standing in front of an open fridge door

boozer

Senior Member
Bulgarian
Hi friends,

I have a small problem understanding a peculiar figure of speech in the excerpt given below:

"Are you going to be a lousy people manager who ends up with the workforce spending most of their time staring out the window or standing in front of an open fridge door? Or will you turn into a monster....."

I know this must be some figurative way of saying something is going wrong in the office, but what exactly is the association?

Firstly, who is standing in front of an open fridge door? The manager or the workforce? I find it somewhat ambiguous.

Is it to say that when you open the office door you feel the cold air of human relationships blowing in your face? Or is it the workforce that is standing in front of an open fridge door? And if so, what on earth are they doing standing there? :) It must be some metaphor I'm unable to figure out...

Help, please!
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi boozer:)

    I don't think it's metaphorical, I think it's literal. The manager being described is one who lets his workforce waste time by staring out of the window or by going to the fridge every five minutes to get food/orange juice/milk for yet another cup of coffee.

    The writer could equally well have mentioned employees who stand outside the back door smoking. (That employee, I'm ashamed to say, was me. Once.)
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't find it ambiguous... the manager will end up with a workforce 1) spending most of their time staring out the window or 2) standing in front of an open fridge door?

    Both conditions are a state of mindlessness: staring out the window at nothing in particular, or opening a fridge door and just staring -- looking for you-know-not-what and therefore not seeing anything, while the cold air escapes and the food gets warm.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    The writer could equally well have mentioned employees who stand outside the back door smoking. (That employee, I'm ashamed to say, was me. Once.)
    Thanks for your input, Loob! So I translate it literally.

    By the way, an employee that goes to the balcony every now and then for a smoke is also me. But it's not to say that I do not do what I'm supposed to do. I just need my cigarette breaks :)
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Many employees just need a good leader -- and they're as few and far between as good teachers. One thing I noticed about your quotation is that the manager seems to have only two choices: "Are you going to be a lousy people manager.... Or will you turn into a monster...."

    People often rise to the level expected of them -- so our manager doesn't have far to go. :)
     
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