Dear Colleagues,

Has anyone noticed a child running around—I would guess between the ages of 8 and 12—who may have recently eaten a bowl of beef stroganoff? When I went to heat up my lunch, I noticed someone left a significant portion of stroganoff all over the inside of the microwave. They also smeared a generous couple of fork-fulls on the countertop and floor and the bottom of my Cole Haans.

Now, of course I know this could not have been the work of any of you, mature professional adults that you are. We’ve all cleaned up after ourselves for decades by now, no matter if we’re at home, a restaurant, or the shared office kitchen. Which can mean only one thing:

I have concluded there is a child on the loose.

As you all know, we are a respected mid-sized law firm comprised of attorneys and support staff, all 30 years or older. Even though there are a few dozen of us, we share one small office kitchen with a single microwave. But this is not a problem! We are well-adjusted adults who understand basic responsibility. “Leave a place cleaner than you found it,” my mother always said. I’m sure everyone else received similar wisdom from their parents, right? Well, everyone except Trina, if her loud personal phone calls from her cubicle are anything to go by! (A quick aside—sorry to hear about your abscess, Trina. Judging by what I heard from your speakerphone call on Tuesday, your doctor sounded pretty optimistic though!)

The point is, none of us would ever nuke beef stroganoff all over the fucking place and then leave it there, quickly shuffling away to go eat outside so nobody sees them shoveling forkfuls of the newest kitchen décor into their face. Could you imagine?

So please, everyone keep your eyes peeled. A law office is no place for an uncouth 10-year-old to be roaming around, painting the kitchen appliances with someone's leftovers that he stole from the fridge (which, incidentally, could use some attention —I think another group of trespassing youths has conspired to fill the fridge with rotting months-old food).

I haven't seen this juvenile delinquent with my own eyes, but if I had to venture a description: Fourish feet tall. Unkempt hair or, alternatively, a flat top. Meat sauce stains around his mouth and on his shirt (perhaps a button-down? He could be undercover as a small intern). Air of laziness and general “not my microwave, not my problem” demeanor. Smells like beef stroganoff. Won't make eye contact if you ask, “Did you fling your beef stroganoff all over the goddamn kitchen and leave it there, Barry?”

I'm just using Barry as an example here—everyone knows that Barry's IBS could never tolerate beef stroganoff!

Again, I'm aware that none of you would have left your exploded stroganoff mess all over the place. You're adults, for christ's sake! So keep an eye out for that disrespectful, rude, lazy child. This isn’t the first time he’s left his lunch blasted all over the kitchen surfaces; I’m sure it won’t be the last.

And if you find him, please tell him to clean up his fucking mess.


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