Monday, January 27, 2003
When it comes to entertainment, democracy rules; the lunchroom is where it's at.
Our employee breakroom is near my office; doctors rarely go in there, except for me. When I go in to get my lunch and heat something up in the microwave, I am often seduced into hanging around listening to the chat instead of going back and doing my charts. Today I walked in and was greeted by the inevitable "Ssssh... stop talking about her, she's here!" Playing along, I was soon sucked into the following conversation:
"When are we going to get the I 'heart' Dr. Alice T shirts?" says Staffer One to Staffer Two.
"What about I 'heart' Dr. Smith?" I parried. [Dr. Smith works in my suite. He's been here about a year and will be leaving soon, and I don't think anyone on staff is too upset about it.]
"Oh, great! We could just show a piece of bread with peanut butter on it." "Yeah, or a jar of peanuts - or the Peanuts characters!" came the response. This cracked up the other staffers in the room, but I didn't have the slightest idea what they were talking about.
"I think I'm missing something here, but I'm not sure what."
"He's crazy about peanut butter! Haven't you ever seen him chowing down? He's always got a friggin' huge jar of Planters cocktail peanuts or peanut butter in his office, and his mouth is always gummed up with it when we walk in. He can't even talk! That's why he keeps his office door closed all the time! It drives his nurse crazy."
"And I swear he comes to the office with toast in his briefcase. Like six slices," someone else chimed in.
I was giggling by this time, but stunned: "You're kidding! I did not know this." It's doubly embarrassing because his office is right next to mine, and I honestly had no clue. But I know how to keep a good conversational topic rolling: "You know he's rubbing it all over himself in there..." I added.
From here we naturally shifted to the crunchy-versus-smooth debate (I prefer smooth myself) as well as the merits of various brands. I broke into a heated discussion of Jif as opposed to Skippy.
"When I was growing up, we always had Peter Pan peanut butter. Do they even still make that stuff?"
"Oh, yes!" from Staffer Two. "My brother, he will only eat Peter Pan. But you can only get it at certain stores now."
I remember other hot topics of discussion. One day as I walked in, I had this question fired at me:
"You ever had boba tea?"
"No, I know what it is, but I've never tried it."
"Don't! It's, like, disgusting! It's got these huge fish eyes of tapioca in it and when you try to drink it it gums up the straw, or you get this huge slimy glob in your mouth. Ugh!"
Yep, hanging out in the break room is much more fun than doing charts. Added bonus: all I have to do to get a laugh from the staff now is to whisper, "Peanuts!" Or, "Rub some Jif on that rash and you'll be fine." Ah, workplace humor.