Food does not last long in my office. Not because it spoils; there are more potent forces at work here than wussy mold and puny bacteria. It is consumed by the office en-mass; the cubes a black hole, the kitchen its event horizon. Anything edible, left in a remotely public area, disappears before most people even knew it was there. I am not saying this in disgust of my coworkers, but instead out of sheer amazement and obscure admiration. It takes a force of will (and stomach of iron) that I am not blessed with to pull off this voracious feat.
During the 2009 holiday season, one of our graphic designers brought in a fruitcake, as a joke. This “cake” was truly an abomination upon baking and there was little about it that even seemed edible, never mind palatable. The batter was some strange hybrid of pumpkin, spices and Devil’s Food Cake, while the haphazardly drizzled icing was of the burned cream cheese variety. I’m pretty sure she said she got it from Ross. This thing had green candied cherries. Green cherries. Even Sam I Am wouldn’t have touched this thing.
I have a rule that I will try almost anything once, so I managed to force down a very tiny sliver of this cake, much to the chagrin of my onlooking coworkers. The next hour could only be described as a fruitcake delirium, with my poor brain and stomach playing host to the nightmare. After recovering, I decided to place the cake as far from me as possible, which happened to be in our public kitchen. I left it there in hopes that someone would destroy it (if it even could be destroyed by conventional means) and went on my way.
I came back not an hour later to get some water (having been severely dehydrated from eating the cake) and noticed that the cake had not been destroyed, instead someone had actually eaten a slice. A slice much, much bigger than the one that ruined my morning. I couldn’t help but shudder at the idea of someone actually enjoying this monstrosity. I went back to the designer who had brought the cake and informed her of the development. She was amazed and said she felt a bit guilty, as she never expected anyone to actually eat it.
2 hours later, the cake was gone. Completely. Not thrown in the trash, not forcibly stuffed down the garbage disposal, not melted to oblivion in the microwave; just gone. It had been eaten. By my Office. I cannot pinpoint which individuals ate it, so I assume the shadowy entity that is the Office simply engulfed the cake in a Poltergeist style manner. I did not notice anyone convulsing in their cubicle, or otherwise acting as if they’d ingested something their body would reject, so it is impossible to discern the ultimate fate of the cake. It has given the Office sustenance, that is all I know.
This morning, around 9:30 AM, someone left a container of “Chocolate Cheesecake Fudge” in the kitchen. A small section of this (about the size of my fingernail) damn near put me into a diabetic coma. As of this post, the fudge is gone. While I have no empirical proof, I believe it has gone the way of the fruitcake.
Becca has informed me that “4 boxes of yellow creme filled, fudge covered, nasty cookies” disappeared from her office in a record 22 minutes. Perhaps this beast is larger than I initially guessed.
In an attempt to understand/study my workplace, I have created a flow-chart of how to handle food in and around the Office: