The “beep it all” approach

May 13th, 2015 · 67 comments

Our submitter in Austin calls this “the result of a slowly escalating office disagreement.”

The "beep it all" approach

The "beep it all" approach

related: No cackle zone

FILED UNDER: noise · note wars · office · office fridge

67 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Haterade

    I can sympathize with Insensitive in theory, but turning off the refrigerator and risking someone getting sick is going much too far. Why not try to figure out the root of the problem (old molding, a hinge that needs WD-40, etc) and fix it?

    May 13, 2015 at 10:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   FeRD bang

      Or look up the fridge manual (surely online) and figure out if *just* the open-door beeping feature can be turned off. I’d be surprised if it can’t. Having the door left hanging open all the time is not exactly ideal, but still it’s a lot better than having the fridge completely shut off.

      May 14, 2015 at 1:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   squib

      I’m kind of torn on this. I feel like I must know if there was ever a note on the fridge door instructing people to “PLEASE” make sure the door is “closed.” Preferably with clip art.

      May 14, 2015 at 11:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   The Beast Among Us

      Generally speaking, you simply push a button marked “Door Alarm” to turn it off.

      May 14, 2015 at 12:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   The Elf

      I agree, Squib. There must have been some PAN escalation here. Let’s write some. The clip-art door-closing-request note needs to have an underlying threat, like the notewriter will find you and slam your head in the door repeatedly or something.

      Can you tell I just finished watching Daredevil?

      May 15, 2015 at 8:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Jami

    Dear God, you don’t turn the fridge off because people don’t close the door. You yell at them “CLOSE THE DOOR YOU MORON!”

    May 13, 2015 at 10:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Dane Zeller

      I think calling someone a MORON is over the top, and not supportive of a good working environment. I would suggest: ASSHOLE, PEA FOR A BRAIN, DICKHEAD (if he’s a guy…no that would not be politically correct…if he’s any gender), and I suggest you don’t say anything except “sorry” when the stapler you threw at him hits him in the nuts (if he’s a guy…oh, wait, he could be transgender…)

      I’ll send you all a bill for my employment advice.


      JB Monk

      May 14, 2015 at 11:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   The Beast Among Us

      What about WANKER?

      May 14, 2015 at 5:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   The Beast Among Us

      Or IDIOT?

      May 14, 2015 at 5:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   The Elf

      No no no! No wankers near the food! For the love of Dog, no!

      May 15, 2015 at 8:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   Belaani

      Yes, calling people names is not nice – a simple “Don’t meditate with the fucking door open!” should suffice. :)

      May 15, 2015 at 4:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.6   Jami

      Eh, I’m all for name calling when someone’s being an idiot.

      May 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.7   DaveS

      The problem with that is that some of these alarms – like the one on my home fridge – don’t start beeping until the door is open for 2-3 minutes. So by the time it starts beeping the culprit is long gone.

      Unless you’ve been spending your time monitoring the comings and goings of everyone around the fridge. And who has time for that?

      I completely understand someone putting up with that every day finally being pushed over the edge and unplugging the damn thing.

      May 18, 2015 at 6:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.8   Raichu

      Dave, no reason why they couldn’t leave a note first. Sheesh.

      May 19, 2015 at 4:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.9   Gutter Services

      The ‘beep it all’ approach may seem reckless, but sometimes it’s necessary to shake things up and challenge the norm. However, remember to check site for potential risks.

      May 24, 2023 at 11:55 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #3   Wax

    Wow, so you secretly sabotage the food of everyone in the office just because you’re annoyed by the door beeping? What a self-entitled wank.

    May 14, 2015 at 1:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Poltergeist

    This reminds me of a dumb story about my downstairs neighbors that I now feel the need to share. One night their smoke alarm started beeping and wouldn’t stop (the grown daughter burned something in the kitchen like she always does when she visits.) Her brilliant solution was to take the smoke alarm off the wall and throw it outside on our shared front porch so that it wouldn’t wake her precious baby. Apparently the damn thing had been sitting out there beeping for two hours before I got home from work and had the bright idea to remove the batteries.

    May 14, 2015 at 2:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Cerys

      I bet the precious baby dealt better with being woken up than it would have with being burned to a crisp when there was no alarm to detect an actual fire.

