RE: The Office Refrigerator, and other tales of woe
The office refrigerator is a microcosm of the world's problems. It is foul smelling, difficult to comprehend and discern, its challenge overwhelming and daunting. It is the height of selfishness and disdain for one's fellow man.
Mary Jane doesn't care because no one knows that's her twelve-week-old soufflé growing spores. And she kind of likes that. She'll show all those snobs for not inviting her to the last party. It's her version of Mrs. Haversham's festering cake...a gastronomic metaphor for her disappointment in life.
Arty don't care either. He is a thief...specifically of milk for his coffee. Hey, what's a little milk? They can afford it.
Likewise, Harold likes to show off the Samsonite luggage that he won as a consolation prize on a game show. It is his only accomplishment in life. What better place to air his sarcasm than the 'fridge? He brings the trunk even if he's going to go out for lunch.
But, alas, poor Carol, the angel of the office staff, has tried. Gosh knows she's tried. For thirty years she's attempted to make the refrigerator a better place. But, it's been a thankless, uphill battle...a Herculean undertaking to behold in sorrow. So busy in her tireless efforts, she never did wed.
Her notes have gone unheeded, their collection a veritable history of man's inhumanity to man. To add insult to injury, her original, very first note, informing that the refrigerator would be cleaned out on Fridays, written on plain lined paper, long before there were Post-It Notes, was recently for sale on E-Bay, stolen by milk-thief Arty.
Many's the time Carol had to be taken to the emergency room on Friday, sick from inhaling the toxic fumes of old, abandoned food, or to have a shiner looked at, the result of a punch from a co-worker, accusing dear, innocent Carol of throwing out her food.
Right now, it is the Great Anonymity that keeps the Lunch Room Refrigerator in the Dark Ages. No one is responsible. Under cover of night, thieves and slobs do their dirty work...leaving no identity.
Indeed, short of a Great Renaissance, we can only hope that some technological breakthrough will show man the way to more civil conduct.
Though it may seem light years away right now and hard to imagine, just as it may have seemed when we dreamed of one day sending a man to the moon, perhaps some inventor will lead the way. Perhaps some bright mind at either Rubbermaid or Tupperware will one day invent a "Full Refrigerator Office Insert," whereas, instead of the usual set-up of shelves in a refrigerator, those would be removed and replaced with translucent drawers the size of medium-sized safe deposit boxes.
They’d call it the Office Refrigerator Deluxe. Every person would be assigned a drawer, his or her name clearly indicated in a slot by each door's handle.
Gone is the anonymity. Man is again responsible for his actions, his obviously littered and dirty drawer a veritable Scarlet Letter to be avoided. And, for the time being, Civilization, or at least the Lunch Room refrigerator, is once again saved. We can only hope.