Office Rituals

This is how it goes in my office when someone makes a run to Sonic.

E: Do you want anything? I’m going to Sonic. Of course you don’t want anything, you’re healthy.

Me: Actually, I want a milkshake. Here’s all the money I stole from my husband this morning, let me know how much it turns out to be and I may owe you.

E: Oh please, don’t worry about it.

Me: Just let me know, I can pay you back tomorrow.

(Later that day…)

E: Here is it, I just put it on my card, so let me see how much I owe you.

Me: Whatever, don’t worry about it at all.

E: I’m pretty sure I owe you ten cents.

Me: Because that totally matters in my budget.

E: Let me see if I have a dime.

Me: Seriously, it’s fine, I’m good.

E: If you need it, let me know. If you have a vending machine emergency.

Me: I will come to you first, I promise.

E: Do you even drink Sprite anymore? Of course you don’t drink Sprite anymore. That was just a pregnancy thing.

No matter which two people on the team are having the conversation, the obsession with minute amounts of money and indebtedness just fascinates me. Through careful observation and notetaking, anthropologists would probably be able to determine the minimum and optimum number of disclaimers from each side.

I wonder if the elaborate nature of the ritual is because we’re in Texas, or whether it happens the same way up North.

One part of the exchange is specific to me, though, and that’s the repeated insistence that I have far better eating habits than anyone else. This delusion arises because I don’t drink coffee or caffeinated soda, don’t like chocolate, don’t eat meat, and usually bring my lunch instead of going out. But these people also know me well enough to have promised me cake every day if I would come back to work, so it’s not like they haven’t seen my love for sugar in action. Honestly, the only reason I don’t bring a pint of ice cream for lunch these days is that it would melt on the bus.

One thought on “Office Rituals

  1. Grace

    The thing about tiny amounts of debt happens everywhere, as far as I can tell. Among anyone other than very close friends/family, it seems to be a point of pride to make sure you are square to the penny, or (even better) you’re on the “generous” side and end up with ten cents less or whatever.

    As far as the healthy eating part, I get that too. I think anybody who brings their lunch gets it, at least if said lunch is not a frozen entree.

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