update: someone filled the office freezer with 30+ cuts of meat

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

Remember the letter-writer whose office freezer had been mysteriously filled with 30+ cuts of meat? Here’s the update.

I wrote in January about the day I went into work and found the freezer in the kitchen completely full of meat and wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. Some commenters guessed that it was a meat share between a few employees and they were correct. One of the handful of employees involved was very high up in the organization, so once I figured out who was responsible, I decided to tread lightly and just asked that they try to gradually bring it all home and have it out of the freezer within a month or two. This was what my manager recommended I do, since the people involved were all big personalities.

Well, the employees made no effort to empty the freezer and by the beginning of March, it was still completely full of meat. And that’s when our HR director, Craig, found out about the meat through a complaint from another employee (I hadn’t thought to mention it to him because I thought I had it under control, whoops), and reached out to the ringleader, Jack, asking him to please finally take his groceries home. Unfortunately, this also happened on the same day that I independently decided to follow up with Jack about please getting the meat out of there, and Jack took this as a coordinated attack.

Jack sent Craig an angry, scolding email about how Craig was totally out of line, trampling on his rights (???) and that it was extremely low and unprofessional of Craig to send his admin lackey after him. It was very strange response and Craig actually asked me to confirm that I also thought this was weird, because the strength and self-righteousness of Jack’s email threw him off.

Craig told me he would handle Meatgate going forward and to forget about it. As much as I do think that Jack was out of line, his behavior and sense of entitlement actually fits in pretty well with our workplace culture and there weren’t any consequences for his outburst. Eventually, the meat left the freezer and a week or two later, we switched to remote work because of COVID. Three weeks into working from home, Craig let us know that he had found a new, plush job and that he was leaving the organization. I hope he’s well and working with more normal people these days.

While my workplace isn’t really toxic (people are respectful of one another 99% of the time, and the organization is generous to its employees), all of its professional boundaries are slightly off and there seems to be a sense of entitlement among the staff who have been here for a long time. This has turned the office into a weird twilight zone where the organization’s intentions are usually good, but all of its norms are warped and so there’s a lot of weird boundary crossing. While none of them are too serious on their own, they’re constant and they end up being exhausting. For example, for this year’s holiday charity drive, the organization will be matching our donations to the cause. Nice! Except the cause is a non-charitable organization that the CEO runs.

And no, I won’t be donating.

{ 164 comments… read them below }

    1. I’m screaming inside too!*

      Yes!!! MEATGATE!!! This is the best word I’ve heard all year – thank you for the laugh!!!

    2. Wendy*

      I can’t help but remember the year I worked at a small bookstore and my co-worker filled the freezer with breakfast sandwiches. About six months in, we discovered that the light switch for the stock room ALSO controlled the outlet for the fridge – meaning his breakfast sandwiches had been thawing every night and re-freezing every day, for months.

      He still ate them, and kept adding to his stash.

      1. fhqwhgads*

        If no one opens the freezer while it’s off, the stuff would likely stay frozen for days. So depending on usage, this might not have mattered much.

        1. Pennyworth*

          Yeah – and even stuff thawed a bit it would still have been pretty cold. The texture of the breakfast sandwiches would have been messed with, but still safe to eat.

      2. Clorinda*

        People like this will be the survivors in the collapse of civilization, since they will have the intestinal flora needed to live as scavengers long after we tender domesticated people have starved amidst slightly rotten plenty.
        But, ew. I am assuming that breakfast sandwiches include eggs. Repeatedly half-thawed and refrozen eggs? No thanks. I will die with civilization.

  1. Mel_05*

    I can’t respond with emojis, otherwise this comment would just be a string of wide-eyed little yellow faces.

  2. Jennifer*

    People slay me talking about their “rights.” You don’t have the right to fill up a SHARED refrigerator with your nasty meat, sir.

