freshness or not.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: TootsNYC on September 13, 2013, 11:51:57 AM
Sort of an Update-

It's been a week, and the fridge is still clean. Containers have initials, and the fridge no longer smells.

BUT- there is a ziploc baggie of cut veggies in there. Last week, during the purge, I chose to leave it because they looked freshly chopped, still firm. The baggie is still there, the veggies now have started to decay, look brown and slightly liquified. I want to throw it out, but it belongs to tuna co-worker. I know as soon as I toss it, she'll complain that I took her lunch.

I'm on vacation next week, and I'm willing to bet the bag will be there when I get back.

You're confident it's hers?

Take it to her. "Is this yours? I didn't want to throw out your food, but this is decaying. I'll let you toss it." Set it on her desk and walk off.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Amara on September 13, 2013, 12:00:10 PM
You know what I really don't understand: that people waste so much food. I never leave stuff here. I eat it or I take it home and eat it. Food costs money! Lots of money if you want organic food. And yet it continues to amaze me how many just don't seem to care. *wanders off shaking head*
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Mel the Redcap on September 14, 2013, 11:56:42 PM
A labelled yogurt is cool.  But we constantly have people eating other people's yogurts because nobody labels them and people think they are grabbing their own, not remembering what flavour they brought.

Not an issue for me - I can't stand the stuff!  I kept trying but I couldn't find one I liked.  I've given up.

Someone once grabbed a yogurt out of our office fridge. Took one huge spoonful and then started gagging. Then, when he could talk again, he accused "somone" of planting deliberately foul-tasting yogurt in the fridge. You know, the way sometimes people suggest putting hot sauce in food to foil fridge thieves?

Only it was my yogurt, properly labeled with my initials. And it was perfectly fine. He'd just never tasted plain, unsweetened yogurt before.

At one workplace, we low-paid admin staff were continually getting our milk etc stolen by the highly-paid lawyers. That stopped after we started putting various colours of food dye in it. >:D

At a different workplace, I had a jar of sweets on my desk. I had no problem with sharing them if people asked - that's why I had them visible - but I did have a problem when the level started mysteriously going down whenever I left my desk. So I took steps.

I would like to point out that I actually really like the sweets I filled my jar with... Atomic Fire Balls ( http://www.oldtimecandy.com/atomic-fire-balls.htm ). They are awesome! They taste like cinnamon and heat and sweet, sweet pain. And if you take all their individual little wrappers off before putting them in a jar, they look just like Jaffas ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaffas )... which the suspected culprit liked. He did NOT like hot things. Sadly I was absent with a tummy bug when my candy jar was next raided, but it never happened again! 8)

[Insert disclaimer noting that I definitely do not condone or suggest spiking or booby-trapping foodstuffs with anything that is dangerous, an allergen, or not a normal food ingredient. Perfectly normal and safe food that a lot of people don't like, on the other hand, is fair game. I recommend nattou for severe cases of food thievery.]
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Library Dragon on September 15, 2013, 12:53:06 AM
Now I'm going to have to track down Jaffas and try them. Chocolate & orange, yummy.
Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: OSUJillyBean on September 23, 2013, 03:20:21 PM
Coworker and I had to work through lunch one time so we ordered a pizza delivered.  It's unusual for our office but allowed.  We still had half a pizza at the end of the day so we decided to leave it in the fridge and have it for leftovers the next day.  Except coworker was out the next day and I forgot all about it for more than a week!  :-[

Nobody said anything but the box was fairly large.  I tossed it as soon as I remembered and hopefully none of my other coworkers were too inconvenienced by the pizza box in the office fridge.  (One fridge for our floor of maybe fifty - sixty people).

Title: Re: Cleaning out Office Fridge
Post by: Chip2 on September 26, 2013, 12:55:26 PM
This seems apropos for this discussion (don't worry, very safe for work):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUtyX67mP9A (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUtyX67mP9A)