      May 14, 2015 at 12:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Jami

      To play Devil’s Advocate – some modern smoke detectors are actually wired into the electricity. So while they also take batteries, they can still run even if the battery is dead. Maybe if the daughter lives somewhere else, she was used to that kind.

      When we remodeled the house, they put that type in. Little did we know that they put in a kind that are no longer made and expired in 2008! The one in my bedroom started beeping constantly. First, replacing the battery helped, but a few months later it started again. We tried removing the battery but it STILL beeped because it was wired into the electricity. Every 20 or so minutes it would let off one annoying BEEP!

      Finally, I told dad it HAD to come out. I was tired of it waking me up and scaring my dog. I don’t care if the fire department decided to make a surprise inspection and found us one smoke detector short. It had to go. Period.

      May 14, 2015 at 3:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   The Beast Among Us

      Um… If you have the wired smoke detector, the battery is there in case of power loss. However, the detector monitors the battery level, and when it gets low, the detector begins to beep every 20 minutes or so. Instead of just taking the battery out, you needed to replace the battery with a new one. Doing so makes the seemingly random beeping stop.

      May 14, 2015 at 5:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   TRT

      My below neighbour had one of those neck worn panic alarms. When it went wrong and kept going off, the woman on the phone (it’s a really loud auto-answer round the house speaker phone in case they’d fallen over) told him to wrap it in tin foil and shut it in the freezer to stop the radio signal.

      May 15, 2015 at 4:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   Jami

      If you noticed, Beast, we DID try replacing the battery first.

      The beeping was because it was malfunctioning because it expired in 2008. We moved back into our house in 2010. They gave us old, discontinued smoke detectors. And we can’t even replace them because the new ones won’t fit into the same fittings.

      May 15, 2015 at 10:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   pooham

      No matter if the smoke detector in Poltergeist’s story worked without a battery b/c it was wired to the house, it would have ceased beeping/buzzing after disconnected from the house had the battery been removed.

      May 15, 2015 at 5:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.7   pooham

      Even if the smoke detector in Poltergeist’s story was wired to the house, it would have ceased beeping/buzzing had the battery been removed since it was already disconnected from house power.

      May 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.8   JoDa

      Actually, it’s possible that a “modern,” “fail-safe” smoke detector would have just kept on beeping.

      When I made the dire mistake of trying to use the self-clean on my oven one time (first and last time…there is a reason why Easy Off is still on the market even though almost every oven is now “self-cleaning”), the closest smoke alarm to the kitchen (hard-wired with replaceable battery back-up) started screaming. So, I pulled the battery. No dice, kept screaming, kept setting the other detectors in the house off (local code requires smoke detectors installed in new construction/complete interior renovations to both primarily run off electricity (with battery back-up) and be wired TOGETHER so that one going off for more than 30 seconds sets the OTHERS off).

      So, I pulled it out of its moorings and disconnected it from the wiring. THEN IT STARTED CHIRPING AT ME! Turns out, it ALSO had a “hidden” “permanent” battery back-up, that couldn’t be accessed without destroying the thing, that would chirp when all power (replaceable battery and wiring) was lost, until THAT battery died. I ended up having to bury it under a pile of blankets and pillows behind a closed door in the guest bedroom until the self-clean cycle was over, so that I could only *barely* hear the chirping.

      Two lessons: Never use the self-clean on your oven (it didn’t even work that well), and know what you’re getting into with “good” smoke detectors! I may be safe from dying in a fire, but I may also end up completely enraged by a smoke detector you can’t shut up short of taking a baseball bat to it, Office Space style…

      May 15, 2015 at 8:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.9   Poltergeist

      Anybody with half a brain cell could tell that the smoke alarm ran solely on batteries due to the fact that the only things attaching it to the wall were a couple of screws.

      And regardless, you do not throw it outside and make it everybody else’s problem.

      May 16, 2015 at 6:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.10   o.g.

      FYI, a new smoke detector comes with a new connector. You’re supposed to remove the old connector from the wiring and attach the new one. You don’t try to match the connector.

      May 17, 2015 at 11:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.11   pooham

      Dang JoDa, that is ridiculous. What the heck is the purpose of the hidden battery? It certainly does sound like overkill.

