Earlier this week, an acquaintance of mine blind copied me on a note she’d sent to her co-workers who sit in her immediate work area. The note started off like many work emails do: “Earlier this morning, someone left half of a cake on the table in our area.” YAY! CAKE! CAKE IS YUMMY! I LIKE CAKE! I’ll bet this is an invitation for CAKE! CAKE! CAKE! I’ll be on this sugar high for a good 15 minutes and then crash all before 8am! WOOO!!!!
Then the note immediately took a turn for the worse, “I couldn’t figure out who did it. I looked around, and asked one other person, and it turns out, she didn’t put the cake there.” You go Nancy Drew! Ask the one person! (Aside: the table is in a common/well-trafficked area and many a cake or pie or ice cream has guest starred there. However, according to some made up rule, only 4-6 people on the floor are permitted to rest their goods on this lucky, discriminatory table.) “Cakes are for the break room, as all of you are aware.” Cakes are also for tummies! But just in case you weren’t aware, you done been told. Strange cake offered by other co-workers who sit more than four cubes away is unwelcome, NOT fun and not appreciated. What on earth were you thinking? “So, I got rid of the cake.” Poor cake. Thanks a lot cake hater. Awesome job. I’ll just crunch miserably away at this flavorless granola bar that tastes like peanut butter flavored chalk. Mmm mmm.
In a smaller font at the bottom of the note read, “I found out who the culprit was!!! She came looking to see what happened to the cake. It was Marcie!!!” THAT CAKE BRINGING BITCH! “She asked what had happened to it and I told her. Can you believe the nerve of some people?” No, I can’t! Really, the audacity to bring in a cake like that. Appalling! I thought I lived in a civilized cake-free society.
I ignored the note.
Later, I bump into my pal in the hall and she’s still on about the cake, but realizing she’s not getting a lot of traction for her single woman cake-hating movement (my “I HATE CAKE” button and t-shirt were on backorder) she switched to books. “And you know what else? Someone put books in the break room!” GET OUT! BOOKS? In the break room? You’re kidding, this is the fall of our nation as we know it. “So, I threw them in the trash.” What? (Insert the sound of brakes screeching to a halt and we’ll briefly switch from my brain voice to my Beth voice.) “Why would you throw BOOKS in the TRASH?” I’m unable to disguise my complete contempt. (You see, this is just one barely noticeable step below book burning in my mind.) “Books don’t belong in the break room!!” No? Grainy images of old films depicting ignorant hillbillies dancing self-righteously around a bonfire fueled by books play in my head. Ray Bradbury references pop-up. I’m suddenly remembering bits from the movie “Equilibrium” or the book “The Giver”. My head is spinning as she carries on, “yeah, and this lady dug them out of the trash and said she thought it would be a nice idea to have a book exchange. Can you believe that?” Content with her good book-tossing work, she ended her thoughts with a satisfied snort. I mention how much I support this idea, because I’ve worked at a place that had a community bookshelf and I was able to read things I would have never read. She doesn’t budge. Books in a break room = books in the trashcan by her rules. We reach an impasse – I’m clearly against destroying books and she’s against books in a break room. I’m guessing a book taunted her as a child? Or maybe hurt her feelings?
I have to wonder: If she had bothered to have cake earlier that morning, would she be so angry at books in the afternoon?