Tag Archives: lifestyle

Love Letter To America

Like any true love, we want the best for those we care about. It is also essential to be honest. And so I will be honest with you because I care and because I love you. We were tested by this pandemic America…and we were found lacking.

While politicians and business owners are chomping at the bit to resume life as usual, I feel that something will be lost if we don’t take time to consider what the Corona virus shutdown was meant to teach us and why we are so quick to act like like it never happened.

Although I am not a nurse, doctor or respiratory therapist, I was considered “essential” and therefore worked through the last 6 months of this ongoing pandemic. It is perhaps the fact that I was not furloughed or quarantined that I find myself longing to embrace a once in a lifetime chance to see how the world was without us in it and to see what we can now bring to our lives that we wouldn’t, had we not been forced to pause.

I feel strongly that we got a glimpse of what life would be like without humans. And it was amazing. When human activity came to a halt, murky lagoon water returned to a beautiful aqua color and dolphins frolicked in the canals of Venice. Around the world, animals came out of hiding and took up residence in city streets and town centers. The air was clean. Even though I continued to trudge back and forth to work, the peace in the air was palpable. It was quiet!

I suppose I quasi-quarantined at the weekends and when I wasn’t on the hunt for toilet paper and Clorox wipes, I began to feel the need to gain some control of my reality by beautifying my back garden with flowers and doing a quick redecorating of my living room. I checked on family and friends, relieved that they were ok. I felt that we were all part of something bigger than ourselves. Yes this was global technically but the pandemic called us all to rise above routine and comfort, above convenience and what is known.

It wasn’t until people took to the streets with signs saying “I want my manicure” that I realized we were not all in this together. Other than procuring essentials, there was nothing to busy ourselves with. This was a chance to see the world differently and to perhaps make some changes. It was the first time I could glimpse peace on earth.

Yet people screamed out “I HAVE TO WORK?” “OPEN UP!” We have been tested America and we have been found lacking. This was a golden opportunity not to only stop a pandemic (that has gone on to kill over a hundred and sixty thousand people…and counting), but to reset, regroup and maybe even get in touch with our hearts that have been crying out for change. People complained before this that they felt lonely, unfulfilled, that they hated their jobs. That they didn’t have time to exercise or meditate. People in the millions were playing the lottery, hoping to strike it rich so they could walk away from soul-destroying jobs. What are we racing back to? Smog, traffic, pollution, sick wildlife? To paraphrase Thoreau, did we really want to race back to leading lives of quiet desperation?

People were willing to risk their lives, as well as ours, to work, when every health expert advised against it, not because they loved their jobs, but because they hadn’t saved ANY money or prepared themselves in any way for the eventual disaster that would befall them. We’ve seen severe reactions and blatant disregard for human life in the name of desperation. Protesters belittling and spitting on battle -weary healthcare workers was the breaking point for me. This is not us being our best selves. I promise you I’m not here to judge, I’m just asking you to think about what transpired. Because people don’t plan or save.

It’s more important in our society to have the latest iPhone, or the newest model car than to be adult and make our selves feel safe. So afraid are we to be judged or found lacking that we put our own lives at risk. Believe me, I’ve had to learn some hard lessons too but that is the thing, are we willing to learn from this and make better choices?

If everyone had a year of savings to get them through tough times, what would this time have looked like? Would people still have taken to the streets to demand to return to dead-end jobs? Who knows what life may have looked like. Some may have taken up painting or learned to play an instrument, they may have welcomed time to rest or learned to perfect that souffle. Others may have delved into nature or started reading books. We didn’t just fail our healthcare system and those who perished, we failed ourselves.

What I found most striking was the sheer inability of people to calm and soothe themselves. Some people were making more on unemployment than they did in those jobs they screamed to get back, Instead of being more loving, caring and generous, or adopting the “neighbors helping neighbors” mentality, many responded with anger, nastiness , hoarding and pushing others around in supermarkets. We witnessed something I never thought I would see; grown adults having temper tantrums in supermarkets and stores that attempted to protect their employees by asking them to temporarily, wear a mask. Temper tantrums! And denial that this virus even existed was off the charts. People were so accustomed to soothing themselves with things. That they were jumping out of their skin when left to sit with their own thoughts. Many took up drinking as a pastime and still others gave up completely.

