We’re down to the wire closing out the work year. What we’re finally faced with, as Christmas draws ever closer and people depart for the holidays, is the most intense onslaught of the year. How does one survive the relentless assault of plate after dish after treat after drink? Food is everywhere and, lacking self-control, the office is a minefield. Yesterday the production team had a departmental dine. Indian curries, rice and naan, a variety of breads, pastries and cakes, salads and meats. Plus a bunch of beer, wine and soft drink to wash it all down. How was I not going to partake? An afternoon beer in the office is the best, the good doppelgänger of the evil lunchtime brew.
As I walked into the lobby this morning, I noticed an unfamiliar sight. The atrium was decorated in rock radio finery. “FREE BREAKFAST” was emblazoned in the lobby screens. Carafes of coffee, muffins, strudel, brioches, scones, KIND bars, juices, fresh fruit and breakfast burritos were scattered throughout the atrium. Our rock radio station was doing a live broadcast and celebrated by throwing everyone a free breakfast. So second breakfast was in order and- since I’d neglected to bring lunch- I grabbed a few burritos for later. By this stage I was pretty stuffed.
No more than a half hour we had our team ugly Christmas sweater meeting. Our boss had failed to mention that it was gonna be crammed with snacks and desserts. Eggnog (original, light and pumpkin spiced), Colombian sweet bread (home baked by our manager’s mum), brownies, shortbread, reeses tarts, donuts and muffins. If I had a limit, I’d already passed it. This was obscene and we’d just hit 1pm.
As the hours passed, the plates piled up. A random dude popped into our production meeting bearing a platter of sushi. The leftover Indian food from the previous day was arranged in the kitchen. Another department dropped off some Mexican dishes from an earlier meeting. The uneaten masses of food from our Christmas sweater meeting were left a few metres away from our desks. Then our manager opened up a gift basket she’d been given. If this was some company-wide Hansel and Gretel auxiliary food supply initiative, we were following the trail breadcrumb after breadcrumb.
I feel myself swell, not with the milk o’ human kindness, but in girth. My belly feels laden, weighty. Whenever I raise my arms I feel it protrude, waving hello.
I sure picked a hell of a week not to wear a belt.