      May 18, 2015 at 10:27 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.12   kermit

      The purpose of the hidden battery is to act as a backup for when the main power source goes out. Imagine how annoying it would be to have to reset your cellphone clock every time you turned off your phone and/or recharged it.

      In the event of a power failure due to natural disasters or whatever, house fires are more likely and that’s when you need it most.

      I don’t know if any manufacturer has thought of this, but a sensitivity setting would be immensely useful because it would prevent these kinds of annoyances people are talking about without leaving them vulnerable. There’s no point in having a smoke detector at all if you’re just going to remove the batteries and make it non-functional.

      May 18, 2015 at 4:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.13   JoDa

      ^Kind of this…basically extended power outages. If your power goes out for a long time such that the back-up battery dies, it can alert you to change the replaceable battery while still providing some protection for a little while. Also, the back-up (alkaline) battery tends to get “weak” from the lack of power drawn on it and people (myself included) are bad about regularly replacing batteries in hard-wired smoke detectors.

      That particular instance was infuriating (and I agree so much with the idea of a sensitivity setting, or maybe one more code that specifies smoke detectors should be placed no more than 15 (already exists) but no *less* than 8 feet from “cooking areas,” so that innocent use doesn’t set them off), but having seen/heard about some really bad fire situations where smoke detectors weren’t present or weren’t functional, I do sleep better at night knowing, no matter what, I am safe.

      AND I can just never use the self-clean again. PSA: oven self-cleaning doesn’t work well and causes ridiculous other problems (extreme heat around the oven, burny exterior oven surfaces, insane energy consumption)…

      May 19, 2015 at 8:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.14   JoDa

      Also to note that I still had 3 other functional smoke detectors in the house with that one disconnected, and I put it back up ASAP once the oven clean cycle was over (the next morning, once all the heat and fumes dispersed).

      May 19, 2015 at 8:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.15   Charlotte

      The apartment block I live in also has the type of fire alarm that is wired into the mains. A month or two ago I kept hearing a slight beeping sound every 20 mins or so when I was in the bedroom and ahllway. I decided it must be my fire alarm battery running out and went to change the battery… at which point it let off a much louder beep and I realised it wasn’t my fire alarm but my next door neighbours that I was hearing through the bedroom walls. (This was confirmed a few weeks later when I caught one of them leaving their apartment and asked if they knew where the beeping was coming from)

      I bring this up mostly to express my amazement that, a whole 2 months later, they’ve STILL not changed the battery! It doesn’t bother me as luckily I sleep with earplugs in anyway. But given I can hear it in my bedroom when usually I can barely hear them vacuuming in theirs it amazes me that it’s not driven them insane yet.

      Jul 9, 2015 at 6:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   The Beast Among Us

    Apparently the rest of the office cares enough to leave a note to show how much the don’t care.

    May 14, 2015 at 12:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Lita bang

    What kind of fancy fridge beeps when you leave the door open…?

    (I’m serious. I’ve never seen a fridge like that. Then again I do have low-end no-frills fridge without even an icemaker…)

    May 14, 2015 at 7:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Haterade

      One of these days we’ll have fridges that will beep when you leave the door ajar too long, scan bar codes and remind you of expiration dates (and maybe even place orders to the grocery store for you), detect bacterial/mold overgrowth by regularly sampling the air inside, etc… and humans will still stand in front of it with the door open, looking for the fifth time in a row to see if an item has magically appeared since the last time they looked.

      May 14, 2015 at 9:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   TRT

      If you leave my fridge door open it doesn’t ping, it pongs.

      May 15, 2015 at 4:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   Lita bang

      IRCer, TRT?

      May 15, 2015 at 3:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   JoDa

      Varies by maker. My fridge is newer than a friend’s. His beeps if you leave the door open for more than a minute, mine doesn’t. Both are equally fancy (mine possibly fancier…I have through-the-door ice and chilled, filtered water, and he only has an in-freezer ice maker and no water dispenser), but different manufacturers.

      May 15, 2015 at 8:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   L

      Here you just get someone telling you that you’re letting the penguins out.

      May 15, 2015 at 9:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.6   rushgirl2112

      We just bought a $600 Kenmore, so definitely nothing fancy. I was in the kitchen one evening and kept hearing this little beep. Took me forever to figure out that it was because the fridge door was slightly ajar. That surprised me, because I’d never had a fridge do that.

