A frosty reception
I’ve been to war.
Not saying I’ve had it nearly as bad as some people I know (I pray for my boys at the Korengal Outpost every day!), but still. There I was, suited up, with little bits of metal zipping by.
Now I work in an office.
There’s a bit of a switch there. I should say, a shift in priorities. You have imminent death and bodily harm on one hand; paper cuts and meetings on the other.
In this office there is a refrigerator.
In this office there also reside around 30-ish souls who work there. I like the place. There are a lot of good-natured people and well-meaning cats around. I get along with everybody and all is well in the kingdom.
I was told when I left Fort Hood by those who had worked at my present employ before that things can get stretched to the limits of rationality, based on the phenomenon that humans enjoy puffing up everyday situations into hugely dramatic episodes. When at war…understandable; when in the office…what’s the big deal?
You see, 30-ish souls + working lunches + refrigerator = mess. Nothing overly unsanitary, but a regular-enough routine of “Someone’s yogurt is moving. Probably a little far gone.” There goes out a rallying cry for people to clean the thing out and it happens. The end.
Or at least you would think so. There was an email passed around the other day, chiming in on the issue, that drew a bit of a curt tone. I’m new to the office, so I’m a walking lack of information when it comes to who’s angry at who. Due to the aforementioned “time at war,” I could give two apes f*cking about gossip. That’s not really how I enjoy burning chemicals firing my synapses, but whatev. Some people need that sort of stuff.
So the email went out, throwing down a bit of an ultimatum about time limits on food or some such. I didn’t think anything about it. The sender of the email was new, apparently, which was the source of the rub.
For me, I go to the fridge with a parcel of food, open it, if it’s full, I leave…end of scene. I’m not calling down God himself to deal with the situation. I’m a combat veteran. Yogurt’s warm? I can deal.
However, during our weekly meeting the curt email’s author went on a bit of a tiff. I wasn’t quite sure if he was serious, and stayed reclined in my seat, waiting for the air to pass. Something about respect and others. Not that I’m putting down his points, respect and others is important; but I was itching about the fridge at that moment for another reason–my lunch was in there and this debate was infringing on my time to eat it.
The soliloquy ended and enough seconds passed to let the man know we had internalized his message. Sparks started to fly from people here and there. What’s the issue? Let’s get rid of the fridge! Let’s put a lock on it! Tempers started to flare and there was this impression that this guy was not making any friends. A month into his tour here and he had established himself as the fridge guy.
Eventually the meeting ended, but not before fridge guy went for an encore and curtly rebuffed the nicest, sincerest lady in our department. He even got a rise out of me on that one. Something about milk. I have no idea.
Fridge guy, is that really the hill you’re choosing to die on? All respect to your years of service, your passion and concern, and, well, bluntness, apparently; but can I get back to the uncomfortable circumstance where I sit and check email while some poor bastard takes an IED in the face? See, that’s already somber enough for me. I don’t need Frigidaire up in my business.
But thanks! Cool yogurt is nice.