We’re Buying Everyone a Mini Fridge

You get a mini fridge! You get a mini fridge! Everyone gets a mini fridge!

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This satirical column is part of our series The Break Room. Each column takes a humorous look at an aspect of the workplace. All the characters and scenes are fictional.

Greetings everyone,

I’m writing today to announce a major initiative that we will be rolling out company-wide over the next few weeks. That’s right, we’re buying everyone a mini fridge.

As far as we know, we’re the first company to implement such a policy and our PR agency is working as we speak to get us some cheap coverage in the trades. These days with the social media and the viral videos and the what have you, you never really know what’s going to get some traction. So we figured what the heck.

Anyway, over the next several weeks, Tom and the rest of the maintenance crew will be placing mini fridges under each desk. Simply plug it into your power strip, and you’re ready to go!

Soon everyone will be able to store their lunches and cold beverages conveniently in an environment that is free from mold and safe from all but the most brazen lunch thieves.

I’d like to address a few questions at the outset:

Q: Won’t the people who used to let their leftovers rot in the communal fridge until we nearly had to bring in a hazmat team to safely remove them just do the same thing in their own little fridges? 

Our hope is that employees will take personal ownership over their mini fridges and that with any offensive odors wafting first to the nostrils of the offending employee, they’ll take the necessary steps to eliminate said odors in a timely fashion and keep their fridge sanitary.

Failing this, a “shame factor” will soon come into play as it should be relatively simple to identify offending parties and request that they clean their fridge. Gone now is the anonymity that we deemed an ‘enabling factor’ in past incidents.

Q: Isn’t this expensive/a waste of money? 

I mean when you buy these things in bulk they cost like $40 each. We bought everyone adjustable standing desks and those were like $2,000!

Q: What about the lingering tension/animosity that built around the communal fridges and kitchen area? 

Look, we could choose to look backward, dwelling on how untenable — and frankly disgusting — the communal fridge situation had become. How those vying for space would need to come in early to deposit their lunches, and how those lunches would then be squished, squashed, or surreptitiously thrown away by late-comers trying to cram their own lunches into the already-packed space. Or how it was never really in anyone’s job description to clean the fridge, and how the responsibility of cleaning it fell unfairly on the shoulders of whoever had the least tolerance for offensive odors and general filth. I would like to take a moment to recognize those folks now.

Catie, who was always the cleanest of her apartment-mates and who took the time to create, laminate, and distribute a fridge cleanout and kitchen upkeep schedule for her floor, which was subsequently ignored by everyone.

Charlene, who kept up the 4th floor kitchen area with the same grim resignation with which she maintained her own home for decades. I think we’ll all fondly recall strolling by as she scrubbed away, always muttering, “I didn’t raise 4 boys just to clean up after you people …”

And Ron from sales … I guess … who thought cleaning the fridge would earn him notice and appreciation from our executives as a hard worker and team player. A miscalculation to be sure, as we executives all make enough money to go out to eat every day, but an effort nonetheless.

So yes, we could look at this as a failure of grown adults to live and work together with even the most basic consideration for one another. But we are choosing instead to look forward. And we’re excited to usher in a new era of personal fridge-responsibility.

To celebrate, we’ll be giving everyone a variety 3-pack of tasty Greek yogurt to keep in their fridge for a healthy snack. I hope you all enjoy!


Your President & CEO

P.S. — If you don’t like Greek yogurt, please make an effort to give it to someone who does and not simply let it sit uneaten, expired, and festering in your mini fridge over the coming months. Also, if you like one or two of the yogurt flavors, but not the others, I’d encourage you to try trading with a neighbor who does enjoy those flavors. Once again, let’s not let them sit uneaten, expired, and festering. The Mini Fridge Committee, with Catie at the helm, will be monitoring the rollout over the next few months and I’d love to have a zero-incident report when it comes to the whole yogurt thing. Thanks again!

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