    I do think this workplace might be a bit toxic. Just because nothing super outrageous has happened doesn’t necessarily mean that the things that are happening are healthy. I have felt the same way sometimes after reading crazy stories on this site. “Yeah, this might be bad but at least no one has bitten me or taken a photo of my exposed boob!” I know now is not the ideal time to find a job but I’d at least consider testing the waters and seeing what else is out there.

    1. Coder von Frankenstein*

      Agreed. Even if the workplace is not toxic at this moment, it sounds like it is severely immunocompromised; it has no defenses against any kind of toxicity that might suddenly come to the surface.

      I kind of want LW to stay there so we can hear more stories from the Land of the Meatfridge, but investigating other job options is probably a wiser choice.

      1. Admin Lackey*

        Oh man, I have so many stories from this place. I mentioned Meatgate to my boyfriend the other day and he said that was a “season one story,” since so much has happened since then. I do plan to move on and now I know that a workplace that doesn’t overstep is important to me

        1. EPLawyer*

          Oh I am so glad that you realized that this place was not right. It was already warping your norms a bit because you said it was exhausting but still a good place. Nope once the personalities start getting out of control to the point its exhausting, its not a good place anymore.

          I love the “immunocomprised” description. PERFECT.

        2. The Omaha Steaks dissident*

          I will be blunt: this was the perfect opportunity for you to say “not my circus, not my monkeys.” You blew it. (This goes for Craig, too.)

          Some of the people involved with this meat club are senior people at your company. It sounds like other members are being groomed for leadership. Your boss told you to tread lightly, which was a diplomatic code for “drop the issue,” not “pursue it further.”

          The Meat Club was not a threat to life or limb. Moreover, unlike office refrigerators, office freezers are rarely packed; I seriously doubt that non-members were being denied the right to hoard their Chunky Monkey. The office freezer was being used for more-or-less the purpose for which it was intended.

          This kind of story is perfect fodder to those who want to outsource HR to companies like ADP. Frankly, there’s almost zero reason for HR to be involved in this, unless you do double-duty as an office administrator. Admins hectoring senior people about a harmless social activity — one that doesn’t affect said admins — will not put you on the fast track to promotion.

          Learn to read the room and pick your battles.

          1. Casper Lives*

            No, It’s not being used for the purpose it’s intended. It’s a communal office freezer. Coworkers should be able to share it. If someone is hoarding it and treating it like their own personal freezer, it’s not open for communal use.

            People need to be considerate of communal spaces at work. HR / admin / facilities is a fine department to politely ask workers not to hoard a communal area.

          2. virago*

            I don’t know about your workplace, but at mine (at least in the Before Times), people bring frozen things for lunch. Am I supposed to let my burrito thaw in my purse because someone on the fast track for the C-suite has priority access to the freezer?

          3. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

            What do you mean they are rarely packed? Back when we worked from the office, most of my coworkers packed frozen meals for lunch.

            1. CommanderBanana*

              Our three freezers at work were always packed. A lot of people do frozen entrees for lunch and would often bring in 5 at a time for the entire week. Someone storing 30+ pounds of meat would have rendered it unusable for the entire office.

              1. EmmaPoet*

                We only had one freezer and it was normally packed as well, for the same reason. Lots of people would at stop the nearby grocery store on Monday morning and get their five meals for the week, then label them and stash them in the freezer. If someone added 30 pounds of meat, the freezer would probably have exploded.

          4. AngryOwl*

            You’re overreacting almost as much as Jack in this story. The LW likely knows how to read her manager more than you do. Goodness.

          5. BethRA*

            Office freezers are rarely packed, because normal people don’t generally use them as their own personal meat lockers.

          6. Tired of Entitlement*

            1. This is NOT a “social activity.” There is nothing “social” about hoarding the use of resources that other people need to use.

            2. The purpose of an office freezer is to store food that you plan to eat at the office that day, it’s not your personal storage facility to use indefinitely.

