Like most of you reading this, I am an adult. Unlike some of you young-uns, I have reached a nearly-august number of years, amassing experiences (forgetting most of them, sadly), friendships, and lessons along the way.
Usually, I'm pretty good at learning things the first or second time they're taught.
There's one lesson though that I keep having to relearn - the dreaded 'how to eat when you work in a cube farm' lesson. And not just HOW, but when, and what.
It's harder than you think. Just look at all this stuff you have to keep in mind if you're to do it properly!
HOW - quietly.
WHEN - you're hungry. Preferably when other people are eating, so your mouth noises are masked somewhat by the masticatory efforts of those around you. You might not be eating together, but you are eating with them. It's all about community, baby.
WHAT - Low-smell, low-side-effect foods are absolutely KEY. If you have stinky food, take it to the cafeteria. Salads and bland cold cuts are fine. Cauliflower and garlic bisque, nice and hot, is not. Chili is OK, because everyone likes chili, but whatever that is you just brought back from the microwave that smells like boiled tires and look about as appetizing? No. Also, bear in mind that after you've eaten, your innards are going to be active, so don't gulp your food, chew thoughtfully so to lessen the churning, and keep the liquid intake low so that you're not sloshing while digesting.
These should all be common sense, right? A little 'love your neighbor as yourself' goes a long way when you're breathing the same air.
Which, of course, is why I just downed a cup of chili, a nice big green salad, and a huge glass of water. Let's now deconstruct the ways in which I've broken the 'how to eat in a cube farm' rules, shall we?
Lunch at 11:30 - not many other people eating right then. Also, not too much in the way of collegial banter being tossed around. 'Cover noise' therefore low.
Chili - fragrant, so breaks the 'stinky' rule but not by much (see previous 'everyone loves chili' factoid). Real downside is the beany fiber goodness that's sure to get the gut a 'churning in a little while.
Salad - stupidly crunchy, so breaks the 'low noise' rule. Also, more fiber. I feel like I should start apologizing to my workmates now, but wait, it gets better!
500 mL water - currently, if I were to jump up and down, I'd sound like an anchored Criscraft on Lake Michigan. Little waves of liquid lapping up, burbling, bubbling, sloshing and slapping. All that water doing its thing, hydrating and mixing, heaving around in peristalic glee. That, combined with the beans and the greens will no doubt cause me many a moment of embarrassment in an hour or so, when people get back to work, the chit-chat fades, and the gentle sounds of my intestinal action permeate the air in ever-more-worryingly urgent tones.
All because I'm a doofus and ate and drank what I wanted instead of what it would be nice for my coworkers to have me eat. You know, something like a piece of melba toast (no wait, too crunchy) or a can of tuna (too stinky!) or maybe just a nice bag of parenteral nutrition. Quiet, non-stinky, parenteral nutrition, fed through an IV line, no chewing involved, no cooking, no stink, and no borbyrigmous efflux as an after-effect.
I'll have to look into that. Wonder how much a bag-o-nutrients costs, and if one of the nurses in the safety group mind hooking a sistah up around noon every day?
Could catch on, you never know.
I won something from Lisa. So it's a good day.
Oh, and I have declared that it's 'go bug a lapsed blogger' day today. You can pick from almost any one of the blogs on my sidebar there, click through, and leave a nice long comment on a blog post that's 1) the most recent and 2) at least a month old. Tell 'em I sent you and I'm sick and TIRED of looking at the same post and they'd best get their fannies and fingers in gear and post something dang soon.
I'd be grateful if you would.