My dear fellow humans, we must do better. We have to be able to endure, to soothe ourselves when life events take us by surprise. We must be able to handle distress when it comes to our front doors. I give you that this was a shock, most of us have not experience wars, famines, plagues or natural disasters. Yes it was stressful. Yes we had to take a step back and figure this thing out, maybe get creative and find new solutions. But to see the most basic aspects of civility, values and decency go out the window because people were unable to regulate themselves?

Again, we failed to teach ourselves, our students our children, the fundamentals of something we all have….feelings, and how to manage them. What do I do when I’m scared, when I’m lost, when I’m paralyzed with fear? What do I do? I know I didn’t learn that at home or in school. Why not I find myself asking now? Why not? What messages to do we get in our society about feelings? There’s no place for feelings in the workplace, in the military and in many homes. It’s ok to be happy right, but what about all those other feelings? We get the message that we should keep them to ourselves. Black people know all too well that they are not “allowed” to be angry in society. That doing so can at best have them judged and stereotyped or at worst get them killed. Women are supposed to be pleasant, have it together. What do we do when she’s crying uncontrollably or seething with rage? We don’t like it. And men of all colors learn very early on that they can’t be themselves, that they can’t cry, they can’t be confused. Look at the language that’s cropped up in the past 15 years or so “Man up, Suck it up, put on your big girl panties”. If you don’t hear it anywhere else, know that these are insults. These are negating statements meant to keep us in line.

We must be able to identify, acknowledge, process and release our emotions. It is essential to being human. How likely do you think it is that a young boy of 16 would shoot up a school if he had been allowed to own his feelings and those feelings were validated by others? So often we choose being cool and being aloof, cutting ourselves off from our own humanity.

To add insult to injury, we just happen to have a political system and media system that pushed fear agendas prior to and during this worldwide event. It is so easy to see the shortcomings of our country because we watched as country after country before us, handled this virus that was heading straight for us. They shut down, people donned, masks, they helped one another, they sang to each other and they cheered their health care systems. Their news was not alarmist, it was factual. Countries pulled together as we did not and have not since in many respects. We should not be too proud to learn from others. It’s a sign of intelligence.

Instead we fought with each other about science, about facts, and cue Q Anon…some of us left reality altogether! We blamed each other, railed against recommendations. We fought over rolls of toilet paper or we shunned our civic duty, refusing to do our part to contain the virus. At the time of this writing, people are getting summons for having Covid parties and not wearing masks. Other countries have seen us as the “teenager” in the room, always brash and unsophisticated in the ways of the world, but this time of lockdown showed us to be petulant children.

The good news is that many people did show up by helping others, wearing masks and understanding frayed nerves rather than striking back. We can still make lasting changes. We can learn to take care of our emotional states by using coping skills. We can reach out to others, to groups, we can journal, meditate, use mindfulness techniques, we can take walks in nature or get a pet. We can ensure our security by putting money aside. We don’t have to go from crisis to crisis. We can choose to pay of credit cards instead of buying that new video game or iPhone. We can choose love over fear, knowing that it will be ok, that we will make it out of this stronger and wiser for having had the experience.

What will you tell your grandchildren when 2020 goes down in history? That you refused to wear a mask, that you threw your groceries around or coughed in someone’s face? Or that you helped neighbors obtain groceries, that you learned to meditate and it made you a better person. That you realized with some quiet reflection that you don’t actually like being a lawyer and you only did it to make your parents happy. And that is what made you the best at what you do today.

Grasping or holding on for what was, only gets you more of the same. We could have come out of this time wanting to save our beautiful planet, having valued so much how the earth renewed herself in mere weeks. We could have championed the rights of animals after we saw how they gathered when not constantly harassed by well-meaning humans. Such was the case with a pair of pandas that finally mated when they were afforded some privacy!We could have opened our hearts to so much more love and compassion; having empathized with the staggering suffering we saw before us.

Is it too late? I don’t think so. It is never too late to love and be loved, to care for the earth and the animals, to beautify your lives and listen to your heart. Yes this is America, and we have choices. Let’s choose the healthy ones, the grown up ones next time around. Let’s connect to our human-ness and take care of ourselves and each other.