            3. It does affect the admins if the admins can’t use the freezer.

            Sounds like it’s far from harmless. Senior people don’t get to run rough-shod over newer employees, and this is a terrible attitude to have.

        3. Batgirl*

          Did he actually call you an admin lackey? Cause I somehow feel that detail is actually more of a red flag about this guy’s emotional immaturity (even if you’re paraphrasing).
          Still, mentally categorizing ‘What I want to do and I’m powerful so you cant stop me!’ under the label of ‘My Rights’ is crimson enough…

    2. tiny cactus*

      “My rights!” is often just “Don’t tell me what to do! You’re not my real dad!” with the thinnest veneer of maturity applied to it. This is why we can’t have nice things (words with actual meanings).

        1. Clorinda*

          When my dog wants a treat, she barks and stomps her foot. (It is so funny.) But she is a greyhound, a lifelong Teen Queen. We expect better of human adults.

      1. Gazebo Slayer*

        YUP. I bet guys who talk like that also shriek at online moderators who delete their blog comments about their ~First Amendment rights~ and go to anti-mask protests because something something gubmint tyranny. Freedumb at its finest.

    1. Admin Lackey*

      It’s equivalent to them saying, “We’ll match your donations to the CEO’s son’s hockey team.” Not really a business, but also not a charity

  3. Seen It.*

    “Except the cause is a non-charitable organization that the CEO runs.”

    Oof, the worst kind. Boss can check both sides of that transaction.

    1. Richard Hershberger*

      I object to corporate charity drives even when the charities are legit. At best these are about the corporate bigwigs getting to feel good about how much money they have raised without it having to come out of their own pockets. Or it might be about getting a picture in the paper with the bigwig handing over that oversized check, again without the money coming from them. The retail store version is even worse. Give to charity? Absolutely! But I have my own causes, thank you.

      1. EmmaPoet*

        Same here. I give to charity, but I’m not interested in providing a corporation with a tax writeoff using my money.

        1. AntsOnMyTable*

          I use to work at a convenience store and it had that change thing up front for people to donate their change. The company raised TONS of money that they got to write off. Now if they donated the write off maybe I would be more inclined but this wasn’t a caring company. They didn’t do it because they truly felt for the cause it was just for optics and tax benefits.

      2. Play a doctor on TV*

        This reminds of when Amazon-owned Whole Foods was running a food drive and people just started picking things up off the shelves and throwing them into the food drive bins .

    1. LimeRoos*

      Yep, same here. Last job the fridges were cleaned every Friday and stuff left on the table for people to pick up (unless it was labelled and not expired). If something was unlabeled and left at the end of the day we were ok to take it home. Meat would definitely be coming home with people.

      1. Basic Witch*

        My office has an ABC (Anything But Condiments) policy – if it isn’t ketchup (or similar) it goes in the trash 3pm Friday. At one point there was an avalanching wall of Yoplait that spurred this into action. It actually works quite well, and prevents fridge hoarding.

        1. sssssssssssssssssssssssssssss*

          Mine policy years ago was before every long weekend, because we were a smaller place and most of the employees were sensible. The deep purge was before the Xmas shutdown.

          I brought home a huge box of frozen meatballs one year. Kids were stoked! I’ve also acquired some nice lunch containers this way (claim before this date or the lunch container, clean, will get tossed!).

          1. Crooked Bird*

            Oooooh I like this twist on the purge. The thought of people tossing perfectly good containers and unspoiled food directly into the trash never fails to send my shoulders up around my ears, but the idea that someone got to enjoy them for free instead is delightful!

        2. F.M.*

          My department’s T.A. office is on the same floor of our building as another department’s T.A. office, and there’s just enough overlap at the edges of the departments that we sometimes end up in classes with students from the other department. At which point we all compare notes on what our office is like.

          It was discovered that they were jealous of our teeny tiny mini-fridge, but resigned to never getting one of their own again, because their own mini-fridge was disposed of for having what someone called a “hummus apocalypse” in which so many different partially-eaten containers of hummus were left in there that the whole thing had to be disposed of.

