TORONTO -- Each year, Julia Giacoboni and her co-workers celebrate a slightly odd anniversary marking the day in 2012 that she first left a tub of pineapple cottage cheese in the employee fridge at work.

For the past seven years, every September 17 Giacoboni has taken a photograph with the cottage cheese container. And this year, she submitted a collage of all the photos to the website Reddit.

“I think it’s really funny … but it’s really dumb,” said Giacoboni, chuckling throughout a phone interview with

“I bought it as part of my lunch in 2012, tasted it and I really didn’t like it,” she said. “It was low-fat and disgusting. I like cottage cheese but it was pretty gross.”

“I closed it and I haven’t opened it since,” she said, explaining that she left it in the fridge and just forgot about it. “It got pushed to the back and people didn’t really notice it.”

But a year later, Giacoboni and her coworkers at her Philadelphia-based advertising agency “realized how long it’d been there and looked at the expiration date and thought it’d be funny to take a picture with it.”

Over the years, what started out as a bad purchase turned into an office joke and eventually into her co-workers’ “favourite anniversary” tradition.


“Everyone thought it was funny. No one threw it out. We clean the fridge but we leave it in there,” Giacoboni said. “So now it has notes on it … it hasn’t swelled up or anything. It looks totally normal on the outside. And it doesn’t smell.”

Giacoboni, who’s now 32, said a lot has changed since 2012. She’s cut her hair, taken on several new roles in her company, got a new boyfriend, bought a house and welcomed a cat into her home.

“We moved offices and it managed to make the move,” she laughed, explaining she and co-workers relocated offices this past spring. “My bosses know about it too.”

From time to time, she says she shakes the tub. It just “sounds like normal cottage cheese -- lumpy.” Although tempted to open it over the years, she doesn’t plan on it anytime soon.

People responding to her Reddit post have ridiculed her for working at the same company since 2012, but Giacoboni said she’s happy because “the job I have now is completely different than the one I used to have.”

The pictures have now become a strange way to commemorate her career milestones.

She’s seen the company grow from about 40 people to more than 300 now, spread across different offices in the U.S.

“Now, I feel like I have to see just how long I can keep it,” she laughed, adding she’s jokingly pleaded with Reddit commenters to profess how she’s actually “normal.”

Although she loves her job, Giacoboni said if she ever left, she’d have to open it before leaving because introducing the tub to new co-workers would “just be too weird.”

Either way, when she does open it, she’s scared for what could happen.

“My mom says they’ll need to evacuate the building,” she said. “And we have no windows in our new office, so we can’t open it here. I don’t know what we’ll end up doing.”

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