Refrigerator Ethics

Gr…I want to post about my quilted placemats, and I just can’t seem to get them done. Sigh… I’d be tempted to stay up late to finish them tonight, but I need to start adjusting my schedule so I’ll be ready to score high school exams in two weeks. I’ll be up at 6:30 am, so I can score from 8 – 5:30. Yes, 8 hours a day… for 7 days straight. I’m just going to keep telling myself that I’m going to have an awesome time with my roommate in the evenings and that I’m going to love coming home and buying a new oven without feeling guilty about the expenditure. Otherwise, I might be tempted to poke myself in the eye with a pencil before the week even gets started.
I’m still trying to clear up some school projects too, so I was at work today and realized that the fridge in the faculty break room has me absolutely stymied.

My current state of torment started with grape jelly.

Grape jelly is on the door of the faculty fridge, and it looks like my grape jelly — the brand I buy. But, I’m sure other faculty shop at Aldi’s too. But, I do seem to remember taking grape jelly in at some point, so I could have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead of just eating peanut butter off a spoon for lunch. Now, I don’t know if that is my grape jelly though.

And, here’s where I’m stymied. I can’t figure out the etiquette of the workplace fridge.

Sure, I could label my food. But, I don’t want to do that. We have an established order of business in our faculty break room. If food is in the fridge, it belongs to someone and is off limits unless it’s explicitly labeled for community consumption. If something is on the table in the center of the room, it’s ok to attack it and consume it like a ravenous lion that hasn’t eaten in a week. No one who has their wits about them would ever leave food they expect to see again on this table.

So, with this order established, I feel strange labeling my food in the fridge. I don’t want any colleagues reading this to get offended because this is a matter of personal preference. However, labeling food in our work fridge seems needlessly aggressive to me. If I were to scrawl “Jess” across my spinach and egg salad or my leftover eggrolls, I’d feel as if I were implicitly saying, “If I could chain a savage dog to this styrofoam container, then, heck, yeah, I’d do it. Keep your paws off my food.” But, we’re nice people. I don’t feel like I need a savage dog to guard my food.

On the other hand, if I don’t label my food, I’m left with the grape jelly conundrum. Is it mine? And, since we’re all nice people, that grape jelly could be in there for years if it’s mine. Because  no one else is going to touch it if it’s not theirs. I’m serious. They won’t. There is a frozen pot roast in the freezer with an expiration date of 2009. I’m pretty sure it’s mine. But, what if it’s not? I’d be throwing out someone’s pot roast, and even if I’d be saving a life because no one should eat frozen pot roast that has been expired for four years, something still feels wrong about doing it.

And, as I write this, I’m thinking I remembered that I left stuffed pepper soup in the fridge by my other office. Hm…I’d better check on that tomorrow because I’m not sure what stuffed pepper soup will smell like 4 years from now.

4 thoughts on “Refrigerator Ethics

  1. Ahh…the workplace fridge! I hear you, but I say just label it:)
    Can’t wait to see your placemats! following on bloglovin’ so I don’t miss them.

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