Our back-office, fatty, fat, fattersons had a Food Day on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I was not invited to participate. Though I am unfailingly polite to everyone in the office, I am not personal or friendly with the non-sales staff. Also, rumor has it that I am "educated" and thus, arrogant. At least that is how I perceive the back-office workers' perception of me. It's a whole Gordian knot of misperception.
Regardless, I'm not eager to share in an impromptu buffet with our accounts receivable, accounts payable or human resources staff. Their portion of the office is a crowded warren of file cabinets, decaying cubicles (one decorated with a collage of Dale Earnhardt Jr. photos, some of him, some of his car) and boxes of supplies. They have no natural light whatsoever and the ceiling can't be more than seven feet tall. It smells like a combination of old lady perfume, car exhaust and gasoline (they share a wall with the service garage), Windex and feet. Occasionally, a hint of diarrhea makes its way into the mix.
At no time is there a clean, clear surface area on any desk or table in the back-office. The buffet has been placed on the "ice tea table". The ice tea table is wedged between a stack of boxes and a supply cabinet. At any given time, the ice tea table has one and half pitchers of ice tea, sans lids, sitting on it. I've never seen anyone drink the tea. Occasionally, I notice ice in the tea and the levels change minutely, so I know it’s not the same tea left unattended. However, whether I'm at the office after 9 pm or before 8 am, I can guarantee that tea is available, often, with a thin film/skin floating on the surface. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the eternal pitchers of tea is that this building has no kitchenette of any sort. That means that any rinsing or washing of the tea pitchers (if performed) must occur in the restrooms. Refer here to the restroom habits of my coworkers.
The Food Day spread was impressive, by Food Day standards. It looked like a full Thanksgiving meal. Turkey, potatoes, dressing, cranberry sauce (the jelly kind), gravy, rolls…all present, though I’m not sure why my coworkers felt compelled to eat this meal in office the day before eating it again with their families.
But where were the traditional items, not of Thanksgiving, but of office Food Day? No cocktail wienies in homemade “barbecue” sauce (homemade by combining grape jelly and yellow mustard). No tiny meatballs with toothpicks in the same sauce. No spinach dip that goes rancid in the first 15 minutes. No queso (a.k.a. – queso sauce at my company in Atlanta) made from Velveeta and the mildest Pace salsa (“ooooh, too spicy” – Atlanta again).
Some Food Day traditions were observed however, probably by the emasculated, utterly defeated sad-sack handful of “men” that work in the back. Clearly, they were the ones that ensured that the buffet table had more three-liter bottles of soda than participants. One of them probably brought the grocery store deli meat and cheese tray or the grocery store cupcakes.
Man, I hope they ask me, next time.