Is it your Birthday? Oh happy birthday, you doing anything to celebrate? Oh no I’ve not heard of that place, but I’m a sucker for mezze so let me know how it is. I will just grab just couple of those mini brownies, thank you
A couple of things before I start, I’m what you call a grazer. Regardless of how much is there and how bad for you it may be, give me enough time and like a cow chewing grass, I’ll go through it all. I’d love to say I could have a family sized packet of biscuits in the cupboard, there for a rare treat every now and then. Alas no, biscuits are banned, despite efforts to reintroduce them into the wilds of our kitchen, they die out shockingly fast. The other thing about me is that for the past couple of years I’ve worked in offices, sitting on a chair and hunching over pixels on a screen 9-5, 5 days a week.
Lunch is thankfully your own responsibility, sometimes I’m all prepped with a healthy 12 O’clock lunchbox other times its the old faithful £3 meal deal. Regardless of which big supermarket is near your work place, it’s an uninspired choice, it’s quick and easy to stuff down your gullet before getting back to the latest nonsense you are dealing with, fuel over flavour.
The consumption conundrum comes not from your contractually obliged lunch time, but those within the hours of work. Hey it’s someone’s birthday, oh someone else is leaving and oh your team has had a rough time of it recently so here’s sweets and chocolates by the tub full. You can say no, but you will trip up eventually, this past Friday I found plenty of reasons throughout the day to walk by a bank of desks and raid their goody pile. No YOU have a problem.
I’m a lot better these days on that front, with donuts, cakes, sweets and muffins at hands reach 5 days a week….I dabble maybe on a Friday. That’s just the regular variety, your bread and butter, so to speak (Though you can find that too on occasion.) I’ve seen birthday cakes, apple crumbles, variety of sweets, muffins, donuts, boxes of sausage rolls, samsoas (A whole indian buffet at 10am infact,Diwali is delightful!), pizza, pastries, banna bread, flapjacks, brownies, cookies, toffee, apple pie, crisps, popcorn and much more. The office is a world of endless food possibilites and fruitful fatty territory for a grazer like myself.
Couple the Amazon rainforest of food available, with a office lifestyle of sitting, thinking and if you’re lucky, walking 5 minutes somewhere to meet people, to sit and think once more. Its quite the immobile lifestyle, people talk the talk but they won’t walk the walk!
Just to strike this point home here for you folks, some teams have a meeting where you stand up, aptly named a “stand-up”. The thinking is that they want a quick meeting, 15 minutes usually, in order to encourage this, the meeting is conducted with everyone standing up. That’s right, we find standing for more than 15 minutes so intolerable, it’s quite an effective tactic to get us to shut up and go back to the bastion of our desks. (Where hopefully the flapjacks haven’t been ransacked yet)
We don’t stand a chance, and it’s being picked up on, experts have a name for it ‘cake culture’ a gross undersell of the wide variety of options. Dentists and Nutritionist are concerned that well meaning folks, with baked goods are contributing to the gut expansion. They recommend just to ease up on sugar coating of work. Naturally, it’s kind to bring food, one might say it is killing with kindess, slowly and deliciously. How is a grazer to survive in a wild west of sugar?!
Pick ‘n’ choose your moments of indulgence; also you’d be surprised what a tongue in cheek moan can result in. In my case, after a light comment on donuts being placed right on my desk, someone came in the next Friday with giant slabs of watermelon. Not only was it delicious on a seemingly hot day, it had the extra perk of no one being able to question what you say, as they are distracted by the giant watermelon piece in your hand. If, however, we feel the need to bring old fashioned sweets in; let’s ditch the plastic tubs and make a pack to bring in things which are different, I feel come my next occasion, I’ll get some old school fudge, the big bars you have to cut yourself.
As for getting rid of the food bonanza? I wouldn’t go on a anti-cake crusade, despite what the experts recommend. Honestly the thought that, in the face of work stress, we deploy a coping mechanism of reverting back to our child self and what we would have loved at our 10 year old birthday party. That thought, makes even the most seemingly cardboard office bot appear very human. A cake crusade would be like taking sweets from a baby! A baby in a suit that is.
You gotta indulge every now and then, just don’t fall in the modern day trap of walking around with constant stream of pastrie crumbs, walk around with watermelon.
P.S: Word to the wise, approach Google with caution when searching “Giant fudge Bar“, that is all.