So the other day I thought I had left something in the freezer at work for lunch. I go to the fridge to make it and realize the freezer is void of any of my stuff. I explain this to the coworker who saw my disappointment and she said "go to the Diversity Potluck- they're inviting everyone." While I was not pleased about the idea, I ventured down the hall to the conference room. Typically, all of us in my division treat all-village get-togethers like a covert operation. We go in a group, try to be as invisible as possible, grab a plate of food and high-tail it back to our desk. This my friends (sorry John McCain reference there), was not in the cards on Thursday.
I arrive with my tiny saucer plate, to grab one or two items and am greeted boisterously by about four women who I have never seen before. "Hi! So glad you came! Grab some food and sit down!" I didn't bring anything and I told them so, explaining I forgot my lunch and it was about 4 degrees outside. "That's alright- it's for everyone!" [continues to blink widelywith plastered smile on her face] At that point I couldn't leave, so I obliged and sat down next to one of the 12 strangers in the room. Aside from my Boss' Boss, and his Boss, I know no one except for the another director who comes up to me, introduces himself for the 5th time (in a year and 1/2) like he has never seen me before in his life. The next thing I know, my name is drawn from a plastic schoolbox for a $25 gift card for a hunting/fishing outdoor gear store that I have never been before.
So here I was, showing up 45 minutes late for the meal, a stranger to all 15 people that attended and prepared food that day, made and brought nothing to feed others, and I am chosen for a gift card that while nice, is something I never desired. I felt so ridiculous. With my red face, I went back to work and was promptly teased by my co-workers for the rest of the day/my work career here for being a mooch. Great.
In other news, I am reading a book called A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest Gaines. It features the story of a young black man sentenced to death in the 1940's South, and a teacher who shows up to visit the wrongly convicted man to teach him how to die with dignity and as they say in the book to be a man. It is pretty good in an assigned high school reading kind of way and I recommend it.