Jim Gaffigan has a bit in his stand up where he talks about his love of cake, and how even if it's celebrating a birthday at work of someone you hate, the chance of having cake causes you to drop grudges for some delicious dessert. Having never worked in an office before, I didn't know if such actions were true. I knew that I loved cake, but I also knew that being stuck with someone I can't stand may not make the experience worth it. If I'm with a person I want to strangle, would the cake still taste good?
Yes, yes it does.
At work today, one of the tech guys was celebrating his birthday. I won't go into much detail about him, because I think he could fit several blog entries down the line, but just be assured that myself and the other temps are not big fans of his. He's kinda mean, pretty obnoxious, and is very rarely in a good mood, unless he's talking about fast food or Battlestar Galactica. We tend to avoid him whenever we can. This past Sunday was his birthday, and today as is tradition in the office, a card was passed around, and an ice cream cake was purchased. Here's the thing:
When there's a card from the office, generally everyone tries to come up with a clever/funny line to sneak in there. Lots of little inside jokes, etc. It's a real challenge coming up with stuff. With THIS guy, it wasn't that difficult. He had a card littered with "Happy Birthday!" or "Hope you had a Happy Birthday!" Just real touching stuff. Quite frankly he didn't deserve anything more.
The cake is brought up by two of his co-workers, it's a tiny affair with candles in the shape of crayons, and when the singing starts(the scene with the birthday cake in "Office Space"? DEAD ON!) it sounds like a morgue in the conference room. He knows it too. But doesn't have a soul, and can't compute that this isn't normal. The cake is put down, and he makes a comment about hoping they didn't use trick candles. They didn't. My dream candle for him would be one filled with C4, but hey, I'm creative. The cake is handed out to everyone and we all eat. And for the rest of the time, only one person is talking to the birthday boy.
Truthfully, I think that's how he likes it. He's not very social, so I'm sure it was his dream scenario. Me? I had to spend an extended stretch of time with anti-social people from work, but I had ice cream cake and it was like everything was alright. The power of cake powered me through the moment. I hadn't been so touched by food since the bacon on my chicken salad sandwich at lunch, an hour and a half earlier.
The lesson here? Bacon's awesome.