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the five phases of caffeine intake October 26, 2009

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It’s funny… because it’s true.


Though there are plenty of ways to prevent the coffee runs — starting with cleaning the coffee pots and the coffee maker so that you have to use less coffee and there’s less crap clogging the system. If your office isn’t cleaning the coffee maker properly, stay late one night and do this. Your co-workers — and your bowels — will thank you.

(Seen on The Chive.)


fridge sign week: for sandwiches only October 23, 2009

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Is this office populated by ten-year-olds? Who throws mayo packets on the sidewalk anymore? First of all, if you want to fake blood, you’ll need to use ketchup or red-dyed cornsyrup, not mayonnaise. Secondly, people wouldn’t need packets if others would stop dipping into their brought-from-home mayo that they spent extra money on because they wanted something that didn’t taste like vinegar and ass. Third, if you can’t figure out who’s doing this by seeing who snickers when they see the note, then you don’t need to be in the corporate environment.

Thus ends Fridge Sign Week. Hope you enjoyed it. If you have signs of your own, take photos and post links in the comments. Feel free to add stories, too, because if you don’t I’m just going to make something up.

fridge sign week: provide me with some cookies October 23, 2009

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I figured I’d end this week on a lighter note. This particular sign can be taken in a few different ways:

  • Retaliatorily: Perhaps Peter stole some of Jon’s cookies, Jon found out, and Jon is using this sign to shame Peter. If so, he’s done it in an amusing way that doesn’t explicitly call Peter out for what he did.
  • Admonishingly: Perhaps Peter is an inveterate note-leaver and recently wrote about someone stealing his cookies. I’m pretty sure Jon didn’t steal said cookies, but if cookies were stolen and Jon didn’t get any and he’s sick of reading Peter’s notes about his missing food, he might have written something like this with the specific purpose of making Peter realize how annoying his notes are. (And anyway, most cookies don’t need to be refrigerated; hide them in your desk.)
  • Teasingly: As with “admonishingly”, it’s possible Peter and Jon worked together to write a funny note that takes on other note-leavers.
  • Disappointedly: If Peter is the guy who’s in charge of bringing snack-type foods for parties and gatherings, and Jon’s birthday went unnoticed, then Peter really is at fault here for not treating Jon the same way as he treated other employees in the company.
  • Truthfully: Or it could just be that Peter told Jon he’d bring him some cookies for whatever reason — maybe Jon helped him out in a pinch, or stayed late to work with him on a project — and has consistently forgotten. In that case, I get the feeling Peter probably thought the note was funny.

I’m not a big fan of notes, but this one isn’t so bad, I think.

fridge sign week: if you want this October 22, 2009

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So here’s something interesting: what do you do if there’s a piece of food, open to the elements, with a note saying you can eat it if you want? Do you eat it, risking contamination from the contents or the amount of time it’s been sitting out? Do you leave it for someone else to take a chance on? Do you throw it out so no one has to face the perilous decision to eat or not to eat?

I think in most cases it’s safe to eat stuff that’s been left out for a little while. The trick is to know not only how long it’s been left out but who did the leaving. If it’s someone you trust, then by all means eat away — I used to make food every now and then with the express intent of sharing it around the office, to test new recipes. But there are certain people you just don’t want to take food from.

Would you eat this burrito?

fridge sign week: some of us have OCD October 22, 2009

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Wow. This is what you’re going to crusade against? Really?

Look, I know it’s annoying. It annoys me too, especially when I don’t realize it’s extra time and spend 15 seconds pressing buttons to no avail. But this sign is ridiculous. Redonkulous, even. You and your OCD are just going to have to get over it, because if anyone figures out that you put this up, you’re going to be subjected to ribbing that makes sixth grade girls look like founts of compliments.

fridge sign week: jesus is watching you October 21, 2009

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Okay, first of all, kudos for using the Buddy Christ. That was funny. But it’s the only positive thing about your note.

First, let’s tackle the religion angle. You just invoked a person who was, to many, the most important once-living individual in their personal belief system. And you did it to chastise someone who was stealing your Diet Cokes. It reminds me of that joke about the guy who kept saying “God will save me” and when he gets to heaven and asks why he wasn’t saved, G-d says “hey, I sent a boat and a helicopter; what more did you want?” When your first Diet Coke was stolen, you should’ve put the rest in your desk and gotten an ice tray. Pretty much the same thing as I recommended for Green Tea Dave (on Monday).

Second, there are two ways people view religion at work:

  1. Important — People who think that religion is important enough in their personal lives that it has to spread out to work, including ending e-mails with “Have a Blessed Day!” or telling co-workers to pray more or inviting them to church functions.
  2. Personal — People to whom religion is personal, who pray and believe but don’t think it should be part of work. I prefer these people.

