The evil geniuses from Marketing have been working their wiles.
In other words: snacks.
“That was the best meeting I ever ate,” George once said to me. And in the early 90s, before austerity measures were instituted and budgets were bound and trussed like so many jealously guarded hens, the meetings were, indeed, tasty. Meeting at 8:00? Surely there will be bagels? Lunch meetings? Mmm, yes, please.
That was then, however, and this is – let me check – yes, this is now. The stringy, slightly bitter "now", where lunch meetings are held without lunch, breakfast meetings are a sordid, bring-your-own mash-up of black bananas, instant oatmeal, and, of course, Starbucks, and the cubicle-cruisers know who has candy jars at their desks and who does not.
Which brings us to Marketing.
Robin, a smiling, cheerful little SOB, holds out a little bucket of donut holes.
Robin provides, on her own dime, periodic snacks.
Robin is one of my favorite people.
“Take two! Take two,” she says, jiggling the wee pail of donut bits under my chin.
What could I do? Taking fewer than two would be insulting, don’t you think?
“Gunk-oo,” I say, my mouth full.
Several hours later, Robin appears again, her slender fingers clutching several bags of M&Ms.
“Treat?” she says.
“What?!” she says, laughing.
She knows “what”.
“What are you trying to do to me? I can’t afford new pants, you know!”
She sidles up to my chair, looks furtively to the left, to the right. “Don’t tell anyone,” she hisses.
And with that, she lifts her shirt.
And ladies and gentlemen, the woman is wearing the cleverest pair of elastic-waistband-ed pants I’ve ever seen.
I swat at her. “Oh, go on!” I say, channeling my grandmother. “And take your nefarious little butt-expanders with you!”
Robin laughs and moves on to her next victim.