in the usual place

At work I sit on a floor amongst a lot of banking lawyers. Something like that. I don’t pay attention to these kinds of details. But here is a thing that happens at my firm in my section: Almost every day an email goes out to the whole distribution list explaining that someone brought in sweets and treats and they’re in “the usual place”  because: (a) they just came back from holiday or (b) it is their birthday. Sometimes the treats resemble strange British things that don’t sound appetizing to me, like flapjacks, and then I can resist. But mostly it is chocolate and lemon drizzle and “biscuits” and I am in trouble all the time.

The other day I casually meandered over while salivating and was very pleased to see someone had brought back Ghiradelli chocolates from a trip to San Francisco. Some of the women PAs were skeptical because they were discussing to one another that American chocolate is so disgusting. And worse that it would contain peanut butter. This launched a discussion about how they all tried Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups once and it was the most vile thing they had ever tasted. I remained mute, of course, because I like to appear as a silent British drifter that only comes into communal areas at work when there is food. But oh Reese’s, you’re so misunderstood abroad.


What I love is that these people just bring dessert in to celebrate their own birthdays. None of this passive aggressive weird American BS where we sit around the office waiting, like HMM I WONDER IF ANYONE REMEMBERS MY BIRTHDAY IS TODAY. I WONDER HOW THEY’RE GOING TO SURPRISE ME. And it’s almost like a law here. Even the strangest most awkwardly antisocial people bring in treats on their birthdays.
I am just getting so fat though because “the usual place” is right outside my door.

I always try and fake like I don’t immediately jump out of my chair when the email goes out. I wait at least 30 seconds and then I send a blank piece of paper to the printer so I can get up and seem very focused on my professional task that has taken me out of my office. When I pass the table I then always look very surprised like, what there is food here? I had no idea. Well I’m up, I might as well try a nibble. Reminds me of the brilliant routine by Louis CK (the first minute. The f-bombs are a bonus). Thanks Triner & Dave.

img_3922I came home yesterday to a package of candy corn because Jeremy and his sidekick heeded my desperate call for this American treat. I have good friends and I am very happy. Made with real honey!



Filed under food

5 responses to “in the usual place

  1. I love the idea of bringing in your own treats on your birthday. I think I’ll do that next year for mine. But how can anyone not like Reeses!!!! They are my ultimate favorite candy. I put them in the freezer and eat them frozen. Mmmmmmm!!!!

  2. Sorry, but I’m with my fellow Brits on the Reese’s peanut butter cups.

    I discovered yesterday that a friend here has never tasted a Cadbury’s chocolate flake (well, why would she?) That is definitely a very sad loss. I have promised to go to World Market and see if I can get her one.

  3. tosha

    damn! jeremy beat me to the punch. i guess you’ll get your fill …

  4. yael

    Holy, I am so excited.

  5. It’s so much easier if people bring things in for their own birthday. In fact the first school I ever taught in, we had a case of wine glasses in the staffroom because when it was your birthday you were supposed to bring bottles of wine in to share AT LUNCH! Before going back and teaching the kids! (Made a nice change from nipping out to the pub and trying to ignore the 6th formers who were inevitably there too!)

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