Author Topic: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'  (Read 11246 times)

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jeni

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Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« on: January 18, 2013, 05:56:09 AM »
So, I was very bad and breached etiquette this afternoon - or at the very least didn't handle something the best possible way.   

b/g  It's been a shocking few weeks (or months really) at work with long hours and lots of pressure. 

Today I took time out to have lunch with friends but had to be back by 1pm for a meeting (which was scheduled after I'd arranged the lunch with friends).  As it happens the restaurant, which usually has really quick service, was very busy so the food took a while.  They weren't expecting a busy day as I'd asked when I got there - early, because of the meeting.

By the time I had to leave, I hadn't finished my lunch so I got it packaged up to take-away (which is allowed here and perfectly acceptable, I know it's frowned upon in some places).  When I got back to work I put it in the lunchroom fridge and went straight to the meeting.

Essentially the afternoon went from one meeting to another, with lots of things in between, no time for coffee or even a glass of water until finally I was able to leave at nearly 6pm.  Looking forward to a glass of wine and my lunch leftovers for dinner. 

Well, you already know what happens next - the title is a dead giveaway!  Sure enough, my food had been thrown out.  There was a notice on the fridge saying it was to be cleared out by 4pm that day, and asks that people label everything in the fridge or else it will be thrown out.  Of course the notice wasn't there just before 1pm when I put food in, and in my frantic afternoon I never visited the lunchroom so didn't have an opportunity to see it.

I saw red  >:(  And I wrote a few comments on the fridge sign  :(    Now I feel bad because I know the people that work there are not mean spirited and wouldn't intentionally try to upset people, but certainly I think it was bad planning and just thoughtless.  My comments weren't abusive, no swear words or anything like that but they certainly express my unhappiness.

So my dilemma, do I remove the fridge notice with my cranky comments, or leave it?  If I remove it, other people who have had their food thrown away won't know what's happened.  But if I leave it, I might upset someone who was probably well intentioned (if a little thoughtless IMHO). 

Your thoughts?

MariaE

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 06:10:34 AM »
Can you strike it out? Or if the sign's paper, tear off the part with your comments?

Failing both things, I think I'd take down the sign and put up a new one with the original message.
 
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YummyMummy66

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 06:35:06 AM »
I think that for someone to only put a notice after lunctime and then throw the food out before 4 deserves some kind of note.

Usually, when I worked in an office setting, a note was always on the fridge stating fridge would be cleaned out each Friday.

I am not sure what you wrote, but I might take said note down and put up a new one, "whoever cleaned out fridge, note was not on fridge when I put my lunch in.  It would have been nice to have been warned before I put my lunch in which was after 1pm.  "

But, as someone who could not stand our fridge, I was the one who cleaned it out.  AFter a while, you realize you will never please everyone.  People would leave our fridge disgusting and the kitchen sink.  I got tired of doing it all the time jsut because I thought it was gross, so I stopped.   And people did not care.  They just cleaned their dish when they needed it, etc.  Yuck.

Amava

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 06:36:44 AM »
My comments weren't abusive, no swear words or anything like that but they certainly express my unhappiness.
It is not rude to politely express unhappiness. Especially not if your food has just been tossed due to someone's poor planning.
If your comment was something like "Please warn us a bit earlier next time", then I think that is fine. You could go talk to the person responsible for it and explain to them that more notice for the cleaning of the fridge would be helpful.

kckgirl

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 06:38:46 AM »
I would at least comment to someone that they absolutely must give more notice before they start throwing things away. If the sign goes up after 1 p.m. saying all food must be removed or labeled by 4 p.m., that doesn't give everybody an opportunity to even see it. In my workplace,signs like that usually go up at least a day or two before cleanout.
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VorFemme

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 09:19:15 AM »
Can you put up a note of your own asking for 24 hour notice?  Something about asking for enough notice so that people who are stuck in four or five hour meetings get a chance to see the notice about the fridge is being cleaned the next day, so they know to label their leftovers from that day's that they are planning on eating for dinner after the meeting? 

Because three hours of notice doesn't do any good to anyone who is in a meeting from before the notice is posted until after the cleaning has been completed.....
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Giggity

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 10:27:02 AM »
So my dilemma, do I remove the fridge notice with my cranky comments, or leave it?  If I remove it, other people who have had their food thrown away won't know what's happened.  But if I leave it, I might upset someone who was probably well intentioned (if a little thoughtless IMHO). 

