This is going to be a tough week for office dwellers. Littered about the hallways, the makeshift zig-zagged aisles through cubicles, the kitchen/coffee areas and pretty much every office are little land mines just waiting to lure you in with their chocolatey variety and lollipopped goodness. A reach there, a grab here, by the end of the day that little land mine has made its way to your belly and is starting to rumble. Driving home, you and your bellyache are looking to crash on the sofa, prepared to do more damage.
The week following Halloween is a rough one. Parents who have multiple children will bring in overflowing pumpkin buckets of candy because it’s too much temptation for them and their hopped up kiddies to have in the house. (They’re thought process: What’s point of hiding it if they know exactly where they’ve hidden it?) At work they can pawn it off to their childless co-workers who don’t have any left-over candy because they went to the bars Halloween night with their friends and only brought in their hangovers to work. Chocolate is good for a hangover right?
So with all the candied temptation that is filling offices across the nation this week, how does one avoid the ‘walk-by reach’, the ‘I’ve held out long enough grab’, and the ‘I haven’t had breakfast’ candy breakfast? Here are some creative ways I have come up with to help you tip-toe around, avoid and resist the little candy bowl land mines:
1. Find the path of least temptation. If getting to your office/cube/cell requires you to pass reception (big bowl there), and then to slide by the candy queen (mom of many kids) and around the corner to the skinny intern (small bowl here that she never touches or is tempted by because she eats like a lark and candy is not her thing. She’s leaving it out because she wants to be accepted and likes to meet new people), then you need to find a safer, more desolate route to get to said office/cube/cell. There’s always that path… you know the one. It’s just off to the side where that random guy you’ve only seen roaming the halls and never quite knew his name or where he sat resides. Just a random cube in a bleak section of the office. Stroll by that guy to get to where you need to go. A quick smile is all you’ll need to flash when strolling by since he’s not handing out any candy due to the limited amount of traffic he sees in a day.
2. Avoid contact with the candy pushers. Be it your boss, co-worker, or office roommate (that’s a tough one but there are ways to pretend they’re not there), these people bring the candy directly to you and plant it right there on your desk or too-close for comfort proximity. These people should be avoided at all costs for at least two days following Halloween. Some noteworthy tactics: when they walk into your space, pick up the phone immediately and begin a conversation with imaginary person. It cold be your mom, best friend, sister, brother… anyone. Just talk and wave off candy pusher.
If they’re your office roommate, zone out by putting headphones on. Even if you have no music to play that’s ok, they don’t have to know that. The look is all you’re really trying to perfect here. They’ll pour over the candy they brought in, asking you which ones you like, are you going to have any, do you remember these ones from when you were a kid; all the while you’re bobbing your head to music, real or imaginary, and get to easily avoid any and all interaction with passive/aggressive candy pusher.
3. Get in good with the cleaning crew. The after work cleaning crew can really help you out when all else fails. It requires a little bit of patience at the end of the day when you’re ready to bolt outta the office, but your patience will be paid back tenfold. Just linger around for about an hour and soon enough you’ll hear the low hum of the vacuum cleaner start up somewhere off in the distance. Quickly locate this vacuum cleaner and inform the operator that all candy bowls are to be emptied due to a new HR rule about candy in the workspace and its hazards. Under no circumstances should any be left behind, except maybe the corner offices where the big wigs reside, no need to upset the upper tier. You look like a trustworthy person so the operator believes you and follows through and the next morning all is back to normal. You can go your usual route, socialize again with co-workers and feel satisfied that once again, you have diffused the candied land mines that littered your office and now everyone is safe.
Excellent work! You’ve saved yourself from unnecessary calories and potential bellyaches.Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 841-1121.