Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's The End Of Holiday Work Life As We Know It, And I Feel Fine

Just in case my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel hasn't heard...there will be no faculty turkey dinner this year. Sayonara, loaf of bread and bag of frozen corn in the freezer. You won't be missed.

Oh, we had more than that. There's a rich history to our little gathering. Only a chosen few are privy to the details. But I'll fill you in. You know how a pot luck goes in the workplace. There's that guy who always brings a loaf of bread from the day-old bread store, and spends the next three days asking, "How was the bread? Did you like the bread? I brought the bread." Sweet Gummi Mary! You'd think he planted the seed, harvested the field, thrashed the wheat, ground the flour, did whatever else you do to make dough, and baked that loaf, taking care to procure a machine to ensure identical slices of his magnanimous contribution. Because surely he must have done something to work up such a huge appetite for the broughten food of other bringers.

Then there's the gal who waltzes in at the last minute, tosses a bag of frozen corn into the home ec room freezer (yes, I said HOME EC, not family science...a five-year-old Duggar knows how to do this stuff, it's not brain surgery) and says, "Here's some corn if anybody wants to cook it when it's time for lunch." Which you can be sure the support staff/office jobbers don't want to do, what with it being a thorn in their side that they must come set the food out on the table and warm up the heatables before the first lunch shift arrives. Excuse us for having the audacity to spend that time in a classroom with 25 adolescents as our contract requires, rather than in here sticking a thumb in each casserole, licking our fingers after touching each dessert.

Don't forget the accusatory glances, and sometimes hot pink poster board signs, from later lunch shifts, claiming that the firsties ate every morsel, even the crumbs much too small for the other Who's mouses. Or the sweet-teethers who grab a slice of every dessert, even going so far as to hide portions before school the next day to make sure they get their fair half.

Yes, I am no fan of workplace pot lucks. The turkey-cooker was never properly thanked or reimbursed. Folks who devoted Sunday afternoon and evening to whipping up a delicious side dish were treated with less respect than Rodney Dangerfield. So stupid were they, when all they had to do was grab a tub of Presidential Potato Salad off the shelf of The Devil's Playground. Mabel, your green beans were fabulous. You buddy's creamed corn casserole...not so much.

Over the years, I contributed special treats. Like my famous deviled eggs that took a couple hours time from my valuable Sunday schedule. At least the Bread Man still talks about them every holiday. He truly appreciated my evil chicken fruit. Then there was my fabulous Oreo Cake, baked from a box with love, only to be declared storebought by the disgruntled coven of plate-setter-outers. Because obviously, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a dirty unkempt pigeon lady who roams Central Park, the winged vermin feeding off her hat, waiting for the Home Alone boy to give her half a necklace, and incapable of putting together a tasty, visually-appealing dessert. And, adding insult to emotional injury, was the shock of walking in on The Coven feeding on large slices of that "store bought" cake before school the next day, and dumping almost half in the trash when the bell rang.

Furthermore, the 18-minute lunch period is not conducive to proper digestion. Only 14 are left by the time one figures out whether the meal is being served in the teacher workroom, just past the bathrooms, next to the Kyocera, or in the HOME EC room, where students in the classroom side turn to watch, one begging every 30 seconds, "Hey, can I have some? That looks good. You have plenty. Just let us have a bite."

No. I won't miss that awkward feast. I miss Mabel more.


knancy said...

You make me so happy that I do not work any more! I hated all the social shit. Just leave me alone and let me do my job! No way they say. Gotta' play. Glad to be retired.

Sioux said...

Yes, there are slackers at every workplace.

Some of my colleagues make a huge plate for themselves to eat at lunch AND they make a plate to take home and eat later.

It's like they're on a "3 hour tour" but they're prepared to be gone for years...

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yeah, the strong-arming to join in the reindeer games. A subtle form of workplace bullying. I'm sure we'll hear of a lawsuit in the near future.

OH! I forgot about the plate-makers. Most recently observed at our back-to-school catered breakfast, where food ran out before my side of the room was allowed to go through the line.

Sioux said...

Oh, crap. REM. One of my all-time favorites.