Your thoughts?

I think I'm not sure why you'd take it down. So what if someone might get upset? Someone did the wrong thing and needs to know it was wrong.
Words mean things.

TurtleDove

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2013, 10:31:42 AM »
I would ask for a stated policy so this doesn't happen again.  At my office, the stated policy is that all food must be labeled and the refridgerater is cleaned out every Friday at 4:00.  There is a marker on the side of the fridge to label food.  See if your office will do something similar.  It solves a lot of issues.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 10:52:04 AM »
A three hour notice seems less than satisfactory to you...say so, you don't have to be rude about it - but three hours does seem ridiculous to me too.

I used to put a note up on Monday that I would be cleaning out the fridge on Friday afternoon.  Five days is more than sufficient and unless someone moved it to the top shelf it was outta there on Friday.  (the top shelf was designated for clean out days, I am not trying to read someone else's bad handwriting)

Judah

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 10:55:36 AM »
We get several days notice before the refrigerators are cleaned out. Which makes sense because most people only go into the lunch room for lunch and they may not go in every day.  I think you should contact whoever is in charge of the refrigerators and ask that they give 48 or 72 hours notice before throwing things away.  Three hours notice is not enough, especially considering that most people wouldn't go back into the lunch room between lunch and the end of the day.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 11:04:24 AM »
My comments weren't abusive, no swear words or anything like that but they certainly express my unhappiness.
It is not rude to politely express unhappiness. Especially not if your food has just been tossed due to someone's poor planning.
If your comment was something like "Please warn us a bit earlier next time", then I think that is fine. You could go talk to the person responsible for it and explain to them that more notice for the cleaning of the fridge would be helpful.

I think you should leave your note. Did you swear? I bet not. So leave it. They screwed you over. Let them hear about it.
(take a pic first, though, and submit it to PassiveAggressiveNotes.com--you won't feel as bad if it's you sending it in)

camlan

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 11:23:25 AM »
Every place I've worked, the refrigerators are either cleaned out on a regular basis, so that everyone knows that Friday at 4 the food will hit the trash can, or there's been at least 24 hours notice, by both signs on the fridge and by email. Because not everyone checks the refrigerator daily. I know some people who just keep "emergency" supplies in the office fridge--things that will keep for a while under refrigeration that they stash there in case they have to work late or miss lunch some day.
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Ginger G

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2013, 11:46:00 AM »
I would have been annoyed too, if that's not the normal procedure they should definitely have given 24 hour notice or at least had the sign up first thing that morning.  Where I work, the breakroom fridge is cleaned out every Friday after 5:00 by the housekeeping staff, and it's been a long-standing policy.  One Monday, I had an angry employee storm into my office (I'm in HR).  She was upset because she had purchased that expensive fund-raising cookie dough from another employee and had gone home for the weekend, totally forgetting about it.  Of course it was thrown out.  She was really, really mad.  I asked her what she thought we should do about it, and she wanted the company to pay her back!  I said, "I'm sorry, that won't be possible" - thanks Ehell!

BarensMom

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2013, 12:08:47 PM »
When I was in charge of cleaning the office fridge, I would send out e-mails to my entire group on the Monday before, Thursday (the day before) and on Friday (the day of).  I would also put notes on the break room door and the fridge itself on the Monday before stating the date and time the fridge would be emptied and removed to the loading dock for defrosting and cleaning.  Even with all this, there would still be people upset at me that the janitors had tossed their Tupperware containers, salad dressing, etc.  And, of course, they would go to my supervisor, who would call me into his office.  It was only the fact that the e-mails were addressed to the group name (which listed both my supervisor and the complainant) that kept a note out of my file.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, was why the office fridge didn't get cleaned very often.

In OP's case, it was an unfortunate accident.  As a former fridge cleaner, I think the best course of action is to go to the person responsible for cleaning the fridge and request that he/she give more notice in the future.   

rose red

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Re: Cleaning out the office fridge aka 'you tossed out my food!'
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2013, 12:43:38 PM »
I'm all for cleaning out the fridge, but three hours notice after 1pm is crazy.  If the language is not too strong, I'd leave the note up.  If it's bad (even without swearing), you could make a new sign with with a more professional note.