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It’s A Date Thing

November 21, 2016

I’m one of those who eat breakfast at my desk. I have a box of cereal and plastic spoons in my office bookshelf. (Who has physical books anymore?) 

Cereal without milk is just twigs and leaves. My company has a small self service kiosk that sells milk and juice and things. 

I don’t need a full pint of milk for my cereal. I’ll often buy one of these bottles and keep it in the refridgerator in the break room for cereal the next. Day or later in teh week. 

Question for you: Which bottle of milk should I take? Does it matter? 

Yes. It matters greatly. I always take the last bottle in the row. Why? Because they restock the milk from the back. When the vendor comes to restock his milk, he puts the freshest bottles in the back so that people will take the old ones from the front first. You may not have ever even thought about it. And yet, now, you will probably look at it every time. 

(This this cooler, the milk in front was dated 11/27/2016. The milk in back was dated 12/1/2016.) 

We often look, but don’t see. Does a week’s difference matter? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on how long you are planning to store it in the fridgerator. Well, and how fresh you like to have your milk. 

The kiosk also sells cookies. I once had a terrible experience, years ago, with these pink Grandma cookies. The cookie was moldy. And considering how many preservatives these are made with, I didn’t know it was even possible for them to mold. Why did it mold? Look at the cookies and especially the date stamp.

The vendor stocks the cookies front to back. That means that often the cookies at the back are the oldest. When I choose a cookie, I always take from the front. 

As a species we tend to accept what is placed in front of us. And even when we are not compelled to take the one we are offered, we tend to accept the first one. 

Learn to not only look, but to see. It might save you from spoiled milk or a moldy cookie. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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