          The teller and hearer of that story quietly agreed that this was extremely on-brand for their department.

          1. CommanderBanana*

            I worked in an office that, in addition to the roach and mouse problem, had staff that would regularly bring in grocery bags of fruit or vegetables because they were “going to make salads every day” and then leave the bags, unopened, in the fridge until they were just filled with rotten fruit mush. I mean, we’re talking 10+ bags of food in various stages of decay.

    2. Blue Eagle*

      Perhaps a more subtle idea is unobtrusively dislodge the plug from the wall socket.
      Only problem with this idea is that there may be unintended consequences if other people have items in the refrigerator portion.

      1. Rock Lobster*

        Mind mind went there as well. However, then I thought about the poor employee who would inevitably be tasked to clean it out. Just the thought. Ugh.

    3. Artemesia*

      I’d be very very tempted to be shuddering slightly with cold as I left the office each Friday evening with visions of a nice pot roast or sizzling steak for Sat night dinner. Not initially — but if they insisted on hogging this communal space for weeks like this. How could that NOT hve happened.

    4. Anonymous for this, obs*

      I came here to say that too. Glad I’m not the only. I would have shrugged and guessed that someone just cleaned out the fridge because there were no names on it.

    5. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      I second this. Depending of the cut and the origin, I would take one or more piece(s). But I doubt someone would leave premium meat in the office fridge…

    6. EvilQueenRegina*

      Sounds like it would have been easy enough to do that, with that many cuts left in there someone could have taken one home and not been noticed!

  4. Red*

    The company is asking the OP to donate…money…to it’s for-profit sister company? Which they will match?

    Isn’t that just….money laundering? As well as a scam on the employees?

    I- *stares into the camera*

      1. Admin Lackey*

        It’s not for profit, but also not a charity. Above I compared it to being asked to donate to the CEO’s son’s hockey team. So I’m not being asked to donate to a business, but I am being asked to donate pretty directly to the CEO and I wasn’t impressed.

    1. Totally Minnie*

      Of course the company is matching the “donations,” the CEO is probably the one who put the plan through! This is so many levels of sketchy, and I’d encourage LW to do some serious thinking about whether this workplace is actually as healthy as they think it is.

    2. boo bot*

      My guess is it could be non-profit advocacy of some kind, so an organization that accepts donations, but doesn’t focus on charity. It may not technically be a scam, but “donate me money I pay you” is not a good look, regardless.

  5. Evan Þ.*

    I’m really glad the meat got out of the freezer before everyone started WFH. Both because people actually got to eat it, and because this way it won’t be a nasty surprise when people get back to the office.

    1. Jennifer*

      Can you imagine what would have happened if that dude wasn’t allowed inside to pick up his meat after the shutdown. He probably would have gone full Chad and called the police.

      1. EchoGirl*

        Eh, unless the freezer was shut off for some portion of the time, the condition of the meat might not have changed all that much. I have this memory of being about 10 and finding cake from my 6th birthday in the family deep freeze…and it was still good, not even stale. (This is, however, completely separate from the issue of whether this is appropriate for the office — it isn’t.)

    2. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      My org hired cleaners to go around the campus and clean out all of the refrigerators after about 3 weeks of the initial lock down. And because the WFH order came overnight with no advanced warning for us, we were also given a window to make an appointment to return to pick up anything we would need from our offices. Some of my coworkers really believed we’d be back in 3 weeks and didn’t take anything home. I decided to clean all my personal stuff out as much as possible (there’s a few knick knacks I wouldn’t be sad if I never get back) including plants. I think dead plants and snacks left in desks/cubbies and the vermin they will attract are going to be the biggest “ew” factor for us.

