WTF Friday: Metaphoric Cookies

downtown buildingI was downtown yesterday afternoon tabling at one of the high rise buildings. I’m always intrigued when I go to these places because I don’t work in that kind of environment. People wear ties and suits and they have vending machines and multi-level offices, each with its own kitchen. It’s like visiting another planet.

So I was there to spread the word about the great work we do and encourage them to volunteer. They had us haphazardly placed in a very posh break room. They were serving cookies and coffee and cider to entice their employees to venture out of their cubicles and hopefully, hear more about the non-profits they are partnering with for holiday drives. The line for the cookies was long. The line to talk to us was non-existent.

As I sat there amongst my pamphlets and handouts, I watched the people scrutinize the size-able cookies. Some would pick out just one, their favorite. Others would shove two, sometimes three onto a cocktail-size plate. A few used the “cover my mountain of cookies with a napkin” technique, hoping no one would notice their gluttony. The line was clearly stretched out down the length of the room and the trays of cookies were quickly dwindling and yet people, knowingly, would take more than one cookie.

See, if it were me, I’d be hyper-aware that there was a long line of people behind me who wanted a cookie. I would take one in the hopes of leaving more for the others who had not yet gotten their turn. That’s just how I am. Maybe that’s my people pleasing nature but maybe I am just a thoughtful person who likes to play fair. Besides, those cookies were ginormous!

I think possibly this whole cookie business is metaphoric for life. There will always be the people who will take and take, thinking only of themselves and there will always be the people who take only what they need (or sometimes not even that), thinking of others. And there will never be enough cookies.

“Cuz it don’t matter to the moon/If you’re not in my life/No the moon will just keep hanging round, hanging round/Like it’s just another night/Who find another place to shine/On some other lovers dreams/Cuz it don’t matter to the moon no, no/It matters to me/Cuz it don’t matter to the moon no, no/But it matters to me…”– It Don’t Matter To The Sun, Rosie Thomas


31 thoughts on “WTF Friday: Metaphoric Cookies

  1. And that is why you work at a non profit, sitting at a table, hoping to find volunteers to help some people out. And why they are all standing in line trying to get the most cookies they can. I might be a little cynical about the for profit salaries and perks.

  2. There are givers and takers in this world. Clearly, working for a non-profit, you are a giver who happened to be surrounded by a bunch of takers. Oh to see life on the other side.

  3. I like the metaphor! In the real sense, I’m like you…I would never dream of taking two cookies when there wasn’t enough for everyone. And I’d share. That has to do with both being a people pleaser AND not wanting to look like a fat ass. Two birds with one stone I say. 🙂

  4. I would totally make sure I took what cookies I wanted because there might not be any leftover for me, and feeling the scarcity would make me want to scarf more.

  5. I’m sure all those people who were taking more than one cookie were thinking only of their desk-bound colleagues and delivering cookies to the less fortunate. Now get outta my way while I fill this box for the unfortunates on the 23rd floor.

  6. I’m a take one and share with someone who missed out kind of girl. Or take a bunch and distribute them to the folks at the end of the line…

  7. when I was working at a BIG law firm, it was always the lawyers, those in the 6-figure income bracket, who were first to rape and pillage any “free” food


  8. Working at a company who (in my opinion) over does it on the “volunteer” for this and that bit, I can understand your line being nonexistent. The cookies… well, if something’s free, EVERfreakin’ONE wants some. Gah!

  9. I liked this. I don’t ‘know’ you, but you give the impression of being very kind and the fact that your reasoning for only taking one cookie, so that everyone could get one, didn’t surprise me. I think I need to surround myself with a few more people who take less cookies. (I once dated a guy who I suspect would have taken all the cookies, stolen any flatware laying around and kicked a puppy one his way out the door).

  10. I love that you used the cookies as a metaphor, one of my favorite things about reading your blog (aside from your openness) is your ability to turn a little situation into something deeper.

  11. You were sooooo close to me:) That kind of behavior came up at my work Xmas party last year, which was really annoying. There was a snafu and not enough food was ordered so it kept coming out in piece-meal (and it was in small plates so it was really filling anyone up at dinner time), yet it was the SAME people that kept getting in line first and helping themselves to heaping portions. It think it was the 4th time that food came out before I could get in before they ran out.

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