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Alexander and the nasty, dirty, filthy, germy hands in the freezer

March 27th, 2012 · 63 comments

“Apparently someone at my office thinks cracking the ice cube trays with your hands is a mortal sin,” writes Natalie in Washington, D.C. “My question: Would it really be better if we used other body parts?”

Honestly, when I first read the words “ice gobblers,” I thought this note was going in a different direction. Because not refilling the empty ice-cube tray? Now that’s a crime.

To the ICE GOBBLERS: This is not your home. It is very unsanitary for you to remove the ice container from the freezer and use your nasty, dirty, filthy, germy hand to get ice. You are very inconsiderate of others coming after you.

related: Four approaches to ice-cube maintenance

FILED UNDER: ice · office · that's unsanitary

63 responses so far ↓

  • #1   joshua

    I’m not sure I want to know how the note writer was getting their ice out.

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm   rating: 59  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Jen

      I’m seriously puzzled . I think I need to see this ‘ice container’.

      Mar 27, 2012 at 9:29 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   The Elf

      The notewriter is powerful in the ways of the force. She can move ice without touching it. Only a Sith uses their nasty, germy hands.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 6:46 am   rating: 33  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Ashley

      I doubt they’re referring to the ice cube trays you might have at home (if your refrigerator was made before 1999), and they’re probably refering to an ice generator built into the machine. I’ve seen people reach into that thing to grab ice because they’re too lazy to wait for the fridge to dispense it. Also, watched them go to the bathroom and not wash their hands and sneeze on their hands, etc. I’m team note writer.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 7:47 am   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Guy Paul

      I knew someone who always washed his hands before he used the bathroom, but not after. He said, “I don’t wanna get germs on my junk, but my junk is clean!”

      Gross, but funny at the time.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      Also true. Unless you go around touching stuff with your junk all day, your hands are way dirtier than your junk.

      Apr 1, 2012 at 3:42 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #2   Palomon

    There’s only one penalty here in Castle Anthrax:

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #3   Rachel of Cyberia

    Most bacteria can’t survive in freezer temperatures. I’d prefer people use their filthy hands than a glass that can crack and leave shards in the ice.

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm   rating: 26  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   amazon

      Plenty of bacteria, as well as viruses and mold, actually do survive in the freezer. When I worked in a bacteriology lab, we stored bacteria in freezers much colder than the average home freezer. Freezing just retards their growth.

      I always have to chuckle when I hear of people disinfecting things in the freezer, like jeans and makeup.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   H for Toy bang

      Wait, jeans? Wouldn’t a good wash in the friendly, neighborhood washing machine do the trick?

      Mar 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   The other Sarah

      Some people don’t wash their jeans because they don’t want the indigo to fade.

      Mar 31, 2012 at 4:18 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      Some people don’t know what good jeans look like. That’s why finding an attractive shade of jeans these days is almost impossible :(

      Apr 1, 2012 at 3:43 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #4   deprogrammed

    An ice scoop would be nice, since I’ve seen too many people who don’t wash their hands all day, much less when they leave the toilet. I don’t mess with the communal ice tray; thank goodness we have a ice machine that dispenses through the door. Yes, it’s hooked up to a water source, but the door is locked down – only opened for servicing. Why? Because people are nasty. Especially when you’re not watching.

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm   rating: 47  small thumbs up

  • #5   Guy Paul

    That is the work of someone on the verge.

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   infanttyrone

      pedro almodovar – mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (completa)

      http:[slash slash]www[dot]youtube[dot]com/watch?v=KFpXq2_KOsU&feature=related

      Mar 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #6   S

    Wait … it’s an ice cube tray? How else are you supposed to get ice out of it?

    Seriously — I can’t figure this out. I can imagine cracking the tray with your hands and then maybe using a fork or something to lever a cube out (although that seems ridiculous), but if you’re not even allowed to crack it with your hands, then what?

    Anyway, when you pull one ice cube out of a tray, your hand only touches the cube you’re taking. So you’re only giving yourself your own germs (if any).

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm   rating: 24  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   infanttyrone

      Note writer refers to an ice container, not a tray.

      I picture one of those rectangular buckets, maybe fed by an automatic ice maker, maybe even part of a fridge that has an in-door delivery outlet that is not functioning properly.

      If it’s in a car repair shop or some other sort of place where workers’ hands can get seriously grimy, the container could get pretty grody.

      I think we need more info before asking the Godfather to sanction a hit.

