I smell like a bread maker with a drinking problem, which isn’t great considering I’m supposed to be looking, acting, and certainly smelling like a professional employee. Before I go any further, I want to mention that I wish I could write about all the various unprofessional activities I do at my desk to pass the time at work or simply describe my daily frustrations with using an expensive college degree to make copies for 12 dollars an hour, but I need to be careful. Thus, I will only tell you of today’s antics.
It’s very simple: beer, self-rising flour, sugar. Mix. Bake. It’s not the healthiest bread, but if you’re going to try to pull off a covert baking operation, you need something quick and easy. Plus, it’s delicious. I timed the preparation and I can do it in four minutes or less, just enough time to leave my desk and run to our building’s kitchen unnoticed.
To those of you who are veteran bread makers, this “secret” operation probably sounds ridiculous. Little did I know, baking bread makes an enormous smell. Within minutes of sticking the gooey concoction in the oven, my co-workers were wandering about the hallway asking, “Is that yeast?” “What smells like a bakery?” I shrugged my shoulders and quietly made my way to the kitchen to move my beer behind the trashcan.
When the first loaf came out, I hid it in a basket under some towels before taking it to Carrie at lunch. I was caught red handed putting in the second loaf, and by the third, I sent out an email telling everyone they should feel free to sample some in the kitchen. Within ten minutes of sending said email, an entire loaf was gone and I was being thanked and celebrated for my great masterpiece. I forgot that when you give out free food in an office, especially homemade food, you become a hero. I tried to explain how low maintenance the bread is, but it doesn’t matter. Desk jobs make people hungry. Hungry for a change of setting, a change of pace, even a change of taste or smell. I can only imagine how thrilled they were the day a 60-pound sign fell on my foot and I had to go home crying.
There I was, all alone in my office on the third floor, innocently walking to the bathroom to blow my nose when I bumped the counter and subsequently a large metal sign that was resting beside it. Luckily the sign fell on the top right part of my clumsy foot, preventing me from breaking any bones. Unfortunately it did not prevent any pain, swelling, bruising, or humiliation. The gash that tore into my leg made me feel so faint I had to sit in the bathroom on my office chair while Austin squatted beside me, patting me on the head. Yet the tragedy of the whole situation did not come until later when I had to be wheeled down the hallway in the same office chair, looking ever so pathetic, out to the parking lot in front of my peers and superiors. I think my ego was more bruised than my foot, but at least they had something to talk about.
If there weren’t so many spoofs on office life already, I’d be tempted to write one. The oddities and awkwardness and often straight humor are about the only things that pepper an otherwise mind numbing occupation. Baking bread was the highlight of my day, probably my week. Out of the 420 hours I spend at work Monday through Friday, I bet I spend over half of them trying to think up ways to amuse myself, and I suspect I’m not alone.
If anyone is hungry on Monday, I’ll be rolling sushi under my desk. Stop by.