  6. Carlie*

    With that sensitive of a response, my guess is that there was some disconnect between Jack’s interpretation and the amount of meat involved, and that there was going to be home discord about it one way or another. Perhaps he didn’t have a chest freezer at home and didn’t realize it wouldn’t all fit, or didn’t want to admit how much he spent on meat at once, or something of the sort.

    1. Admin Lackey*

      Initially, it was because Jack walked to work and couldn’t bring it all home at once because of the weight. He had the storage, but not the means of transportation. But I still feel he took way too long and that that was pretty inconsiderate

      1. Vichyssuave*

        Even if Jack had no friends with vehicles, how much could a ride share possibly cost from work to a location that he can walk to.

        It’s super inconsiderate.

        1. Myrin*

          Or he could just, like, take one or two pieces home with him every day – frees up storage space, even if only gradually, and takes at most as long as there are individual cuts.

      2. consultinerd*

        I’m sorry, this just gets weirder and weirder. Was he carrying a quarter-cow home in his briefcase one steak at a time? Why couldn’t he just get it delivered to his home in the first place? Every layer of explanation just raises more questions…

        1. Admin Lackey*

          He was sharing it with two other staff, so the idea was to bring it into the office as their one communal hang out spot and then they could each take their portion home from there. And then they didn’t, until Craig prompted them

    2. Daffy Duck*

      Very likely he didn’t have space for it at home and that is why it ended up in the work freezer. But there are plenty of people whose answer to being taken to task about anything is to dig into their initial behavior and get loud and angry about being questioned. Any pushback is topped with extreme escalation. It often works because normal people don’t want to deal with that type of behavior. Jacka$$e$ don’t need a reason to go off on someone and they get a rush out of powerplays.

  7. MCMonkeybean*

    “I decided to tread lightly and just asked that they try to gradually bring it all home and have it out of the freezer within a month or two”

    This took a real swing in the opposite direction from the initial letter! I thought it was an overreaction to write in about it initially when it sounded like it hadn’t even been there one full day yet. A day or two of someone storing something in the work freezer doesn’t sound like a big deal to me.

    So the switch to a tentative “maybe get rid of it in two months” seems really wild to me! Though given his reaction to Craig’s email I can see why you felt hesitant to take a stronger stance.

    1. Admin Lackey*

      I was pretty sensitive to the issue when it first happens, but it’s because there are just /so/ many shenanigans at this place and it was just like, “really? really?” Plus, I did get complaints from staff one day one because the meat was labelled as lamb and some people (many of the staff are vegetarian or vegan) felt it was akin to veal and didn’t want to see it

      1. snoopythedog*

        Just wanted to say, there is an art and skill in casually mentioning problems like this to the right person higher up. Especially in a slightly dysfunctional organization with entitled coworkers. Tipping off the right person in a seemingly casual manner can get things done nice and quickly. Normally, I’d say the admin staff are the right people since they often have lots of office knowledge and know exactly who to bring it to to get it fixed; this case, it was the HR manager.

    2. Double A*

      It seems like when someone writes into AAM with a seemingly petty problem, it is 99% just the tip of the iceberg for the deeper office dysfunction.

      1. virago*

        Yet another nesting fail.

        The above was supposed to be a reply to The Omaha Steaks Dissident’s comment.

  8. Slinky*

    This sounds so much like something that would have happened at my spouse’s former employer, except that they didn’t have HR. In fact, their CEO’s stance was literally, “You can’t have HR problems without an HR department.” I can’t imagine what “right” Jack thought he had to store an endless supply of meat at work forever.

  9. fhqwhgads*

    I mean….it takes a special kind of asshole to utilize 100% of what he knows is a shared space for TWO MONTHS and be this indignant about being asked to stop doing that. Even giving him “a month or two” was giving him A TON of time.