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The Middle of Nowhere

Country Road

Country Road (Photo credit: freefotouk)

When I’d drive from New York to Florida or back, I’d often stop somewhere in the middle, the middle of nowhere that is. As far as I was concerned, there was New York, there was Florida. That made up the east coast.  Then there was California on the west coast.  I made weekend trips into Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and down to Washington but that was pretty much it-my America was made up of bookends really.  My road companions agreed and if I got a call from someone checking on my status and they asked where I was, I never offered the name of the town or the handful of historical sites that I had passed. My answer was always the same. I’m in the middle of nowhere.  Usually the caller would understand and express concern and offer the same advice. “If you get pulled over, don’t argue with the police there. Just say yes sir, no matter what. And get the hell out!”

Anyone who has made this trip knows about the signs for South of the Border. Pedro bombards you with billboards that start about 100 miles before you get to it and by the time you do get there, your expectations arThe Strip  - South of the Bordere through the roof.  Wow, what is this South of the Border place? What’s going on? What a let down! It is a little place off  the I-95 highway that is terrifyingly plastic with a mish mosh of plaster sculptures that don’t make sense. They have souvenir and firework shops.  I never made the Mexican connection with this remote area of South Carolina but after all the signs one must at least stop in to check it out, especially when road weary.  I remember getting out of the car and into an eerie stillness that was disturbing on many levels, especially when fake Mexicans and apes were staring me down.  I wanted to scream and get back in the car.  Apparently SOB has a website now, very high-tech, and they explain that they have several restaurants and motels. An added bonus is that they can host conferences and weddings. No thanks. If I want a Mexican wedding I’ll go to Cabo thank you very much.

Back to the point at hand, again, here is this Mexican hot spot, in the middle of nowhere with hardly a soul in sight. The other main attraction on this route is Cracker Barrel. When you are tired and cranky and hungry, this place is an oasis.  Home cooked food, homemade desserts and a shop with interesting things to buy-from old-fashioned candy to picture frames, seasonal items and Christmas decorations. I love it.

Kids looking through bins of Webkinz at a Crac...

Cracker Barrel in Pueblo, Colorado, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have since moved to the South and after leaving a Cracker Barrel one day and driving from one country town to another, it hit me. I have moved to the middle of nowhere! Oh my God, I’m one of them!  One of these people who seemed like aliens to me before.  People who didn’t live near the ocean, museums, ports or places where they make books. You know, civilization of any kind.  Then horror of horrors I realized that any of the patrons at Cracker Barrel, who had done the same as I had years ago and exited the highway while en route to more exciting places, thought I was one of them too!  Aw bless, she doesn’t know what a Broadway show is or what the Hudson looks like, poor thing!

They do have Barnes and Noble, oh I made sure of that before I came.  And, as long as there is a Barnes and Noble in the vicinity, I can handle just about anything else. When the Bible Belt goes to church, I pop in to a quiet B&N and sip on a Chai Latte while flipping through books and magazines at my leisure.  When the whole of the South is watching college football, I can meander through empty aisles at my favorite shops or enjoy not waiting at favorite restaurants.  They also have Publix grocery stores here and anyone from Florida knows that once you’ve been in one Publix, you’ve been in all Publix (Publixes?) and it feels like home. Ok the pizza and bagels are crap but it is nice to drive with little to no traffic and to have open skies and green vistas.   We even get Broadway shows. The road company but still Broadway.  It’s not the same, no one could mistake a little country town for New York City, but it’s quiet for the most part.  I have more than a postage stamp sized garden and I see birds that aren’t pigeons.  We have outdoor symphonies and poetry night at the coffee place-come on! Would I move somewhere where there are Neanderthals? Many barbecue year round and take trips to the beaches and lakes in the summer.  Even Starbucks and Trader Joes have found us.

Yes I do miss the mom and pop shops of New York and finding one of a kind items. Though what one loses in the unique and new one gains in not being in the rat race and not feeling the pressure to be ahead of everyone else; on the train, with fashion, news and art (Oh! You didn’t know they were showing Elizabethan toothbrushes at the Met? All my friends have seen it. You must go. You didn’t see Rent? That is a travesty, how could you not have seen Rent? You don’t live on the Upper West Side? That’s where all the good restaurants are now. Any one who says it isn’t is just lying to you. You haven’t been to Cannes?). Blah blah blah.  People are neurotic because the city never sleeps. New Yorkers are bombarded 24/7. What am I missing? What’s going on? What happened, I have to know!!!  The worst thing in New York is not being in the know. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you are rich or poor. If you know something before everyone else, you have cachet. But it’s so exhausting!

