September 26, 2008 at 7:30 am
We’ve merged with another department at work, and not since the Indians threw a party for the Pilgrims has there been this much food proffered as a greeting. At the meeting announcing the merger there were chocolate-iced donuts sitting in a pink box at the back of the room. At the new monthly departmental meeting there were cookies passed around the table, sweet chocolate wafting right past my nose as I passed them on. Last week there were bagels (a shitload of bagels, like bagel diarrhea) on the kitchenette table all day long to entice the departments to mingle. And yesterday, I got an email announcing the monthly pitch-in that is a tradition in the other department. God only knows how we’ll celebrate birthdays, but I’m assuming it will involve several sticks of butter and a defibrillator in the corner in case of emergency. The pitch-in announcement said something like, “Who doesn’t want an excuse for a pitch in?” PastaQueen raises her hand.
I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that I am anti-cake in the workplace. No cake at work!
This is like being anti-puppy, but I don’t like eating lil’ doggies either. I have nothing against eating cake and cookies on special occasions, but celebrating a day that ends in a “y” is not a special occasion. I heard about a book called Yes Man where the author said “yes” to everything for a year. What if I took advantage of every free food fest? If I were to eat every cookie, cake, and bagel I were offered, I would weigh almost 400 pounds again.
Last Wednesday there was a chocolate fest at the mall. Yesterday Cold Stone Creamery had a free ice cream social. And every time I turn on the TV, I see the ads from Kashi offering a free cookie. Why must I live in a culture that stuffs fattening foods down my throat, yet mistreats people who are fat? While I take responsibility for what goes in my mouth, this is like trying to take responsibility for my driving while skidding down icy roads. It’s hard for the health-conscious to get any traction.
I respect and admire the people I work with, and I don’t mean to ruin everyone else’s fun, but the frequency of indulgences in the modern American workplace is disordered. It’s like going out drinking every other night and pretending you don’t have an alcohol problem, which admittedly, a lot of Americans also do. Of course, I also gave away free ice cream last month, so I’m as much to blame as anyone.
I wonder if I’m the only one who feels this way, or if other people in the department also secretly hate all the carbohydrates that are tossed around but are too afraid to say anything? It’s so expected to bring in brownies. It might be a distorted mob mentality. I’ve heard stories of people being beaten or murdered within sight of dozens of people, yet no one does anything because everyone expects someone else to take responsibility. While no one is being murdered, I suspect the cake is the same way. Our asses are being kicked by carbohydrates and no one is willing to say anything, me included.
I did bring a fruit tray into work once in an effort to promote healthier habits, but it just sat in the fridge for three days and I ate half the fruit anyway. If you look at all the times I’ve turned down treats at work, I’m actually winning about 90% of the time. However, I’m forced to play so frequently that it doesn’t seem like much of a victory.
I don’t know what to do, really. If I bitch about it, I’m a bitch. If I don’t, I get fatter. If I bring in fruit, it rots. There’s no way to win. I can’t not have my cake and not eat it too.