What is the deal with people and free stuff?
Offer something free in your workplace and people will fight to be among the first to shove a choice donut down their gullet, or elbow their way ahead of everyone to reserve a particularly festive container.
For whatever reason my office finds itself the home of excess food or sparkly goodies left out for the enjoyment of all. And people? Lose their minds for free stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s the sandwiches that no one wanted, the veggie scraps left in the sandwich basket or the festive receptacle from some floral arrangement- people go apesh*t for free stuff.
I’m not even exaggerating here you guys. The following is a list of true-life stories about people that are greedy for freebies.
I was asked to schedule a lunch for a meeting that was being held in the office. I followed the instructions to the letter. One of the guys that was eating the lunch complained about it. Doesn’t like “all the fancy spreads” the place used. Asks me (I’m putting this nicely) to ask the Squirrel what she usually orders because that’s what he likes. Do you know what he likes? White bread. He’s offended because the place we order from doesn’t use white bread. For his free lunch he can’t eat some brown bread like a grown a$$ man, he wants white bread. I was waiting for him to request that I also cut the crusts off. Its free buddy, pick a sandwich, grab some carrot sticks and sit the f*ck down.
Speaking of the Squirrel- she is among the worst offenders, interrupting important client meetings to “clean up” lunch debris so that she can do the first leftover onceover and keep all the choicest bits for herself. Rumours abound about her cellophane lined pockets and stash of containers to transport her stash. I’ve never actually seen her stuff leftovers into her pockets (although I honestly wouldn’t put it past her) but I know that she is always overly eager to clean up after other people’s lunch meetings.
You think the Squirrel is bad? There’s another one- let’s call her the Magpie. The Magpie likes leftovers but loves shiny things. In the beginning of the new year we kept getting vendors sending 2011 calendars to various people at the company, some that no longer worked here. Magpie was always first on the scene- I thought she was just being helpful, what with me being fairly new at the time. No, no there was a method to her madness. She was the first one there because she wanted to be the first to go through these calendars and see which ones were worth taking. What anyone would do with 10 different 2011 calendars is beyond me, but hoarders just can’t help it. Yeah, I used the H-word. She has a storage container that she pays a monthly rent for, that is filled with boxes and tins. Woman loves tins. And boxes. Whenever we get a complimentary floral arrangement from the building management company, the Magpie is always the first to put her name on the vase. At Christmas she wanted the poinsettia basket. Woman? Is a HOARDER.
I’m waiting for the day when I have to referee a fight between Squirrel and Magpie over some amazing glitter encrusted lunch. The Squirrel is currently rifling through the mail looking for whatever excess magazines/offers she can pilfer no doubt.
I’m powerless to stop the freebie monsters. What am I supposed to do? Tell a grown woman that she can’t have the vase, even though no one else has claimed it? Tell the guy who wants white bread that he will eat what is ordered for him or he can’t leave the table? The Squirrel…well that is an entirely different matter. People know she takes food and they don’t like it. Especially when clients are paying for the food. Plus she’s not a fan of showers so her wandering around anywhere near the food-well that could be strategy on her part. Maybe she hopes that appetites will be lost and she will have more food to choose from. I personally try really hard not to be anywhere near her dandruff-y head before I take off for my lunch.
But that’s just a personal choice.