      Mar 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   princessbuttercup

      I would totally understand that, except the blurb above from the person who submitted this note clearly says tray. I think we need a picture of exactly what kind of tray – container this is. If it is a straight container, then yeah, hands off, but if it is a tray, what kind of sorcery does one have to use to first crack the ice, then fish one cube out?

      Mar 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #7   JK

    What part of the body do they use to make coffee?

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #8   infanttyrone

    You are very inconsiderate of others coming after you.

    I’ve got people coming after me and you’re sweating over
    a few germs and a little bit of particulate matter ?

    Well, excuuuuse meee….here’s a can of Lysol.

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm   rating: 56  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   kermit

      Interesting and disgusting fact: Lysol was originally used a douche. That’s right, your great great great grammy smelled of Lysol.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 12:29 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Katter


      That sounds…really painful, actually. D:

      Apr 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #9   BigJoe

    I assume it’s an ice bucket. The note just says ice container, not ice cube tray. They are complaining about people jamming their hand into the bucket to grab ice, which is a legitimate complaint. Of course the note could be written better.

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   A

      You have a point. Makes way more sense!

      Mar 28, 2012 at 1:13 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #10   SeeYouInTea

    Wait, so no one else uses their tongue? Damnit.

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:56 pm   rating: 36  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   thrall

      I particularly like to exfoliate between my toes with ice… mmmm…

      Mar 28, 2012 at 2:46 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   The Elf

      Good for rashes, too!

      Mar 28, 2012 at 11:34 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #11   kermit

    SeeYouInTea is right. People should be using their tongues to remove the ice from the ice cube tray.

    (I am not buying into the ice bucket explanation because most freezers are not big enough to hold an entire bucket of ice.)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Noelegy

      I triple dog dare you!

      Mar 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #12   Adriana

    If it’s an ice cube container, maybe the note writer should donate a pair of tongs to the office. If it’s an ice cube tray, twist it, then touch only the ice you take. Problem solved!

    Mar 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   makfan bang

      All we have at my office is three trays. There is no bucket or other container to hold the cubes. I take a few cubes, being very, very careful not to touch the others. If I even think I have brushed a cube, I take it out and use it.

      Heading off the next note, I also don’t put the tray back with just one cube (or empty). I refill it.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 12:38 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   Clumber

      makfan : I also don’t put the tray back with just one cube (or empty). I refill it.
      What are you, some sort of Mother Teresa?! 15 years with my beloved and I can’t train her to do that!

      Mar 29, 2012 at 8:23 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      makfan : “I also don’t put the tray back with just one cube (or empty). I refill it.”

      Oh, so you’re the guy who is the reason why I come to get an ice cube, find one there but have to tip out a bunch of yet-to-be-frozen water in order to extract the cube! Don’t refill it until it’s empty, douche bag.

      Apr 1, 2012 at 3:47 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #13   jadefirefly

    If the germs and bacteria can survive the freezer, you’ve got bigger things to worry about than your ice cubes.

    Mar 28, 2012 at 12:57 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   johnnyboy

      Many bacteria and most viruses will survive freezing just fine. E. coli and salmonella foodborne poisoning often originate from frozen foods, like frozen hamburger patties.

      This said, people are WAY too paranoid about very minor things like someone’s finger touching an ice cube. The number of bacteria contained in that ice tray is probably infinitesimal compared to the number living in the notewriter’s kitchen sink at any time. And i’m pretty willing to bet that the notewriter doesn’t promptly disinfect her hands every time she shakes someone else’s nasty dirty filthy germy hand…

      Mar 28, 2012 at 9:49 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   The Elf

      Someone who is that concerned over germ transmission via ice probably does promptly disinfect her hands every time she shakes someone else’s hand. There are people out there who use Purell as if it were the only thing standing between them and armageddon.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

  • #14   A

    I tap the ice cube tray on the table to release the cubes then I turn the container on the side to empty loosened cubes into my hand. That way my fingers are not all over the other cubes as I try to get my cubes out. Maybe that’s what the note writer was aiming people would do.

    Mar 28, 2012 at 1:11 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      Sounds like a lot of work just to accomodate other people’s personality disorders.

      Apr 1, 2012 at 3:50 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Katter

      That way the cubes just all get tipped out onto the filthy table. You’re right, that’s much better.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #15   Stephizzal

    Just a quick POI to all the people saying freezers kill germs or germs can’t survive freezing- freezers don’t kill them, they just put them into a state of suspended animation and thus stop them spreading. In my lab, we keep stocks of bacteria at -80 degrees, considerably colder than the typical -20 of a home freezer…but when you thaw em out, they’re fine and grow like crazy! thats also the reason why you shouldn’t refreeze something if you have thawed it once already.

