Posted by: Vicky V | September 13, 2009

Reversal of fortune

I love food. How it tastes, looks, can change my mood and make me walk quicker to the supermarket. When I need an instant pick me up I’ll reach for a GU cheesecake and put this on repeat:

How, then, did I end up working in an office that survives on nothing but hot air and vitamin water?

While I was searching for a theme for the office away day, it occurred to me that a reintroduction to the joy of trans-fats and sugar was going to be the best way of kick starting a lethargic, credit crunched office. There’s something exhausting about watching your colleagues go to great lengths to avoid a packet of rice cakes.

It was time to give these under-nourished bodies exactly what they need to feel excited again.

On the morning of the away day I replaced the usual morning skinny caps with full fat Monmouth lattes and platters groaning with pancakes, maple syrup and pain au chocolate. Like the first person on the dance floor at a wedding, Bernard dived into a plate of Danish pastries (god knows his little whittled ankles need them) and everyone followed suit. Minutes later, the room was buzzing with energy. Apart from Cream Horn, who just looked nervous and hunted. But that’s probably because I’d seated her next to a plate of pointy pastries that looked like her.

Next up was the rounders match in Regents Park which was greeted with enthusiastic applause by everyone apart from Karen who said she wasn’t sure she remembered how to walk, let alone run, in anything lower than a four inch heel. We thought she was joking until the game started and we witnessed the zig-zaggy hobble that gained a violent and directionless momentum and culminated in a crash with Cream Horn.

CH was a bit bruised and shocked but mostly annoyed that her Balmain jeans were now ripped in all the wrong places.

I had been most anxious about the evening party. My heart was in my mouth as everyone poured into the bar and beheld the sounds of monkey cries, waitresses in leopard print serving vats of jungle juice cocktail and projections of lions and tigers on the wall. Rather than the excitable cheer I had been expecting, there were hushed and appalled whispers. Bernard took me to one side and asked me how it had escaped my notice that Zack is an ardent supporter of animal rights and that fake animal skins are nothing more than offensive and tasteless to him.

Karen was responsible for this. How could I have fallen for her games? I made mental voodoo dolls of her and drowned her in vats of chip fat.

Just as I thought the ground was going to open up and swallow me whole, Ben cut through the atmosphere by turning off the monkey soundtrack and declaring how clever it was to interpret the workplace as an animal kingdom, after all, office politics started off in the jungle! Everyone laughed. I thanked him. He told me to do my research better next time.

Then I took my place in a dark corner with Bernard and a jungle juice and watched as Queen Lion made her lowly meer cat subject bow and scrape and earn back her respect for ruining her denims.

As I got up to leave, Zack approached me. He put his hand over mine and asked me to stay for one more jungle juice. I could have sworn I heard him roar.



  1. […] had re-started, I set to raiding the makeup drawers and wardrobe. Maybe I was being mindful of the last time I saw him, maybe it was CH’s use of the term “fierce”, I don’t know, but I gathered as much animal […]


%d bloggers like this: