Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Need Some Distraction? Snack On This!

Any time between 4 and 6 p. m. in my office is just before we start getting into the thick of things. Suddenly, there is a crackling sound, that of a pack of snacks being ripped open impatiently. It may be plastic, but it's the sound of music, a very welcome interruption from the monotony. Sometimes the music could be metallic - it could be the clink of a spoon against a steel container.

If you haven't called out to your colleagues asking them to join you, never fear, they will come soon enough. "Ah, I hear plastic," says A (name changed and fake initial given to protect identity). She takes very little, snipping off just a piece of the fried treat, and retreats to her desk, thanking the donor profusely.

B (name changed, etc etc) will not only come over, she will take a little more, appreciate the snack, its taste,  its energy-/happiness-giving qualities, the donor's generosity and thoughtfulness for bring a bit of golden-fried goodness into a dull day, hover a bit relishing the taste and reluctantly depart to her own cubicle.

Then there's C (name changed, okay, all names changed) who will rise out of her seat in the next bay with a joyful smile, bite into it, analyse it, appreciate it, discuss the recipe with the donor, thank them once again and sit down, the smile lingering on.


D will worry about her weight, will be persuaded to have some, will have just a bit and then within 10 minutes, will be back at the donor's cubicle foraging for another.

Then there are those who walk by, driven there by happy happenstance, eat their fill, shower their blessings on the donor and move on. Of course, there are those who decline the snack too, but it never fails to bring in an extra bit of happiness into the atmosphere.

Depending on the person, the happiness is just a little dulled when the snack on offer is 'healthy' - like sundal, or fruit or oil-free food. Sweets and cakes are extra-happy-making, as are banana chips brought back by someone who has just returned from a holiday in Kerala. Sometimes prasadam from various religious places makes the rounds; sometimes it's chocolates brought from a jaunt abroad. (That's prasadam too, in my book.)

Sometimes, there's a repeat performance a few hours later, and then it's time to wind up and leave. Which of the above types are you? Are you a donor, a taker or both? What's your favourite office/tea time snack?


  1. I think i belong to the group D, who moans but still would gorge on the snack ;-)

  2. I'm a giver and a taker! And so long as the snack is savoury I'm a B+C+D sort of personality which means crunch is irresistible to me and makes me smile, but I worry about the calories too....
    And if you want to see someone to whom the sound od crackling plastic is music, then you've got to see our Cocker Spaniel in action! :D

  3. Haha.. your office sounds so cute! :D

  4. LOL! Isn't it a common scene in every office. I am mostly a giver and rarely a taker. A trait from A,B,C and D creeps into me depending on the situation and the snack the other person is offering. ;-)

  5. The happiest time in our office is Snack Time! Actually all day we spend talking about food - first lunch, then tea time and finally dinner :D
    We try and eat healthy - carrot sticks with dip, fruit, salads, fat free khakras... but of course every other day we give in to temptation and order in some yummy dessert or burger!

  6. At 4pm, if I am not in my office (all by myself), I am reviewing student work with other faculty and it is usually a cup of coffee that breaks the monotony. Sometimes, if I join them at lunch, we share tiffin and sweets.

  7. Loved this very cute post Sra... i miss being in the office and partaking in these exchanges... working from home can be quite a drag.

  8. I haven't worked in a traditional office set up in the last couple of years. But when i was, i remember colleagues all going off downstairs together for street food and paying for their own. There was hardly a snack time in the cubicles.
    I think i was more a taker then, but would be a giver now because i cook and bake more now :)

  9. At my office, no one comes over to share a snack :( If someone has something to share, they put it out in the common area or kitchen. Missing my Indian colleague terribly now, loved her sundal

  10. Anything savoury... I remember when I was in BL, Chandra bringing yummy home-made goodies to the office - ah, those were the days. Here in my office, the girls are always dieting, so bringing muffins and cakes for them is a waste of time. *sigh*
    I used to be a taker in those days when i didn't cook, but now I'm a total giver! :)

  11. Both! Give and taker. Unlike in India snacking is a private affair here in the US unless it is left in the common area.

  12. Finla, I'm a D too!
    Aparna, I remember that from your post on FB!
    SS, yeah, it's fun.
    Siri, I give and take, both. And I agree with your comment.
    Swati, I've taken carrot sticks, fruit, bean salads, fat free khakhras, all are taken, but it's the oily snacks that are the most loved by all.
    Anita, this snack precedes coffee/tea, which is had in the canteen.
    Laavanya, thanks. Well, that's one argument against working from home. :)
    La, we go out too, or rather, used to. Things have gotten busier now. We also have a pantry now at work, where there's a MW and a fridge, so some people use them.
    Bong Mom, here that happens only when someone gets a large quantity - they leave it in the pantry and spread the word, otherwise it's all quite personal.
    Shammi, She still does, on occasion, payasam for festivals, etc.
    Indo, like I was telling Bong Mom, here it's all one to one, unless it's a large quantity - then it's left in the pantry.