    1. Admin Lackey*

      I felt the same way, that we’d given him plenty of time to take it home. But as far as I could tell, only one or two cuts of meat were taken home over those two months and then they were gone within a week of being called out. So I don’t think it was a storage issue

      1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

        That’s even weirder, honestly! If I decided to buy 30 pieces of meat all at once, I’d start eating it regularly. Even in a freezer it won’t last forever, so letting it sit around is just silly. Two months should have been enough time to eat a significant portion of it!

  10. Snow globe*

    Reading through this update, I couldn’t help but visualize Jack as Michael Scott and Craig as Toby. This really added to my enjoyment of the update. I’m glad Craig found a cushy job elsewhere, hopefully at a place where they don’t hate HR.

    1. PT*

      *Dwight tosses carcass and butcher knife down on reception*
      Toby: Dwight, we talked about this. For an hour.

  11. Vichyssuave*

    Perhaps you can suggest next year’s self-serving holiday drive be to get a chest freezer for Jack…

  12. Tina Belcher's Less Cool Sister*

    I have to be honest, when I read the OP I thought you were overreacting – I assumed the employees picked up their meat share on a Friday morning and just needed to keep it in the freezer until they went home that day. But, uh, turns out you were wildly underreacting to this whole situation. Thanks for the update and I hope you can find a more reasonable workplace!

  13. Always Late to the Party*

    I don’t know where the threshold between toxic and non-toxic lies but the entitlement from long-time staff, poor professional boundaries, and the fact that the Meat Man’s outburst was met with no consequences all sound like this org is flirting with that line.

  14. Meatgate Redux*

    We once had an employee who had decided to buy a side of beef (!!) during lunch and realized she did not have enough room at home. She stored the meat in the office freezer. The meat stayed in the freezer for over a week and then someone stole everything. The employee went ballistic and ran around the office accusing people of stealing her meat. For some reason our department head at the time thought this was acceptable behavior and sent out a long email decrying theft and stating the meat needed to be returned ASAP.

    Well the next day when this person went in her office the meat had been dumped on her desk. It was no longer frozen and quite rancid. Later that day we found out someone had resigned and it was easy to put two and two together.

    1. Vichyssuave*

      I am not condoning running around the office yelling and making accusations…

      However, a side of beef is over $1000. That’s not even petty theft; it’s straight up grand larceny (at least in my jurisdiction).

      1. Jean*

        I have very little sympathy for someone buys a $1000 cut of meat on a whim without having a proper place to store it, then leaves it unattended in a communal area for over a week, then blames everyone around her when it goes missing. If you’re going to be stupid, you gotta be tough.

        1. Vichyssuave*

          That’s a fairly slippery slope of blaming victims of crime for the crime being committed.

          I don’t disagree that both Jack and the person above’s actions were both stupid and inconsiderate, but you don’t get to go around committing crime because the victim deserved it or was careless/dumb/inconsiderate.

          1. Jean*

            Slippery slope is a logical fallacy. Victims should always be afforded justice, and people who make poor choices should be willing to take responsibility for and learn from the consequences of those poor choices. It’s not an either-or proposition.

            1. The Omaha Steaks dissident*

              Dead wrong. The only “victim” here is the person whose $1k worth of property has stolen. Being (maybe) slightly inconsiderate isn’t a defense to larceny.

              I say “maybe” inconsiderate, because that’s what a freezer is for – storing food. If no one else was losing access to the freezer, whatcha complaining about?

              The department head was absolutely right to focus on the theft.

              I also disagree that slippery slopes arguments are necessarily a logical fallacy, but that’s a separate discussion.

              1. Mel_05*

                People *were* losing access to the freezer, it had a whole side of beef in there.

                The person who stole it was wrong to do so, but that doesn’t make the person hogging the freezer *less* wrong.

              2. tamarack and fireweed*

                Two things can be true at once: Stealing the meat was theft on a serious scale and needed to be treated as such; hogging the freezer was inconsiderate and should rightly be addressed as such.

                Stealing from an asshole is still theft. Norms are important, so some sort of relativizing “oh, well, this wasn’t so bad given that it happened to an asshole” attitude about it. There would be, and I would participate in, private feelings of schadenfreude, but they need to be kept private.