New York will always be my city and I love it like a family member but the middle of nowhere gives me a break from all that and lets me be me. Don’t mind me as I wander aimlessly for a while in the here and now, in the I’m OK, you’re OK. You get back on the highway and catch up with your friends. I’m going to have my little cotton socks blessed while I sip on some sweet tea. Y’all come back now, ya hear?

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Happy Easter

Easter eggs Deutsch: Osterreier im gepflochten...

Easter eggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was so excited to have Good Friday off yesterday.  The spirit of the season was at hand and I had the bright idea of going into town to buy plants, mulch and other springy things.  Lowes was jam-packed with lines in all directions. Obviously I wasn’t the only one thinking SPRING.  The feeling of rebirth and renewal was in the air.

The funny thing was, when I tried to pull my car around for a Lowes employee to put bags of mulch in my car, no one would let me in to get there. This was after I was practically run over by someone with one of those industrial sized carts with not so much as an “I’m sorry,” and had someone cut in front of me in the 20 minute line I was on.  Trying to go anywhere was a nightmare. Every store was packed. And best of all, as I drove around a tight curve, I inadvertently went over the yellow line a bit.  A man coming in my direction, and no I was not in jeopardy of hitting him, actually yelled out in a heavy Southern drawl, “you’re over the line, bitch!” Bitch? Are you kidding me?  That was a bit harsh, no?  I could not believe my ears and felt assaulted.  On the eve of one of the holiest holidays, on Good Friday itself, I was shocked to see how many people were NOT peaceful, were NOT charitable and were NOT showing any signs of brotherly love!  Are these the same people who will be sitting in church in their finest clothes on Sunday?

Usually around Christmas and other holidays there is a softening, an “oh go ahead of me we’re all in this together” sort of atmosphere. But not yesterday, no way!

It’s more striking to me here in the South when there is such a focus on Jesus and bible teachings.  Many churches here even act out the scenes and hundreds come to view a ‘living bible’. One would think then that the teachings of Jesus would be foremost in people’s minds here if anywhere right?  I’m not bashing people from the South or their religions, I know a lot of good people here and it doesn’t just happen in the South. And I know that many people do practice what they preach.  But it’s so funny to me that all the ideas of love, acceptance and forgiveness, those ideals we hold dearest in our hearts and nod to as we are reminded of them by a minster or priest, just go out the window by Monday morning or when we happen to have a lot of Spring shopping to do! Why don’t we look into each others eyes and hug each other Monday morning instead of mumbling “morning, I need coffee.”  Why don’t we take out our wallet when the person in front of us at a store has to put items back because he doesn’t have enough money to pay for them?  Why do people with money just buy more things instead of giving it to people who don’t have it to put food on the table or clothes on their backs?  And, why don’t we let impatient Italians into a stopped line of traffic when we can’t go anywhere anyway?  Why aren’t we living the ideals, that millions of Christians are celebrating this weekend, every single day?

And people wonder why I’m not religious! But…. I do believe in the truths and ideals that all religions believe in, specifically the ones mentioned above.  If we lived these daily we wouldn’t need drugs or material possessions.  If we lived these daily we wouldn’t have crimes and we wouldn’t hate. There wouldn’t be us and them.  I believe if we lived the principles of Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness, there would be peace on earth and I think someone tried to show us that.   Happy Easter!

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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My Year In A Cubicle

An image of a lot of cubicles that seem to go ...

An image of a lot of cubicles that seem to go on forever (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was reminded of my year in a cubicle this week as I’m moving from an office back to cubicle life again.  I was less than fortunate to work in a tiny cubicle in 2005, for over a year.  Provence it was not. I’m not sure if people realize it but cubicle life has a subversive subculture all its own.  Ok that may be extreme but it does have strange quirks that are funny and beg to be written about.  My personal definition of cubicle:/kyoobikel. n. The vealization of previously free range human beings.  Vealize: v. To stuff or cram into a small space, to ensure efficiency and or tenderness.  The cubicle is a small space that, like torture implements of days gone by, can be made smaller and smaller and smaller as cheap companies try to squeeze more bodies into an existing space instead of obtaining larger offices.

