I like to think I'm a pretty good coworker, but I just had to break this standard rule of workplace etiquette.

It is not uncommon for a workplace to have a community refrigerator where employees can temporarily store the day's meal and/or snacks. There is also an unwritten rule stating "thou shalt not touch, take, pilfer, or bother any food or beverage item that does not belong to you."

Every morning when I come to work, I put my lunch into our small refrigerator, and for quite some time I have noticed a small bag of raw baby carrots on the bottom shelf. Quite often I would think to myself, "wow, there's those carrots!" This had been going on for several weeks, but as it turned out, I'm pretty sure it has been months.

These carrots weren't mine, so I felt I needed to just let them be. But, on this day, my curiosity got the best of me, and even though the carrots didn't belong to me, I touched them. In fact, I did more than just touch the carrots, I pulled the entire bag out and looked closely at the carrots.

Zane Mathews
Zane Mathews

Notice the date on the bag. "Best if used by March 31, 2016." This was happening on May 4, 2017. Are you kidding me? They have been in that refrigerator for over a year! That would fully explain all the disgusting things that were growing on these carrots inside the bag.

I still don't know who these carrots belong to, but I made an executive decision to go ahead and break the standard workplace food rule and proceeded to discard the dated bag of carrots in the garbage.

I'm not a rule-breaker by my nature, but in this case, I had no choice. I am hoping maybe there is another unwritten rule that says any food that can be verifiably proven to have been in the workplace fridge for more than one year is fair game and may be eliminated by any employee without consequence regardless of ownership.

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