      May 17, 2015 at 9:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.7   Raichu

      Lita, one of the storage fridges in our lab does that, but I admit I have never seen a fridge for food do it. It’s a useful feature though. Kinda wish the fridge in my apartment did it – the other day I came home from work to find that it had been accidentally left ajar the whole time I was gone :(

      May 19, 2015 at 4:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.8   Raichu

      Okay, what the hell, comment editor??? It just…doesn’t work at all anymore?

      I meant to say that all of the storage fridges (that I use at least) do the beeping thing. But one of them broke a couple months ago so we had to hear it constantly. blech.

      May 19, 2015 at 4:53 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.9   Tesselara

      L, Penguins?! Polar Bears!

      There’s a polar bear in my Fridigaire
      He likes it cause it’s cold in there.
      With his seat in the meat and his feet in the fish
      and his big hairy paws in the buttery dish
      He’s nibbling the noodles, he’s munching the rice
      He’s slurping the soda, he’s licking the ice.
      He lets out a roar if you open the door.
      It gives me a scare to know he’s in there.
      The polar bear in the Frigidaire.
      ~Shel Silverstein

      (Quoted from memory–mistakes all mine. Side note–I memorized Shel Silverstein poetry while working for a bank and processing insurance cancellation forms on car loans. So. Boring. I also taught myself Irish Gaelic)

      May 19, 2015 at 11:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.10   The Beast Among Us

      Anymore, Raichu? I don’t recall the comment editor EVER working.

      May 19, 2015 at 11:56 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.11   JoDa

      Like I said, seems to depend more on maker than age or fancy-ness. Mine is a Frigidaire, his is a Samsung…

      May 19, 2015 at 9:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.12   Raichu

      Beast, it used to work very slowly for me. Now it doesn’t work at all. :/

      May 26, 2015 at 11:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Brian H

    If I’m the boss and it became a huge issue I’d just remove the fridge and probably board up the kitchen. It seems like the kitchen is a main focus of discontent in a lot of offices.

    May 14, 2015 at 9:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   The Elf

      Here is the fridge of our discontent
      Made glorious cooling for this employee;
      And all the clouds that low’r'd on the office
      When the dipshit kept leaving the door open.

      May 15, 2015 at 8:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Jami

      Except if you board up the kitchen people can sue you for creating a hostile work environment.

      I would just hire someone who’s main job is to monitor the kitchen but also make them a little place where they can do other work on the computer. Or set up a desk and a computer in there and have everyone have an assigned month where they work there, instead of at their usual desk, so they can monitor the kitchen and make sure it remains clean and happy.

      May 15, 2015 at 10:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Raichu

      That’s not a bad idea, Jami. Or if not months, have a day or week rotating schedule.

      May 19, 2015 at 4:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Never known as 'The Kid'

    The food is (still) fucking delicious.

    May 15, 2015 at 9:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   havingfitz

    Let me start this with a disclaimer. I have recently been diagnosed with achalasia and gastroperesis. Basically the nerves in my stomach and esophagus are gone so they no longer move. This has resulted in major surgery and I’m in week 3 of a restricted diet (soft foods only at the moment). This has made me grumpy. The other day I went to put my lunch (what little I’m actually allowed to eat right now) into the work refrigerator only to see that the door was open: someone had brought in a lunch bag the size of a 1970′s Buick and it was so big the door couldn’t close. I decided I really didn’t want my lunch going bad and there may have been some hostility toward someone able to actually eat a lunch that big. I turned their lunch bag upside down and stuffed it that way in the back of the refrigerator. I hope it made a huge mess when they went to eat. I regret nothing.

    May 15, 2015 at 12:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Lita bang

      Yikes, Fitz. I don’t blame you at all. *hugs*

      May 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   The Beast Among Us

      I’m guessing it was an insulated bag, too, which serves no purpose inside a fridge. We have a few of those at my office, too. They are very frustrating.

      May 19, 2015 at 12:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   buni

      When I bring perishables for lunch, I use an insulated lunch bag to protect them during my commute and yes, I will put the entire bag in the fridge because then it’s clear to my coworkers that the food inside is Not Theirs. But my bag is normal-lunch bag-sized, not a duffel bag.

