A story about a missing lunch of shrimp fried rice that is captivating social media is shedding light on an often overlooked but highly contentious aspect of office politics: fridge etiquette.
Eddy Ng, a professor at Dalhousie University's Rowe School of Business, says interactions around the office refrigerator — replete with passive aggressive Post-It notes and decomposing leftovers — reveal human behaviour in the workplace.
He says the shared fridge is a microcosm of office dynamics, serving to accentuate interpersonal skills, communication styles and personality types.
It's also the scene for a comical tale about stolen shrimp fried rice that has gripped social media for days and spurred an online exchange of woes from cubicle-land.
Zak Toscani, a writer and stand-up comedian from Los Angeles, took to Twitter last week after his co-worker's lunch was stolen.
He joked that the missing food was shrimp fried rice, escalating the crime from a misdemeanour to a felony, and mused that it was a "professional hit no doubt" due to the lack of a shrimp smell in the microwave or kitchen.
Toscani said his hungry co-worker asked to view security footage of the communal fridge, and detailed to his online followers how the investigation unfolded.
His sensational account of the office drama — he quipped that it was the most excited he'd ever been "at any job ever" — went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of likes and re-tweets.
The workplace spat appears to have hit a nerve among workers affected by the seemingly unscrupulous actions of self-appointed fridge police.
Co-worker got his lunch stolen and they’ve agreed to let him watch the security camera tape. This is the most excited I’ve ever been at any job ever. Ever.— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018