Monday, May 17, 2010

Refrigerator Humility

Here at SRU (a pseudonym) the entire Science Center shares a lounge, with a refrigerator and a big table, where many gather to eat for lunches. Its very collegial.

As in EVERY other workplace with shared resources, we have petty little conflicts regarding 'fridge etiquette. We don't eat each others' stuff, but we do leave stuff in there for decades, forcing the secretary to organize a cleanup day, in which only a few participate. This is very typical of everywhere I've worked (at least in the US).

Before fridge clean-up day, space in the fridge can be pretty tight. All those jars of relish that have been in there forever crowd out the cute little lunchboxes carrying the leftovers du jour.

At the bottom of the fridge are the meat and veggie crispers, one of which I marked as mine with tape sometime last year: "PUI Prof's drawer". Well, aparently this caused some consternation, especially in the math department, populated with folks just slightly higher on the Aspie scale than the rest of us. One says to me, "How can you do that?!?! I could just take some tape and mark on the outside of the fridge door 'Aspie Math Prof's fridge', then would you be expected to respect my space?"

Ok, Fine. I came up with some lame neutralizing reply, laughed with him, but continued to claim my drawer until this morning when the fridge was found completely empty. Apparently the cleaning lady- at the behest of the secretary- just chucked everything and cleaned the 'fridge. She removed my tape, too.

So I took my tape and a sharpie and made a new sign: "With your permission, PUI Prof's Drawer" and then re-populated my turf. That should do it.

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