      May 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   The Beast Among Us

      The little bags aren’t too bad, as long as the straps don’t hang all over the place. I recommend unzipping the bag and allowing the cooler fridge air to enter. Otherwise, the insulation is actually keeping the food warm from the refrigeration.

      As far as food thieving goes, I’ve found that marking the containers, putting the food in specific bags, etc., doesn’t stop the thieves. It’s best to just eat stuff they don’t want, like spaghetti drizzled with ghost pepper sauce.

      May 19, 2015 at 3:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   ReignbowGirl

      I work with a dozen women who seem to defy the “women are tidy and food-safe aware” stereotype. Besides the disaster they leave behind after meal prep, our kitchen mini-fridge usually stinks like a rotting corpse from all the old, funky food it contains. Consequently, I use an insulated lunch bag with a reusable ice pack for my food. On the rare occasion I do need to use the fridge, I label my food “Specimen” or “Sample” so it doesn’t get eaten. But the chick who brings an entire family size bottle of salad dressing to keep in that teeny, tiny fridge? Yeah, she can go to hell.

      May 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Kasaba

    Our company (big corporate) refurbished the kitchens in our office a few months ago, with awful(ly) sleek/modern cupboards and fittings. We used to gather in the kitchen for a bit of a chat at tea time, but now it just feels uncomfortable to be in there. It’s like you’ve walked into a showroom on a shop floor accidentally. If their end goal was to have people generally avoid the kitchen; they’ve achieved it. The fridges are still the old ones though, which you have to wrestle/yank get open. No gainly way to do it. #patheticfirstworldproblems

    May 15, 2015 at 12:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   phoenix

      So corporate mentality to make the cupboards look nicer, but not replace the ailing and actually necessary appliances.

      May 15, 2015 at 4:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   JoDa

      Please, I’m a Fed. They’re currently fully renovating my building. The original plans called for communal kitchens scattered around the building, with just the basics: a sink, a couple of microwaves, and a full-size refrigerator or two. Once the plans went through “political review,” the kitchens were yanked as a “cost-saving and space-maximizing” measure. So, we’ll continue using the mini-fridges and microwaves individual offices and people buy. Seems efficient to run dozens of mini-fridges in people’s offices rather than one or two big ones in a common space…

      May 15, 2015 at 8:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   L

    Office-wide food poisoning. Sounds like a great way to increase productivity.

    May 15, 2015 at 9:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Haterade

      Depends. Is the office full of executives who worship metrics, and make new policies every day or two to make the numbers look better (or to fix the problems created by yesterday’s policy)? If so, then it actually might.

      Sorry… can you tell I’m a smidgen bitter about the leadership at the company I work for?

      May 18, 2015 at 2:34 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   Raichu

      Haterade, boy do I feel you. My boss is obsessed with numbers, probably because her bosses are obsessed with numbers, and the things they do to try to get numbers down are convoluted and detract from actual productivity in a major way. Given that I work in a med lab, and peoples’ care depends on our timely work, it really really bugs me. :(

      May 19, 2015 at 4:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   j-as

    I think the Insane Clown Posse is behind this one “Magnets, how do they work?!”

    Just figure out another means of keeping the fridge closed, add some magnets, tie something heavy to the door handle, it’s not that hard and is slightly nicer than potentially giving all your coworkers food poisoning.

    May 18, 2015 at 5:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   pooham

      That’s an entertaining idea. It makes me think of having some sort of bungee cord attached from the inside of the fridge to the door so that if someone opens the door and then lets go, the door goes smashing back to the closed position. hahahahha

      May 19, 2015 at 1:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Raichu

    I get why note writer #2 was upset. I do. In my workplace we have a fridge (not for food) that was broken a few months back and would start beeping loudly every few minutes even if the door was shut because the temperature wasn’t staying down. Made me want to break it (though of course I didn’t).

    BUT. Why the bloody hell couldn’t NW#2 leave a note about the beeping BEFORE unplugging the fridge? Or even, better yet, talk to the people not shutting the door all the way, like an adult? (They probably didn’t realize they were doing it!) Unplugging the fridge and ruining everyone’s food without first communicating about the problem is ridiculously immature. Team NW#1 here.

    May 19, 2015 at 4:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Hannah Shen

    Your tips have improved my skills. Thank you!

    Sep 11, 2023 at 7:49 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up