Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The thing about the ice cubes

Well, what I did is not, I don't think, worth the telling, because it wasn't a grand gesture or anything like that--just a mean, petty, vindictive thing I did because I was so constantly pissed off.

This job I used to have was a sedentary one. Eventually, I had gained too much weight and decided it was time to diet. I did, losing around 25 pounds in six months. I never could get rid of that last 5 pounds that I wanted to get rid of, until I began my current job a few years ago and burned it off in another few months. At one time I broke 200. I'm now right around 170, and honestly I wish I could drop another 5 pounds but it seems impossible. But I digress.

One of the things I did to help my diet was, I quit drinking soft drinks. I've said it before: if it comes to where I have to cut out soft drinks to lose weight, I'm not going to drink any of those disgusting diet drinks. I'll just quit completely. This isn't an idle threat because I've already done it once.

But I still wanted to have some kind of refreshing cold drink that preferably had some caffeine, so I started taking a small (quart) jug of tea to work with me. Our break room had a refrigerator, which like most such appliances came with a default set of ice cube trays. I figured if I filled the trays before I left at the end of my shift, there should be enough left the next day when I wanted to drink some iced tea.

But of course, it could not be so simple as that. The day shift, or more accurately the G&A staff used up all the ice and couldn't be bothered with the onerous task of refilling the trays. By the way, "G&A" was short for "General & Administration," "General" meaning they got their jobs mostly because they were friends with the operations manager and weren't competent enough at pretty much anything to get real jobs on their own. So anyway, I began by writing a simple, polite note which said: "Please refill the ice cube trays when you empty them. Thanks." And I signed my name to it.

This was apparently an egregious affront to their collective femininity (there were no males in that section, and for a good reason which I shall not pursue here). I came in the next day to find my little note crumpled up in the trash can and the ice trays piled, empty, in the sink.

Okay, screw you, I thought. I'll bring my own ice. And I did. I filled another small quart-sized Igloo jug with ice and brought it to work with me every day also. At first I put the ice jug in the freezer to keep it cold and make sure the ice didn't melt before lunch time, which was usually when I had my tea. I should point out that when I came in for the beginning of my shift, the G&A thugs were having their afternoon break, so every day they saw me put my own personal little jug of ice into the freezer.

One day I came out for lunch, and my ice jug was gone. I checked everywhere--the crisper tray in the refrigerator, all the cabinets, all the drawers, and couldn't find it. Since I always expect deliberate sabotage before I accept an honest mistake (a practice which proves correct almost all the time), I then climbed on the counter and checked the top of the cabinets--and there it was. Someone had dumped all the ice out--it was empty--then tossed it on top of the cabinets where it couldn't be seen unless someone actually climbed up there to look for it.

Okay, I thought again, to hell with all of you. From that point on, I locked my ice and tea jugs in my locker until I saw the G&A thugs clock out at 5:00. Since the only punch clock was on the tech floor, I had a good view of it at all times while working and this was an easy thing to verify. As soon as they had left, I would go back out and put the stuff in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

And, from that point on, the last thing I did every night before I left was dump out any ice that happened to be left in those trays--since they had been forced to start filling them themselves since I wasn't doing it anymore--and put the empty trays back in the freezer where they wouldn't be noticed as empty until--I hoped--it was too late.

I went a little further than this, of course. The copy machine they had up front for the G&A staff would go into "sleep" mode after a few minutes of no use, and when it had done so, it would pop back "awake" immediately if someone used it. However, if it had actually been shut down, it took several minutes to "warm up" before it could be used, which was very annoying. So every night I went up there and shut down their copy machine.

One other thing I did, although this was only on a few occasions when they had done something to especially piss me off, was if our water cooler ran empty, rather than just grabbing a new jug to put on it, I would take the empty to the front water cooler used by the G&A, take their partially used one off and replace it with the empty, and put theirs on our cooler.

I also took great pleasure in cleaning out the refrigerator every Friday night and throwing everything in it away, even the things with notes on them saying not to throw them out. Since having leftover stuff in the refrigerator was an especial grievance with our general manager, I was always able to claim that I only threw stuff away under orders--which was technically true (and that's the best kind of true).

So that's the ice cube story.


  1. They are lucky you didn't try to fill the trays with some other fluid...

  2. Aren't you glad you're an Anglo living in Vato/Movina country?