The office refrigerator is like a bad practical joke. At first, you can get enjoyment out of watching a new employee stagger from the yawning mouth of the stench box. But all too quickly that smell can pervade the often tiny lunchroom and turn your guffaws into gags.
The Wall Street Journal reports that as more employees bring brown-bag lunches, the forgotten office fridges of the world are descending further into funkdom. According to the WSJ, fewer than half of all fridges are cleaned once a month.
Office refrigerators run the gambit from one shelf is kinda OK to please, dear God in heaven, do not unseal that door. And they all cycle through four periods: inertia (the slow decline into funk), denial (my sandwich won't smell like hot garbage after only two hours, right?), anger (hand-lettered and typed signs appear threatening a mass cleansing) and acceptance (this is my fridge, this is its funk).
I think it's time we gave the office fridge concept a gold watch and send it on its way to a life of rusty retirement in the scrapyard. It had a long run. Maybe not a good run, but a long run. We have enough easy alternatives in the form of coolers, USB-powered mini fridges and ubiquitous sandwich shops close to every major office park. We will get through this.
So goodbye, office fridge. Your smell will not be missed, but it will also not be forgotten.
[Image via Flickr: Kai Hendry]