Tuesday, March 04, 2014

THE FINE ART OF CROPDUSTING

Once again, the refrigerator at work smelled like something had died in it and had started to decompose. This time I completely disassembled the inside carefully scrubbing each drawer and shelf with industrial strength disinfectant cleaner followed by throwing out almost all the "must goes". When I had finished and let the inside completely air out, I decided this was my last time being the office chump. My job description as a Medicare Billing Specialist definitely did not include doing housework especially when none of the contents of the refrigerator were ever mine.  From this time forth, let the guilty parties do the dirty work!

I found the unwelcomed culprit had been some shrimp gumbo that had been spilled and had started to mutate at the bottom of the refrigerator under the vegetable crisper. The remnants were dark, sticky and rudely pungent. Everyone who walked by commented on how disgusting the refrigerator smelled, but no one offered to get their hands dirty by helping me clean it out. All I got were "better you than me" looks!

I grumbled silently promising myself this would be the last time I would clean up after a bunch of ungrateful slobs as I filled two trashcans with the contents of the refrigerator. Nothing pissed me off more than people bringing their lunches to work and letting the food sit there for months until it was unrecognizable. The only thing that came close to that kind of disgust was each time a drug rep (no, not the local neighborhood drug pusher, but someone who more resembled the main character on the TV show Weeds) would order lunch for the office as a courtesy while they tried to dazzle the doctors with some new wonder drug. The remaining food would always sit on the conference room table waiting for some dumbass to clean it up. Everyone, meet the dumbass who always went in after everyone was finished eating to put the leftovers away, to wash what utensils that were used and to make sure the conference room looked decent again. Being anal is a hard job and someone has to do it!

This time was different. This time after scrubbing out the inside of the refrigerator and then putting it all back together after discarding over 20 bottles of salad dressing with expiration dates from two years earlier and an assortment of bulging yogurt containers, I noticed that the aroma was still alive and well inside the refrigerator.  WTF? How could that be?

This time I turned off the refrigerator, pulled it out away from the wall, took apart the freezer, and cleaned inside where the fan was housed and where the tubing acted as a drain to a pan underneath the refrigerator. I forced hot water laced with the strongest smelling cleaner I could find through the tubing until it ran clear into the pan. Since I had no baking soda or charcoals at work, I put a cup of fresh unused coffee grounds in both the freeze and in the refrigerator. Finally, the smell was gone! SUCCESS! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

A few weeks later I had brought a 12-pack of Minute Maid lemonade (Lite of course…my diabetes has been a real bitch lately) to have at work. Since becoming diabetic, I have discovered that the world caters to healthy people and most drink machines don’t have a wide selection of sugar free drinks. When I opened the refrigerator to put my drinks inside, I was actually surprised to discover that it didn’t smell raunchy and it actually was still fairly neat as
well.  I smiled like a proud parent discovering that their child is not brain dead after all and as I bent over to put my drinks on the bottom shelf, I cut the cheese.  Uh oh! Now this cheese was a rare blend of aged Limburger meant to take a person’s breath away and bring tears to their eyes. Yep, it was a truly special cheese and because it was delivered silently this meant I could walk away and be fast at work as the stench dissipated. I wouldn’t have to die a thousand deaths from being embarrassed for being a company "crop duster."
 
Nope, I wasn’t that lucky…I’m sure this situation falls under one of Murphy’s Laws, but I’m not sure which one it is…perhaps "Mother Nature is a bitch"??? Just as I started to walk away, the office manager approached the refrigerator. She opened the door before the lingering stench invaded her nasal passages. Just as her facial expression started to change, I spoke up and sternly said, "that damn smell is back again and I’m not cleaning out the refrigerator again." She quickly called her assistant to do a sniff test. Then several others were asked to sniff around and to see what they thought. It was confirmed…the smell was back. What does one do in that situation? Like any smart person, they pass it off as residual refrigerator stench and tell the truth about it months later at the appropriate time to get people to laugh so hard they almost wet themselves!

16 comments:

  1. There's never anyone around when you need them but...when you would rather have some privacy....

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    1. Privacy? Is there such a place? I now have 3 little creatures (my dogs) who like children feel they need to follow their mother into the bathroom.

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  2. I bet you are now thankful for that horrid smelling fridge!

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    1. I'd give anything to be well enough to be right back there again.

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  3. May the guilty find their sense of smell has been burned away, and been replaced with the constant scent of dog poop.

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    1. LOL...I'm sure there's many who would agree with you!

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  4. How I admire your aplomb and your speed of thought. I suspect I would have gone beetroot shades and shuffled away. And sadly I too have been an unpaid and unrecognised fridge cleaning fairy.

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    1. I've always been that person who would step up and do the dirty work when no one else would and I have a great poker face...I probably should have become an actress.

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  5. Hilarious! I too had a fridge problem at work once. Solved it with a hand-truck when everyone else was elsewhere. It sat in the dumpster enclosure until I retired.

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    1. That sounds like a more sensible solution than continuing to allow people to abuse a privilege.

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  6. Ahahahaha omg you crack me up!
    LOL!
    And oh, my kitty follows me to the bathroom, too, EVERY TIME. I can't even shut the door anymore because she cries outside like a baby. She follows me everywhere I go, really, but the bathroom is just obnoxious! :)

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    1. I'm glad I could make you laugh out loud....

      Pets are so much like children it's eerie at times.

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  7. That was a narrow escape - hilarious! A colleague of mine had an interesting refrigerator-trick: she absentmindedly always took what she wanted, and when someone complained that she had eaten the other person's yoghurt, she said surprised: "Huch!" (gasp/oops!) She did that too when she went into a park instead of giving vocational guidance - "Huch!"
    But I bet she wouldn't have taken that Limburger cheese --- we should have used that as a litmus test for the degree of absentmindedness... :)

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  8. At-work fridges all have the same issue. I am ready myself to do what you just did. You have inspired me.

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    1. Oh, you're going to print out my story and tape it to the front of the refrigerator? LOL

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