On my first day of work I was brought into the office and there before me, stretched out like a sea of grey on a rainy day, were dozens and dozens of nondescript cubicles. To quote Eddie Izzard, they were interesting in an extraordinarily boring way.  I wondered how I would make it back to my own cubicle after lunch and wished I’d brought a sandwich from which I could at least make a bread trail.

The funny thing about cubes as they are affectionately referred to is that although one is mere feet or inches from their co-worker, people block out or pretend not to see or hear what their co-workers say and do. This is good form and good cubie etiquette. So, you can have a situation where a colleague is fighting with her boyfriend for an hour, neglecting her work all the while; cursing, tears streaming down her face complete with hushed hysterics.  She gets off the phone and turns to you saying “can you believe that!?!”  And, the correct answer is, “Oh sorry, what?  Sorry I wasn’t paying attention.”  The hysterical one, also knowing cubicle etiquette, yet knowing there is no way on earth you hadn’t heard, relates the episode in its entirety so as to maintain delicate cubie balance.

On the other hand, it is not uncommon for cube-mates, again inches away from each other, to call each other or email things they don’t want overheard. The walls do have ears my friends.

Adjusting to cubicle life was very difficult indeed. Difficult and dangerous!  During my first few weeks I nearly killed my co-workers.  Once when crossing my legs, my foot hit a metal bar, which capped off the end of the cubicle lovely I might add, which flew down and almost decapitated someone.  Another time I opened my overhead file cabinet only to knock another colleague in the head!  To avoid injury, I quickly learned that I could only move my chair up and down, not backwards and forwards, as rolling about could be hazardous. To be fair, I must explain that the cubicle I had consisted of the following: cubicle wall, about 10 inches to the back of my chair, about 10 inches to the edge of the desk and the desk backed up to the other cubicle wall.

How do people cope with such small, drab surroundings devoid of any sunlight, nature or interest of any kind?  I’m thinking of draping my new cubicle in fabric and putting down a rug. Some bring in candles, pictures, pretty lamps or a plant to simulate a homey atmosphere. Others attach wedding photos and children’s arts and craft projects to fuzzy cubicle walls. Still others light up a joint and who could blame them.

My very first cubie experience happened years ago.  I was doing temp work for a large, reputable publishing company in Manhattan.  My co-worker rose from her seat, came round to my cubie opening-there are no doors-knocked on the thin metal frame and asked if I minded if she smoked.  As this incident occurred in the late 1980s and there were no restrictions on smoking at that time (God I’m old), I said no. Of course I didn’t like it but didn’t feel I really had a choice. So there I sat, typing away in my little cube as the smoke rose and gently fell on my side of the “wall”.  I noticed that it wasn’t cigarette smoke I was smelling but marijuana. I believe I mouthed the words oh-my-God! As cubicles also do not have their own ceilings the smoke made its way out of the area and down the hall.  It was not long after that a manager visiting from Texas confronted my neighbor and promptly had her fired.

There is this weird schematic thing that happens in the cuber’s brain as it constructs walls, ceilings and doors where there are none. Cubicles more than 10 feet away are like separate continents.  Your group, your cubie family as it were, consists of those who work on the same account or project and whom you can hit with a paperclip with minimal exertion.  Paperclips are the cubie equivalent of emoticons with their tongues out or :P.  So, the comment “nice shoes, guess someone hopes to get lucky tonight” is met with  paperclip fire over the wall.

Then there is the interesting behavior that is created by the cubicle environment.  Some are as territorial as junk yard dogs. God help the cuber (cubite, cubiphile, cubilite, cubinilean?) who does not have a partition to delineate their space because there will always be someone to come around to challenge it and take it away. These hyenas of the working world are those passive aggressive among us who push the legal sized proverbial envelope when it comes to boundaries.  They are the ones who wear enough perfume to choke those within 100 foot radius (equivalent to approx 980 cubicles), play music LOUD, sing hymns to themselves, LOUDLY and open their folders and binders to ensure that at least a corner comes to rest on your countertop.  I had one person ask if she could “store” things in my overhead file (that’s when I bopped her! KIDDING!…or am I).  I had another person, who had the same amount of drawers and wall space, ask if she could hang flyers on my bulletin board!  WHY??  Oh they are slick my friends.

