Here is a suggestion for office managers all over the United States. You might as well close up shop this week because little is going to get done.
I admit it has been a while since I worked in a traditional office setting. But for the 20 or so years that I did, what I remember about the week before Thanksgiving—except for the occasional harried lame-duck Congressional session—is the fervent exchange of information pertaining to food for three full days preceding the holiday.
I predict that, for the next two and a half days, the majority of office computers will be connected to Epicurious.com or the Food Network and that cookbooks will be pressed against the glass of copiers churning out recipes to be shared among staff members. Conversations normally confined to the lunch room will spill generously into working hours, as colleagues seek other’s advice for the best way to satisfy Aunt Minnie’s taste for goose liver pâté.
Just walk down the hall and you’ll hear the great debates—stuffing cooked inside the turkey or out? Roast turkey or deep fried? Giblets in the gravy or not? Pumpkin pie or pecan? How many fruits and vegetables can be slipped into stuffing without the children tightening their lips? (In my house, the answer is zero.)
More e-mail will be generated between employees and their families than within the company, so as to make expectations clear about arrival times, covered dishes and football schedules.
One person (there’s one in every office) will be attempting the latest Martha Stewart centerpiece and individual place decorations and feeling the need to draw her colleagues into the challenge.
A worker or two will try not to get caught missing of an afternoon, while dashing out to buy napery.
Okay, so the word is out. But am I wrong?