Monday, February 14, 2011

Lesson #42: What happens in the cubicle, stays in the cubicle.

I have worked in a number of offices with a variety of coworkers in different fields and even in different states of the union. No matter how different, there is one thing that every office has had in common:

Women who like to comment on what other women are having for lunch.

I would wager money that I could walk into any office anywhere in this country, peel an orange, and some woman is going to say, "I smell an orange! Someone has an orange!" I could microwave salmon, garlic pasta, or sausage spaghetti, and the result would be the same. Someone is going to hunt down "that smell."

What is a polite woman supposed to do in that situation?

Do I confess to being the barer of the smell?
Do I offer to share my meager left-overs?

I have never been good at small talk. And I'm not one of those women who finds it polite to comment on other people's private meals - particularly if they're hunkered down over a Tupperware container in their little cubicle or windowless office. It seems to me that leftovers for lunch are one of those things polite people shouldn't talk about -- like coworkers' salaries and what happens in the ladies room. For many years, I decided the easiest way to avoid this type of thing was to leave the office for lunch.

But I grew tired of being pirated out of my office by overactive nosey noses, so now I embrace the interaction. "Yes, that's my orange. It's a great orange! Do you want a slice?"

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