Other people, knowing full well that one need only whisper to be heard, TALK TO THEIR CLIENTS LIKE THIS AS IF THEY WERE HARD OF HEARING!!!  I worked with one person who did this and she managed to evade me for weeks because when I encountered her at other places like the copier or the kitchen, she spoke, not only quietly but I had to lean in to catch what she said. I would hear her start in with “MRS JONES HOW ARE YOU TODAY??? and I would drop my pen and run around to the other side of the cubicles to find out who it was.  I needed to know who was 1) annoying me but 2) breaking cardinal rule #1-to speak quietly at all times.  Because cubicles are so close together, I had a fairly good idea where the sound was coming from but was foiled every time she put the phone down. I would attempt to catch her out by going to the printer intermittently, but somehow like the Scarlet Pimpernel she would elude me.  I gave up trying altogether and then a cubie cousin saw me roll my eyes one day during a particularly piercing projection and said “that’s our Angie.”  Angie! AHA! It was her?  Big mouth by day, Little Voice by night.  It was as if putting the phone to her ear activated an unseen force in her vocal cords.  I wanted to scream over the cubicles LET THE ELECTRONICS WORK FOR YOU THAT IS WHAT THEY WERE MADE FOR!  I later found out that Angie had been made to move from her previous locale as she sat near the Vice President’s office who had his head done in by her eruptions-did I mention that cubie gossip dies hard?

We haven’t even touched on the gossip grapevine which exists in cubie life and is faster than the DSL I have at home!  When I decided to leave this job I walked about 30 feet to my supervisor’s office and by the time I walked back to my cubicle the entire office knew I was leaving.  I could actually hear my co-workers in other aisles saying “did you hear? Dana is leaving.”  But for those who have boyfriends in jail, pending foreclosures, recently suspended licenses and domestic disputes, life can be hell.  No matter how much people say they won’t tell or try to suppress, word spreads like butter.

Butter reminds me of the two worst smells one can endure in cubieland, fish and popcorn!  Lunch times were particularly taxing to the nostrils.  It seemed that the only time people ate at their desks was when they had fish for lunch and it would hit me like a punch in the face.  The smell of popcorn would commence about an hour after lunch and would hang over the cubes like a noxious cloud. If the cubicle was designed to ensure that people could focus on only that in front of them, it failed miserably because there were days when I just simply could not get any work done. Between the sounds of Angie the phone fanatic or the Jamaican hymns of save me Jesus Jessica and the combined smell of what I like to call fishcorn, my mind, like my crappy computer, would freeze! Ugh, they put you in a cube, then tell you to think outside the box!

It was always at these times that the office stalker would come around.  You know the one, every office has one-that person ready to pounce on you at the coffee machine or printer. If you don’t know someone like this but notice that you lose the will to live around someone?  That’s the one. You don’t know her but she somehow believes she is your good friend, or biggest fan-scary!  She attempts to elicit information about your private life and does not or chooses not to pick up on subtle cues such as when you turn around and leave her talking to herself or when you start stapling your own fingers together to avoid the pain of her conversation, gossip and insult to injury, bad breath.  She has an uncanny sixth sense and knows the perfectly worst time to come round and literally hangs off the side of your cubie like an office monkey.  “Hey, Dana, what’s wrong? (she frowns for me)”  Uh, nothing? ” Oh, I saw you just sitting there and I know you are always so busy.” Oh my God what the &#^% do you want now?  I say in my head.  Outwardly, blank stare. Blink. “Oh ok, well I’m going to lunch, talk to you later.”  Slow nod, big sigh.

Back to food though.  There is one word. One word that is magical in the cubicle world.  One word that turns the grey to all the colors of a kaleidoscope.  One thing that makes it all seem, habitable, manageable, at least for one brief shimmering moment………..cake. “Cake? Did someone say cake? Suzy, Joe, there’s cake in the conference room, hurry up!” And all round the office that little word is sprinkled over cubicles like fairy dust and one can see heads popping up faster than a whac-a-mole carnival game…ahh cubie cake, thank God, I can make it through another day.

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