    Mar 28, 2012 at 2:33 am   rating: 29  small thumbs up

  • #16   Lil'

    I don’t use the water/ice dispensers on the door because people press their dirty cups and water bottles against them when they come for refills. I wash my hands EVERY time, get a fresh cup, and scoop my ice from the bucket. I don’t really mind seeing other people do the same, and I don’t really care if the people who are spreading their germs on the dispenser are pissed because I choose to scoop.

    Mar 28, 2012 at 7:35 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #17   H for Toy bang

    Ice Gobblers… I wouldn’t want birds in my ice cube trays, either.

    Mar 28, 2012 at 8:42 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #18   Dane Zeller

    I have no problem with the problem. I’m allergic to ice.

    Mar 28, 2012 at 9:46 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   kathryn

      I’m just ice intolerant. I take a pill before I have ice.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 11:12 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #18.2   Nahhh bang

      I’m a recovering ice addict. I drink everything warm.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #18.3   Jolly

      Personally, I stab a bitch if he touch my ice.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #18.4   johnnyboy

      That ice was fucking delicious.

      Mar 29, 2012 at 8:22 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #19   amvista

    @Ashley- the submitter said that it is a regular ice cube tray.
    I have one of those trays at my house and am perfectly capable of removing ice from it while only touching the cubes that will go in my glass, so unless people are rubbing their hands over each and every ice cube, I doubt this is much of an issue.

    Mar 28, 2012 at 10:16 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #20   yolanda

    Dear germophobe, it’s okay because I used lysol in the icecube water. Enjoy!

    Mar 28, 2012 at 10:23 am   rating: 26  small thumbs up

  • #21   bookworm

    I don’t care how you grab your ice as long as you don’t spend the next four hours crunching on it.

    Mar 28, 2012 at 11:29 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #22   kate

    Shit, if it’s going to be that kind of a party I’m gonna stick my dick in the mashed potatoes

    Mar 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm   rating: 27  small thumbs up

  • #23   Nidonemo

    Ice Gobblers sounds like characters from an animated after school special.

    Narrative: “Oh no kids, it’s the ice gobblers! We have to use our powers of considerate behavior to stop them!”

    Kids: “Please stop gobbling the ice! Please stop gobbling the ice! Please stop-”

    Ice Gobbler: Please shut the f*** up!

    Kids: *gasp*

    Mar 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   Paige bang

      That’s awesome.
      It should exist solely to be riffed.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #24   Jolly

    Not my fault you’re a germaphobe. Deal with it.

    (or get your own private ice cube tray, if you’re really that crazy.)

    Mar 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   kacky

      With your name written on it in Sharpie so your co-workers can have fair warning that you are crazy. Nasty dirty filthy germy (in italics!) hands? Have fun being alone.

      Mar 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #25   angie

    My office has an ice maker. So someone was grossed out at people reaching into the tub, so we got an ice scoop.

    Which people touch, and then drop into the ice bucket, which kinda defeats the purpose.

    Mar 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      Same happened in my office. I don’t know why they bothered; they must surely know that I’m going to put it in my pants at every available opportunity. It’s like they haven’t even met me.

      Apr 1, 2012 at 3:54 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #26   mary

    doing now why people take ice out with dirty hands when thy could wash them

    Mar 29, 2012 at 5:06 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #27   NOOOO

    That sounds like something that Gollum would say.

    Mar 30, 2012 at 8:57 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #28   redheadwglasses

    I’m pretty sure this LW means, there’s a large container of LOOSE ICECUBES in the freezer (ice cubes already having been removed from the trays), and people are digging in with their hands to get ice for their glasses.

    We have several ice cube trays in our freezer here at work, and a big removable ice cube BIN to hold the ice that’s ready to use.

    Someone keeps a big metal spoon in there for scooping ice out so hands won’t have to be used.

    Mar 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      “Apparently someone at my office thinks cracking the ice cube trays with your hands is a mortal sin,” writes Natalie

      Apr 1, 2012 at 3:55 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #29   Alrac

    It’s true though, people (or bf’s, w/e) should really be more considerate of those coming after them…or not at all.

    Apr 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #30   Whatever bang

    I am Natalie and I sent in this note. To clarify, we do have an ice machine, however, it is broken. So, we’ve been using ice cube trays for the last couple of months. :)

    Apr 11, 2012 at 10:23 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up


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