Happy Easter! We’re heathens, so we don’t celebrate or even get dressed up. I spent the day reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver and sending inappropriate Easter memes to my sister and a former coworker.
On Friday, like most of the Twitter-verse, I read with great interest a short thread of tweets concerning someone in the office throwing out a colleague’s lunch of shrimp fried rice.
Please, read the tweets referenced in the story if you can. As someone who’s had her (properly labeled, non-smelly, work-fridge-appropriate) lunch summarily thrown out on more than one occasion, I was particularly transfixed with the story. I don’t know what was better: the wronged employee was allowed to view surveillance footage; his eventual decision not to confront the thief; the narrator going out and buying shrimp fried rice for EVERYONE, including the thief, just so he could see her reaction (which was: I LOVE SHRIMP FRIED RICE!).
I had my husband, who works in an office but in a completely different environment, and he was mystified that I was so worked up about it. “I like that you like it,” he lamely offered me with a weak smile, and I immediately took him off my list of people to whom I send inappropriate Easter memes.
Work is unique in that you’re thrown together with random people not necessarily of your choosing, yet you have the same common goal. When I was working, I spent more time with coworkers than with my husband. At my first job, my coworkers doubled as my friends.
At the same time, work is dreary and monotonous and I don’t care if people say “if you do what you love it’s not work” or some other facile hokey claptrap. There’s hardly any vacation. Health insurance is expensive. If you don’t have good chemistry then work can get passive-aggressive really quickly.
So the shrimp fried rice story simultaneously amplifies and distracts from the minor indignities one ensures at work. That’s what makes it great.