20 November 2012

the potluck blues.

Today is my least favorite workday of the year. It's the day our office holds its annual Thanksgiving potluck—which translates mainly to a bunch of boorish men hanging around together talking about sports, right-wing politics, and other conversational topics that make me want to commit harakiri while a handful of women fulfill their god-ordained gender roles by managing the food preparation and the clean-up. Meanwhile, I grit my teeth and hunker down in my office as though it's a bomb shelter protecting me from the atomic blast. 

I don't want anything to do with this tradition, but there's really nothing to do about it. You see, they actually schedule the potluck so that everybody is able to be there. I have in the past called in sick on the day, but you can only do that so much before your recurring illness is interpreted (correctly) as a deliberate snub. 

Every day of the year I radiate a white-hot toxic hatred for all these people, but my coworkers' sensitivity to subtler social cues is clearly underdeveloped. Maybe it's just pure egotism. Maybe they find it impossible to believe that anyone would not like them and enjoy their company. But I truly believe that anything short of locking them all in the back storage room and setting the building on fire would be misinterpreted as a personal quirk. (I've run through that fire-setting fantasy a few times in my head. The last words I inevitably hear are my office neighbor 'Sandy' crying out in her Michigan accent, 'You poop!' That's what she calls me when I'm unamused by her cutesy jokes and emails. If Sandy were an inanimate object, she'd be a Thomas Kinkade painting or an embroidered sweater set.)

My office looks out onto a small courtyard where a few of the men are already congregating. I've closed my blinds so I don't have to see them, but they're nonsensical chatter occasionally crescendos so that the window seals are powerless to keep it out. When I'm daydreaming in front of a spreadsheet—like I was a few minutes ago—I try to determine which one of them I hate the most. I recall past incidents, parse data, compile the pros and the cons... but it's no use. Just as I couldn't pick a favorite animal, I couldn't choose a most loathsome coworker. Each has his or her own set of deplorable qualities—and these qualities are just too difficult to compare and contrast on a one-to-one basis. 

I'm sure you all know what the upshot of today is, however. Because I have to endure this Thanksgiving potluck every year, I am all the more thankful for the four-day weekend which follows. I suck the marrow out of each of those days. I roll around naked, with complete abandon, in the non-presence of these horrible people. I even—to some extent—forget that this lousy place even exists. (What a cruel Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving!)

I don't want you to think I'm one of those squirrely employees who sits around at his desk all day plotting a workplace shooting. I would never do such a thing. I'm not ambitious enough. I'm a lazy man... to say nothing of the pesky moral compunctions. I'll just continue to silently hate these stupid fucks like any normally repressed human being would—until one day the acids burn a hole through my stomach and leak into my body. These clueless saps won't even realize what they've done to me when I drown in my own bilious hatred.


  1. There is a Sandy in every office location.

  2. could we have a freaky friday (or tuesday) sometime? i'm not sure all canadian offices have a sandy but i think we might have comparable annoyances. this spleen-venting made me really happy.

    and i really loved the allusion to rolling around. i'm sure you don't actually "roll around" but i do. in fact, i even say "roll roll" when i do it. :P

    my dream is to roll around in a field of cheeseburgers. i am sure that this is not practical, but i do like the idea of it very much. :)

    i know where i get this from -- when my dad was alive, he used to bust out his coin collection and then get sleepy and have naps on it -- i teased him that that's not what they meant when a person rolled around in money. :)

  3. You think that's bad (it is, but hear me out)? At least you can anticipate it -- one of my previous jobs would just surprise you with stupid shit like "Hawaiian Day" and other assorted nonsense, meaning that you'd pull your grubby ass out of your car only to hear squeals of delight as your co-workers are accosted at the door with lei-laden lower management (Sandys all) and a contracted cameraman asking you, "Tell me, what do you like about working here?"

  4. Your life would make a great reality show. I would just love to observe you radiating the hatred and watching you suffer through exchanging pleasantries as you start writing your next blog in your head.