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living in the fridge 6: the forever snack May 11, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Living in the Fridge.
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“Living in the Fridge” is a week-long series covering things you’ll find in your office’s refrigerator. This is the second time through; the first time, we examined ice, health drinks, signs, stickers, and plastic grocery bags.

Milk? Check. Juice? Check. Opaque box that's been there for months? That's a big check. (Photo by Andrew Bossi)

Milk? Check. Juice? Check. Opaque box that's been there for months? That's a big check. (Photo by Andrew Bossi)

The Forever Snack. About three months ago*, I noticed that the same single-serving bottle of apple juice was on the door of our refrigerator here at CorporateSpeak. I happened to be thirsty, but I didn’t drink it, because I didn’t know who it belonged to. I went up to the main break room and bought a little bottle of juice.

I watched. I waited. I observed that the juice didn’t move more than a few inches in either direction. After a month, it still hadn’t been drunk. After two, the expiration date was getting closer, but nothing else was changing.

So last week I drank it. And I enjoyed it.

That’s not quite the same as the forever snack, but the principle is sound: it’s a plastic container with food in it. It’s been there forever. You don’t know who it belongs to. It never moves much. People put their lunches on top of it, or slide it to the back of the refrigerator, but it never leaves the refrigerator. Employees come and employees go, but the forever snack persists. Because it’s in a container that looks like someone brought it from home, the custodians don’t remove it; they clean around it.

And in two years, when you’ve moved on but come back to have lunch with your old co-workers, take a moment to check the refrigerator. The forever snack will still be there.

Forever.

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* Yes, I really did write it down so I could tell the story on the site. Yes, I really am that anal sometimes.

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