Signs You’ll Never Read in Your Office’s Communal Kitchen

by Mallory Ortberg

“This half-and-half is for everyone. Take as much as you need, I can always buy more.”

“To the person who has been using the microwave to reheat really spicy food — God, it smells amazing. What is that, saag paneer?”

“Every Friday all open food containers that have not been removed from the kitchen will be covered in velour and filled to the brim with shiny silver dollars, because I love you guys.”

“The microwave has been filled with pudding for a very good reason; please do not clean it.”

“Who keeps emptying the trash can every Thursday afternoon? Slow down there, Stick Stickley! You’re on island time now.”

“Could the owner of this moldy Tupperware please stop by my cubicle and kiss me as if it were for the last time?”

“There’s this weird, I guess a lump thing? I’ve noticed in my throat lately, when I swallow, and I’m not sure if it’s my lymph nodes or whatever. Do you know what I mean? That kind of lumpy feeling? I don’t know if you can feel it, but I can feel it every time I swallow. That’s weird, right?”

“I literally never wash my hands.”

“I can only please one person per day. Today is your day. Today is your day. Name your desires and I will dismantle my own body to realize them.”

“Sign up for the Events committee to ensure that you’ll never be seriously considered for a promotion!”

It seems we’ve been at cross-purposes, doesn’t it? But it’s no use now. As long as there was Bonnie, there was a chance that we might be happy. I liked to think that Bonnie was you, a little girl again, before the war, and poverty had done things to you. She was so like you, and I could pet her and spoil her, as I wanted to spoil you. But when she went, she took everything.”

“I’ve made myself the unofficial kitchen manager, because it’s profoundly rewarding and challenges me both mentally and sexually.”

“I don’t care what the doctors say; I know that whatever happened to Lisa wasn’t an accident. My sister was murdered.”

“I can’t figure out how to access Clip Art since they had us update to Windows 7. Is anyone else having this problem?”

“I have a lot of trouble telling Bernadette Peters and Madeline Kahn apart. I think one of them died pretty young. Which one of them was in The Jerk? Was it Bernadette Peters? Or is that Gilda Radner? Whoever was married to Gene Wilder. Mm, Madeline Kahn was definitely in Young Frankenstein, so maybe it was her. God, that’s so sad.”

Previously: So You’ve Decided to Take More Time for Yourself.

Mallory Ortberg is a writer in the Bay Area. Her work has also appeared on Slacktory and Ecosalon.

Photo by ARENA Creative, via Shutterstock