Sue is back from a week in Crete and she's bought a bag of sweets for her co-workers to share. Sue loved Crete, she swam, danced and had sex with her husband but the large bag of wrapped sugary treats gave a clear signal to us all, that we, her Monday to Friday crew were never far from her thoughts - and so we all sucked a sweet... for Sue.
A big cake via The Hummingbird Bakery appeared at work, placed precariously on the corner of an "end desk". Why? Of course it was for Jake's birthday! I remember adding more details to the penis penned in biro inside his communal birthday card. We all eat a piece of the cake. Jake took a Snapchat of it.
It's a nice work tradition. I too have felt the friendly glow of office bread breaking despite doing my best to explain I don't really celebrate my birthday and yet on a couple of occasions I've also had my card scrawled with a male appendage and had the cake as well!
However it is my belief that the working world has gone beyond these simple treats and now up and down the country, colleagues are taking part in what can only be described as decadent and debauched behaviour- perhaps even bordering on the indecent!
A new breed of eaters at work. They are sucking their fingers with faces smeared in grease and sauces as they devour the likes of spicy chicken wings with fries and a range of dips.
Look, I'm not opposed to work pals sitting in the canteen or grabbing a sandwich to eat at their desk because people are pressed for time - but this is a totally different kettle of fish, a kettle of fish that's smells and has been devoured by Jim in accounts and its one that is causing a work place divide between two camps - 1) The those who will comfortably chow down with no sense of why it is patently wrong to stuff their face at work and 2) Those who have a sense of dignity and decorum and will wait until they are at home before gnawing on a chicken carcass, or of course a vegetarian option!
A friend of mine recently told me that her former employer, a PR company would encourage a 'Lunch and Learn' once every two weeks.
Boss figure; "Let's shoot the shit team, I'll treat us all to lunch, but we'll stay in the office and use the white board."
The team proceeded to order, much to my friends' dismay, a full on curry. People gorged on Bombay aloo and double dipped their broken poppadoms in the mint sauce that dripped unchecked down their chins. It was the last days of Caligula, corporate PR style.
I myself have a ritual for eating my beloved take out curry. It involves NOT being in my place of work with anyone who may have once respected me! Because I just won't allow them to see me swallowing mouthfuls of jalfrezi like the seagull who chomped Nan's chips that day she visited the seaside. Treats are one thing but sitting at your desk doing restrained mini burps into your own mouth all day because you couldn't resist the onion bhaji at 1pm is something else all together.