At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


When I went to the office kitchen to throw my lunch container away a few moments ago, there were bagels and cream cheese on the counter.

I tossed them out.

No, I did NOT sadistically sabotage someone else's lunch! The bagels and cream cheese had been there since yesterday morning.
Of the many super-intelligent people in this office, I may be the only one who grasps that thirty hour old cream cheese is no longer at optimum edibility.

Same with the three-day-old roast beef sandwiches.
Those had been ordered on Friday for a meeting, and had later been left on the kitchen counter for whoever needed a snack.
They were still there Monday afternoon.

Last week's bagels and cream cheese had sat on the counter from Tuesday to Friday.

I blame the environmentalists.

You see, the office has gone green, and we are supposed to be conscientious about our waste. Instead of the comforting regular trash can underneath each desk and the big black bucket in the kitchen, which happily welcomed all disposables and smelled a bit, we now all have clean blue containers for what is called "white office paper" in our cubicles. And only 'white office paper' can be put in them - we will be spoken to severely if we are discovered to be putting anything else in there!

[Every evening Igor wheels his bin around for the trash, but usually there is nothing in most of the blue containers. Nothing. He's wasting time. And it seems to depress him. He probably feels useless.]

Whatever is not 'white office paper' now has to be separated into "recyclable cans and bottles", "cardboard", "miscellaneous plastic", "compost", and "other".
Yellow sticky notes, scratch paper, lunch bags, teabags - all are 'other'.

There are three colour-coded containers for "other", and an equal number for "recyclable cans and bottles", "cardboard", "miscellaneous plastic", and "compost", scattered around the office.
It has been emphasized that if we don't put things in the correct bin, there will be grievous repercussions! Al Gore will weep Tofu tears, and the Dalai Lama will come and get you!

[There are now also TWO bins in each bathroom - one for paper towels, one for 'other'. 'Other' in this context probably means bio-hazard.]

Two or three of my coworkers do indeed worshipfully take apart their pizza boxes for 'compost' (the bottom part, which has tomato sauce and grease stains) and 'cardboard' (the top, but only if it is clean), tear the plastic out of window-envelopes for 'miscellaneous plastic' (the rest to be deposited into white office paper), and empty their used teabags into 'compost', the bag itself, with string and staple going into 'other'.
The rest of us simply trot over to the big bin in the kitchen with handfulls of our collected clutter every two or three days, or save it all in an environmentally unfriendly plastic bag, to be dumped into the overflowing public trash bin on the way to the bus.

It is all a big pain in the sphincter.

Last week's bagels were delivered Tuesday morning (Tuesday is bagel day).
Someone wrote "happy bagel Tuesday!" on the whiteboard in the kitchen.

Yay, bagels!

Not all of the bagels were consumed.

In the following days, the sign was repeatedly modified.
"Happy Chew-toy Wednesday!"
"Happy Jawbreaker Thursday!"
"Happy Garlic Ranch Pringle Friday!"
"Happy Acid Reflux Saturday!"
"Happy Comatose Sunday!"

Yet nobody threw the damned things out.

My guess is that even though everybody saw them sitting there, they didn't want to have to choose: are these cardboard, compost, or other? A rather severe sermon could result from a wrong decision! And who really wants to tell the nice sincere treehugging individuals delivering such lectures that they are chock-full of compost?

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  • At 3:40 PM, Blogger RfaelMoshe said…

    Try microwaving a bagel for three minutes or so. Then you can use them for little tiny tires that will never wear out! Later, useful suggestions for matzah.


  • At 7:57 PM, Blogger GRANT!PATEL! said…

    Either that, or steam them with fenugreek leaf and ghee for a tasty and healthy midnight snack.

    Very good with paneer and pickle.
    Ooh yum baby!

    ---Grants Loxinpants

  • At 8:46 AM, Blogger Tzipporah said…

    Seriously? It's that big a deal for you to separate your trash/compost/recyclables? We've been doing that in Oregon for decades.

    The really surprising thing here is that nobody nicked the bagels and took them home. Food like that doesn't last long around here.

    Maybe you don't have enough young male software developers at your place of work. Actually, now that I think of it, most of the "Other" in our office ends up being consumed by them. Maybe you should just hire one to sit next to each collection of bins and finish off the consumables.

  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Maybe you don't have enough young male software developers at your place of work.

    Actually, we don't have any at all. So there is absolutely no geek-kibble around the office. We have too many marketing frat-boys, however. They're kinda stoopid.

    My main issue is that almost everything that needs to be thrown out is "other". But the blue trashcans underneath every desk are for 'white office paper'. Given that we only print when utterly necessary, and most communication is electronic or telephonic, why do I need a circular file for 'white office paper'? Why does anybody?

    And let's face it, most offices do not generate enough compost to make it truly worth having a compost bin.

  • At 11:43 AM, Blogger GRANT!PATEL! said…

    ONe can never have too many young male software developers.

    ---Grant PC

  • At 3:41 PM, Blogger DEATH BY NOODLES said…

    ONe can never have too many young male software developers.

    Just one more perversion to chalk up to your name, I guess.

  • At 11:49 AM, Blogger GRANT!PATEL! said…

    I am nothing if not broadminded.

    But contrary to popular opinion, my mind is not devoted entirely to things broad.

    Did anyone mention panties?

    ---Grant Strikeoneforthehometeam

  • At 11:50 AM, Blogger GRANT!PATEL! said…

    I have no idea what that nomdeguerre means. It is too early for cocktails. Yet it must be a contact high. Damned Irish billing partner! No wonder his billable hours keep racking up, he's charging the client for his sheer indulgences!

    ---Grant Paddiwacking


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