I’m Going to Leave a Bowl of Spaghetti in the Supply Room and See What Happens
I woke up in a bad mood this morning because last night I watched Mamma Mia! which is quite possibly the worst movie ever made, even when you include that thing I saw on YouTube where some random people in an office are doing the Electric Slide in the middle of the day. The only good thing about Mamma Mia! is the song and dance number over the end credits because (a) Colin Firth is completely committed to that sparkly blue Spandex jumpsuit, and (b) it indicates that the movie is over.
But speaking of YouTube, this morning I saw what I consider an instant classic, entitled “guy uses webcam to catch the office thief.” That’s a copy of the original video, which was removed at the request of the original poster’s company, but which will exist in perpetuity in ganked copy after ganked copy because good luck eradicating anything you’ve ever posted on the internet.
Since that copy will probably be gone in about a minute, I’ll recap:
Guy keeps bowl of fruit on desk.
Pieces of fruit go missing over a period of about a month.
Guy sets up webcam.
Webcam records Cleaning Woman brazenly taking apple.
Webcam records Cleaning Woman brazenly eating apple.
Guy makes screensaver of Cleaning Woman taking and eating apple captioned, “Stop stealing my things”; leaves webcam in place.
Denim-Pants Coworker notices screensaver, shows it to Khaki-Pants Coworker.
Khaki-Pants Coworker guffaws.
Coworkers and their pants leave.
Cleaning Guy comes in to empty trash.
Cleaning Guy sees screensaver.
Cleaning Guy makes “Baroo?” face.
Cleaning Guy makes schadenfreude face.
Cleaning Guy continues to make schadenfreude face.
Cleaning Guy is really really enjoying the feeling of schadenfreude.
Cleaning Guy goes and gets Cleaning Woman.
Cleaning Woman sees screensaver.
Cleaning Woman is confused.
Cleaning Woman is indignant.
Cleaning Woman picks up apple and makes puzzled face so as to indicate that she’s never seen fruit before in her life.
Cleaning Guy waves it off as if saying that this is all nonsense and she should forget about it.
Cleaning Woman and Cleaning Guy leave.
Cleaning Guy returns to shut the door.
Cleaning Guy returns again to look at screensaver some more.
Cleaning Guy returns yet again and takes a picture of the screensaver.
I pledge my eternal love to Cleaning Guy.
Evidently, the original video got something like 100,000 hits and started quite the debate in the comments section. Some people felt that the Cleaning Woman was clearly a thief and the guy she was stealing from was entirely justified in using a camera to catch her. Others felt that a bowl of fruit on an office desk is no different from a bowl of candy on an office desk and everyone who works in that office is free to take from the bowl. And the largest percentage of commenters felt that even if the birth certificate is real, there’s no proof that Hawaii doesn’t move around in space and time like that island in Lost, so Obama’s still not a U.S. citizen.
Initially, I thought, “thief! thief!” But the “bowl of fruit = bowl of candy” argument might be convincing me otherwise. If it were just one apple sitting on his desk, I would say it was clearly his. But I don’t really see the point of keeping a week’s worth of fruit out on display. If you want to eat fruit every day, you can bring fruit every day. There’s no reason to build a little shrine to it in your office. After all, a person doesn’t lay out five salami sandwiches on their desk each Monday and expect them to last the week. As far as I’m concerned, if you have more than one salami sandwich, you have too many.
More generally, it’s been my experience that the person with the bowl of candy on her desk is often kind of an ass about it. They don’t ever not have a bowl full of candy and should some hapless new person tentatively ask, “do you mind if I have one of your Tootsie Rolls?” they put on a facade of offense and say, “of course not! That’s what it’s there for! This candy is for everyone!” but they also complain all the time about how no one ever gives them any money for all the candy they give out. Or if someone does give them money, they complain about the amount. “Bob gave me a dollar. I guess he thinks I buy my candy in the 1930s!”
No one has a candy bowl on their desk in my office. (My office-office, that is. My office at home has a lot of chocolate, but it’s the sugar-free non-delicious kind. I buy it when it’s on sale, and the cashier invariably asks, “is this good?” to which in reply I sigh mightily and say, “not really.”) Sometimes someone will come back from vacation and bring candy, but this ends up being more of an annoyance than a nice treat. One of the assistants is perpetually dieting, but is extremely bad at it, so that when a big box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts makes its appearance she whines, “I wish people wouldn’t bring in caaaandy. Now I’ll never lose any weigghhhttt,” and she groans literally every single time she passes the box. This goes on for several hours until she finally takes a piece. Then she repeats the process until all the candy is gone. Everyone generally tries to eat more than their share just so the groaning will stop sooner. Groaning is not an appealing sound. One time just to avoid the drama altogether, someone who’d gone to New Mexico or Arizona or someplace brought back two kinds of salsa instead of candy. Unfortunately, they didn’t bring chips, so the jars just sat there for a few days until someone took them home.