There’s a guy where I work who keeps some candy in his office. And by “some candy,” I mean that he has a file cabinet (and no, I don’t mean a drawer in his cabinet, I mean the whole freaking cabinet) full of giant bags of fun-size candy bars, along with a plastic tub full of Twizzlers. And another one full of cashews. And yet another with York Peppermint Patties.
Now, on one hand, this guy is one of the greatest guys in the office. He’s smart, he’s nice, he gets tons of work done, and — this is important — he shares.
On the other hand, this guy just totally pisses me off.
Why? Ha. As if you need to ask.
He pisses me off because this guy — in spite of this enormous quantity of junk food he’s got within arm’s reach — has what I would estimate to be 0.0001% body fat.
How is that possible? There can be only three possible explanations:
- He has a crazy-high metabolism, and no matter how much junk he eats, he doesn’t get fat.
- He self discipline, and is able to eat his junk food in moderation.
- He just doesn’t feel a compulsion to — in the event that food is within his grasp — eat and eat and eat until there is no food there anymore.
Which of these is the case for my co-worker? Does it even matter? The important thing is that the guy has a cubic meter of junk food, and is nevertheless thin.
And, By Way of Contrast, There’s Me
I, on the other hand, do not have a file cabinet full of candy at work. Now, I do have a bowl at my desk where candy could go, should I choose to bring some. But it’s almost always a sad, lonely, empty bowl, with no candy at all (though if you bury your nose in the bowl, you may be able to catch a whiff of the candy that most recently — albeit extremely temporarily — occupied the bowl).
Why no candy in my candy bowl? Because of the following two reasons:
- I brought candy in in the morning, intending to share it, but, after deciding I would eat one or two myself, closed the door to my office and gorged until nothing remained but a pile of fun-sized wrappers.
- I did not bring candy in, because I know myself well enough to realize that it would not survive the hour.
What A Bowl (Or Lack Thereof) By Your Desk Says About You
So my co-worker and I occupy near-opposite ends of the office candy spectrum. He has plenty and is glad to share. I either have no candy, or am well on my way to that state.
Of course, the bowl of candy in the office is a widespread phenomenon. What that bowl says about you, however, has thus far remain unexplored.
I shall now correct that oversight.
- If you have a bowl full of candy that remains essentially unchanged over a period of months, you can be confident that, first of all, your candy sucks. Secondly, you can be confident that there is something about you or your office that is preventing your co-workers from coming over and eating your candy. Perhaps it’s that your office smells bad (if you’re a bike commuter, this is the most likely possibility). Or just maybe — if you’re the manager — it’s because they know that if they come into your office, you’ll give them extra work, and the candy isn’t worth the risk.
- If you have a bowl full of unwrapped candy, such as M&Ms, you have high confidence in your co-workers’ propensity to wash their hands reasonably frequently. Or maybe it means that you don’t have any such confidence, and by putting out loose candy, you figure you’ll give your willpower a boost.
- If you have a bowl full of different candy pretty much every day of the week, It means you work in a high-traffic area. Or that you’re really popular. Or that you have no willpower and eat all the candy yourself.
- If you have a bowl full of full-sized chocolate bars, you’re trying too hard. People can tell you’re trying to lure them into your office. Also, you’re trying to make other people gain weight, to offset your own.
- If you have no bowl, you are telling the world that you have no willpower, that any food near you will be eaten. You are saying, in effect, “Not only do I not trust myself to not eat snacks in my general vicinity, but you would be well advised to hide any snacks of your own.”
It’s also possible, I suppose, that you have a bowl full of healthy snacks.
In which case I have nothing to say to you.