August 22, 2015 by kmwelden
A podcast I listen to, Reply All, sponsored this thing called Email Debt Forgiveness Day. It’s for people who have waited way far too long to respond to those particular emails that you just wanted to deal with later… and then never dealt with at all. On Email Debt Forgiveness Day, you just replied to the email as if no time had passed—no apology or explanation needed. I loved the concept. I didn’t participate, because I’m obviously super responsible and respond to all email inquires in a timely (and eloquent!) manner.
But hey guys! Happy Blog Debt Forgiveness Day! So glad you made it out to join me on this special occasion! And since it’s just not polite to dwell on the past of lapsed bloggers, I’ll just tell you, without further ado or preamble, about a weird thing I did at work last spring that I’m sort of still embarrassed by.
I have a coworker, who I will call Liz. (Her name is actually Liz. I really don’t care about protecting people’s right to privacy. She’ll probably never read this.) Anyway, I came in to Liz’s reading center to help her do a bunch of make up sessions for kids who were behind in attendance. She brought me a chai tea from Starbucks, because even though it was technically “my job” to be there that day, she is a nice person and recognized that I was helping her out.
Let me be clear—Liz and I are not friends. We were merely coworkers for a year on this crazy road of life. We didn’t communicate outside of the workplace, and even while working, our interactions were pretty infrequent.
I was, however, very grateful for the chai tea, because I wouldn’t purchase a $5 drink for myself from Starbucks, even if my mouth was actually on fire. It just would not happen. Unless I was drunk, in which case I would buy ten of them and pass them out to strangers along the streets.
Liz also had one of those Starbucks breakfast sandwiches. The ones that look like this:
It was clearly for her. It was clearly not mine. She was clearly eating it. But all morning, this little voice in the back of my head kept needling me: Kait, that sandwich looks pretty good, huh? The temptress: Just take some—no one will notice. And my favorite voice-in-my-head-rationality: You deserve it. Like what even is the logic there? I deserve this girl’s breakfast sandwich more than the person who bought it? Says who? This voice in my head is obviously an entitled brat, which is not so far from who I am as a person at times.
Alas, I held out, and the morning went on. The voices only intensified. When the ten o’clock hour hit, I could no longer control myself. It was like someone had crawled into my body and was just taking the lead, and that bitch wanted a bite of that sandwich.
I waited for Liz to leave the room. There were only two bites taken out of the sandwich in question. I looked around to check for any witnesses, and after ensuring that no one was watching, I picked up the sandwich and helped myself to a bite, put it down, and then immediately moved as far away from her desk as humanely possible without leaving the room entirely.
And as oftentimes happens with me, moments after committing some weird, bizarre, or inherently rude act, I was seized with a panic. The less-food-motivated and less-bratty voice took over. (I prefer this voice. It makes me feel like I am not a sociopath.) This voice felt really weird about the entire incident. This voice let me know that Liz would definitely notice. This voice let me know that it’s not cool just to eat peoples’ breakfasts.
Alas, this story has a pretty boring ending. Liz, if she noticed (she had to have noticed), never said anything. I spent the rest of the day worried that Liz had G-chatted all of our coworkers to tell them what a weirdo I was, and I compensated by being overly friendly, which is always a dead giveaway that I am up to no good. And now, months later, it is brought up from time to time in conversation with friends, when they say “Hey, Kait? Remember that time you just ate that girl at work’s sandwich?” Because as embarrassed as I am by this event, I cannot resist telling all of my friends, and also the Internet, about exactly what happened. We can all have a good laugh about it together.
(And also yesterday I took a handful of a coworkers almonds from a table without asking. But I think it’s cool, because Karissa and I are tight.)