    2. Meatgate Redux*

      Just to clarify: the whole side of beef was not in the freezer. She had stored some in a chest freezer at home. She had bought in on the cheap as an impulse buy if I remember correctly. No one here condoned the theft, but also no one was particularly sympathetic.

      Also there is literally an Andy Griffith episode with a similar plot: https://mayberry.fandom.com/wiki/Bargain_Day

  15. mbarr*

    Both the accusation of a “coordinated attack” and the term “meatgate” made me laugh aloud reading this.

  16. Jean*

    I can’t with people who cry about their rights being “trampled on” when they’re gently prodded to stop being inconsiderate and disrespectful of those around them. GROW UP. And get your freaking meat shipments delivered to your house, for Pete’s sake. I love this blog, but sometimes it makes me want to scream knowing that there are people out there like this and that we have to share our oxygen with them.

  17. 2QS*

    Anachronistic reference, but this might be the most Kingdom of Loathing thing that has ever happened IRL.

  18. LGC*

    This post was…an experience, yes. I’m not sure whether you should leave your job or film it for a Netflix documentary (which I admittedly would watch the hell out of).

    I’m a little weirded out by the non-reaction to Jack’s email, though! (Like, not going to lie, my job would do the same, but we work with a lot of people with special needs.) It sounds like Craig just shrugged off Jack waving a Gadsden flag over his right to fill the work freezer with meat.

  19. virago*

    Obviously this is speculation, but I’m guessing that the people who took umbrage at the presence of “OMG meat” in the freezer at OP’s workplace were a relatively small subset of the all of the people who were cranky about the long-term storage of bulk meat purchases in said freezer.

    I just looked up the original letter, and there were 30 cuts of meat in that freezer. There was no room for anything else.

    If the people who bought the meat *get permission*, this use of the workplace freezer is OK for a day or two — maybe a week — as they figure out distribution arrangements. For several months? No way. Where the hell are other people who work there supposed to put frozen things that they might be intending to have for lunch?

    PS I love lamb, and if I’d been one of Jack’s colleagues, I would have had a hard time not making off with a few chops for my octogenarian parents as a special treat. Folks think “lamb = Easter” but it’s so much more versatile than that. Mmmmmmm …

    1. WS*

      Yeah, I live in a rural area and it’s really common for people to have a large quantity of meat delivered and keep it in the work freezer for a week or so while they take some home every day. Or to do grocery shopping in the lunch break and keep part of it in the freezer until home time. Very normal! But *months*?

      1. virago*

        “Or to do grocery shopping in the lunch break and keep part of it in the freezer until home time.”


        I work at a newspaper, and I came into work one Monday morning and folks were salty because the freezer was full of what looked like groceries (frozen pizza, frozen hamburger, frozen vegetables, etc.).

        The mystery was solved when the reporter who’d been on weekend duty raced in breathlessly (Monday was one of the duty reporter’s days off) to pick up the groceries he’d forgotten to take home.

  20. Budgie Buddy*

    I used to listen to this horror podcast called The Magnus Archives and meatgate sounds exactly like it could be the beginning of one of their episodes. 0.0 Glad the meat was disposed of safely before it gained sentience…

    1. Quill*

      Oh god 2020 made me quit that show (one apocalypse at a time please) but that fridge was very nearly a location for The Flesh.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        Not necessarily; you need a mother to get vinegar. If the wine’s capped, it’s likely reducing, but if it’s corked and stored on its side, it’s likely just aging. Depending on the type and varietal, it could be quite nice if the Covidpocalypse ever ends…

  21. Coffee Bean*

    I apologize in advance for this, but I can’t quite stop myself here.
    Perhaps the advice to Jack should have been “If you don’t [take home] your meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t [take home] your meat?”

    But, then again, Jack probably would have been incensed about pudding deprivation.

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