There’s also the non-religious people.

Whatever option you’ve hit, though, you’ve offended every one of them. The very-religious people will be upset because you invoked Jesus to defend your soda, thereby making fun of the religion; the personal-religious people will be upset because you invoked Jesus to defend your soda, thereby being stupid about religion; the non-religious people will laugh their asses off, steal all your Diet Cokes, and leave a note, probably with a picture of Satan (the South Park or Tenacious D versions, for preference), saying that Jesus doesn’t exist. Not only will that piss off the religious people, but it’ll piss off the person who owned the Diet Coke.

Who probably wasn’t even being religious.

Who probably thought he was being funny.

There’s no way to win. And, honestly, it’s only Diet Coke. Grow up.

fridge sign week: ya big goof October 21, 2009

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Let me, for the moment, ignore the polite closing at the bottom of the memo. Because this guy just announced who he is and that he knows someone’s stealing his stuff. Well, dude, if you sit ten steps from the refrigerator, shouldn’t you be able to catch the thief?

Why do you have a whole carton of eggs in the refrigerator anyway? Do you have one of those microwave scrambled-egg makers? Are you training for a role as the guy who drinks the raw eggs so Stallone doesn’t have to when he makes Rocky 7? Or did you buy them on the way to work with the intent of bringing them home because you ran out? Whatever the reason, it’s clear that people steal stuff out of this refrigerator all the time — after all, if they stole an entire carton of eggs, who knows what else has gone missing? Use your brain!

Oh, and now we all know you have grapes, too. Did you count them? Individually number them?

Perhaps the better option would have been to say this:

To the person who stole my carton of eggs: please replace it within a week, no questions asked. Thank you.

Beats the hell out of what you wrote.

fridge sign week: just take the whole slice next time October 20, 2009

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And speaking of unsanitary… it doesn’t look like this was bitten off, but I don’t see any fork prints on the remaining slice of pizza, which means someone used his or her hands to pull off about 40 percent of this slice.

We’re living in the age of the pandemic panic — if it’s not SARS, it’s Bird Flu. If it’s not Bird Flu, it’s Swine Flu. If it’s not Swine Flu, it’s… okay, well, it’s still Swine Flu right now. The point is: do you think anyone’s going to eat the remaining piece of pizza after you touched it? If they don’t know, they’re not going to bother trying. That piece of pizza will sit there until Milton eats it or it gets thrown away.

At this point, it’s better to just take the entire piece of pizza, cake, cookie, or sandwich, eat what you want, and either wrap or toss the rest. Or, if you only want a small piece, find a knife and fork. At least it’ll look like you tried.

fridge sign week: I spit in it too! October 20, 2009

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Wow, seriously, could these people have been any less professional?

Yes, probably, but the spitting was disgusting enough.

Come on. Spitting in your salad dressing? That’s just gross. I mean, sure, your spit gets on your food when you eat it, but what are we, seven?

Spitting into food is also a health hazard. At least these people had the wherewithal to leave notes that they did it; what if someone, in a fit of pique, spit into a bottle of salad dressing that wasn’t labeled? What if the thief got sick? I mean, sure, the thief deserved some sort of punishment for his actions, but spitting into food is so unsanitary and unpleasant that I don’t even want to think about it.

How can management respond to something like this? If they put out a note about not saying “I spit in this”, they’re acknowledging there’s a problem, and corporate morale is so low in most offices that that’s seen as rearranging the deck-chairs. But if they ignore it, the war could escalate.

There’s no good solution here, unfortunately. There so rarely is.

fridge sign week: is your name dave? October 19, 2009

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“Is your name Dave?” Boy, did Dave screw this one up. First of all, “Dave” (and other forms of David) is a pretty popular name. What are the odds that there’s no one else who uses the breakroom with the same name? If your name is Samir or Marcie, you might have better luck, but Dave made a huge mistake.

And what about the Dave who wrote the “Daves 4 Life” post-it? Well, he did teach Green Tea Dave a lesson, but more importantly, anyone who recognizes his handwriting is going to do the office equivalent of voting him up on a photo-submission website. “Hey, Dave F., you sure showed Dave W., huh?” And meanwhile, Dave W. — “Green Tea Dave” — is just going to get madder and madder.

Green Tea Dave’s recourse at this point is to put an ice tray in the freezer, keep the green tea at his desk, and pour it into a glass when he wants to drink some. Or escalate the sign war. His choice, really.

Pretty sure he went with option “B”.