The Office Refrigerator, and other tales of woe
About a month ago, I returned to the work force, and I have encountered the exact same situations with the office refrigerator that I had dealt with at my previous place of employment. Perhaps others have observed these same problems.
*One problem results from the fact that many employees use HUGE insulated carriers for their lunches. I can well understand the need for these insulated carriers if the person travels a long distance from home to work. I could also understand the use of these carriers if there was no refrigerator at work. But, these people somehow see the need to place these carriers in the refrigerator once they get to the office. When you open the refrigerator, it looks like it is filled with luggage, and, in fact, some of these insulated carriers are the size of small pieces of luggage. My lunch is carried in a small brown bag, and believe it or not, unless I am very quick to get to that refrigerator, it is really difficult to find room for that small brown bag among the "luggage sets" inside that refrigerator.
*The second problem has to do with the smell inside that refrigerator. Even though there is a cleaning schedule posted, it is obvious that few, if any, of the people listed on this schedule have ever bothered to do their scheduled cleaning task. Yes, I know that this represents poor office management, but since the office administrator uses that same refrigerator, it would be rather poor form for me to point out this situation to her. And, since I am only recently arrived, I don't want to get embroiled in the "office politics" that are not yet clear to me.
As a result of these situations, I have actually taken to keeping my brown bag in my attache case until it is time to eat. So far, the winter temperatures have been such that this is not problematic. But, as warmer temperatures approach, I'm not sure that I can continue to do this safely, without exposing myself to potential bacterial outgrowth and resultant food poisoning.
So--does anyone have any suggestions?
(Please don't suggest that I clean the refrigerator, as that is NOT on my agenda. I did not place the forgotten food in there that is now beginning to rot, and I know from experience that when anything is thrown away from an office refrigerator, someone will swear that you threw away good, edible food. As the "new guy" in the office, that is not something to which I should expose myself.)