Since my transition from country living to city living I’ve had the luxury of working day-to-day in the comfort of my own home. This of course has its perks, but also its downfalls (i.e. all work and no play makes Kristi a dull boy).
Talking to Bruce (my cat) as if he were an old baby-friend has never made me feel particularly eccentric and I’ve never even been fazed by my ability to carry on a discussion with myself (I’m the most introspective person I know, right me?). That being said, lately I have noticed a frequency in cat-self conversation that might spill beyond the “normal” point: Two days ago I caught myself asking Bruce how to do a screen shot on my MacBook and yesterday I asked myself to answer the phone.
So, cabin fever might be setting in … and the frigid outside temperatures aren’t doing much to remedy the situation … but what is the most horrific part (or lovely part, depending on how you look at it) of working from home? The sudden and mysterious disappearance of food days.
Food Day, the day at work that makes a standard potluck gathering look like a continental breakfast at the Red Roof Inn, is a day held dear by all cubicle inhabitants roaming the corporate landscape. Little known fact: In corporate America, food days go against the concept of simple economics in that they are in high demand AND high supply. When analyzed from a real estate industry perspective, food days are like being in a buyers market AND a sellers market at the same exact time. Is this making you hungry?
So some of you might be wondering: “What the heck is a ‘food day’ … and why have a food day?”
“Food Day” is not just a clever title. Taken literally, it is a day of food that typically occurs in the workplace. A food day’s purpose is celebration. Celebration of virtually anything worth celebrating. Birthdays. Retirements. Anniversaries. Farewells. Welcome backs. Holidays. Certifications. Designations. Promotions. New babies. Weddings. Project completions. Supply cabinet restocks. Asbestos removals. The addition of Coke Zero to the vending machines. Tornado survival. Tiger-escape-from-zoo survival. Taco bar addition in the cafeteria. Seasonal changes. Etc.
Now you’re asking, “How is a food day confirmed by employees?”
Typically an email is sent to a department titled, “Food Day Friday” or whatever day the event shall take place. A truly organized food day will include a sign-up sheet posted in a convenient location where all participants are required to list what they plan to bring to avoid standard delight duplication. The unspoken rule is that an individual who does not contribute to the food day shall not participate in the food day unless he / she is the reason for said food day. This rule is commonly broken.
When sponsored by a single department, non-participating departments can catch wind of the food day easily and in a variety of ways. Scent immediately notifies those not involved in the food day that there is, in fact, a food day. Another way a food day will be revealed is via office-gossip. For example: “Did you hear that HR is having a food day?” This single statement is not only heard by the recipient to whom the communication message was directed … this utterance, no matter how quiet or seemingly small, is immediately heard across oceans of cubicles. Ears perk up and tummies rumble. People in corporate America commonly forget that in a building full of carpet walls … word travels fast.
Sight is another sense commonly regarded as a food day’s dead giveaway. Sight notification occurs when an individual whose nostrils or ears were earlier notified of the food day decides to venture out into the unknown to identify the location of the food. Once the site of food has been determined via the naked eye, it is this individual’s job, because he/she is a team player, to eagerly run back to report the information to his/her fellow work-cronies.
Now you ask, “Are there any complications brought on by these alleged food days?”
Absolutely. I argue that food days, although fun and tasty, are rather detrimental to the health of corporate America. The typical food day spread consists of cookies, cakes, pies, taco dip, potato chips, cheese spreads, sweet tea, pizza, meatballs, and cocktail weenies. These foods are so plentiful during one’s typical 2,000 calorie day that the excess treats tend to spill out from the tip food pyramid in a gush of sugar and fat. 2,000 calorie days double or even triple during a standard food day.
Not only are food days unhealthy and promote poor eating habits, but they are also consistently supplied at the absolute worst location: among fields of desks where people sit for hours on end, moving only the tips of their chubby sausage fingers in front of a glowing computer screen. Productivity can be low, and caloric intake can be very high.
In conclusion, food days are prevalent, easily identifiable, fun and well-rounded events yet fatty deposits grow exponentially with every bite of cake and dip of a chip. Since I’ve transitioned to a work-remote situation my fatty deposits have shrunk but my crazy deposits have expanded.