#255 That guy who brings treats to work on Friday

Office jobs are tough.

I know we cubicle farmhands aren’t exactly hammering diamonds in dusty mineshafts, landing planes in snowy storms, or performing emergency appendectomies.

But still — what we’re doing is complex mail merges to make envelope labels, compiling meeting minutes, and stapling through very thick piles of paper.

It’s demanding.

As a result, sometimes it’s tough getting through the week. When cloudy mornings, barking bosses, and long meetings got you down it’s time to get smiling with some office treats. Today we say thanks to the guy who brings them in — usually in one of five ways:

Level 1: Email Scrambles. A mass email is sent out reading “If anyone wants leftover brownies come to Sheila’s desk NOW!!!” Be careful because if you’re away from your desk you have to listen for slamming keyboard trays and quietly shuffling gang herds swishing down the hallway. When you spot a sugar rush like this there’s no time to waste — just jump in and get going. Slowing to tip someone off means no brownies for you. (2 points)

Level 2: Treat Fairies. This is the plate of lemon danishes someone leaves on a filing cabinet in the hallway or the box of donuts sitting in the lunchroom from yesterday night. Office raccoons like myself love finding goodies from Treat Fairies but they lose marks for freshness and selection. (5 points)

Level 3: Post Vacation Sugar Nation. Who came back from Japan with a bag of animated cat-themed jellies? Who got home from Switzerland with smooth chocolate loving? And what nut brought that bag of Ketchup chips from Canada? Yes, Post Vacation Sugar Nation help us forgive you for doing all your work for two weeks and they score points for their limited time nature and big surprise factor. Unfortunately, we can’t rank them higher due to the off chance of eating a candy-coated scorpion. (10 points)

Level 4 : Holiday Treatery. It’s all about that random moment near Christmas when cookies suddenly appear everywhere. When the admin’s homemade shortbread dukes it out with the Vice President’s expensive store-bought fudge the big winner is your stomach. See also: Girl Scout Cookie Scattering, Post-Halloween Dump, and After-Easter Eggathon. (15 points)

Level 5: Local Favorites. My friend Kristen works in a cubicle farm in smalltown Wisconsin where the local treat is a pastry called the Kringle. She told me that one guy brings Kringles to the office and everyone gets a special flavor which becomes their identity. She hates it when Banana Nut hogs the photocopier but loves it when Vanilla Cream ends the meeting early. You get the idea. Bringing in personalized local faves is the ultimate in Office Treatery. (20 points)

Yes, there are so many ways to get the treats going and the office flowing for the Friday night Funrise. So today we’re giving handshakes and high fives way up to the high skies for all those noble Cubicle Warriors bringing sugary sweets and tasty treats to pump us up for the weekend.


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75 thoughts on “#255 That guy who brings treats to work on Friday

  1. That used to be me!!! When I worked for a certain coffee chain, I got to take some of the leftover pastries at the end of the night to bring to school to the other starving grad students the next morning :)

    1. Oh my gosh. AMAZING! There was this kid I had a class with who worked for a bakery, and he would sometimes bring in a ton of day-old bagels. That was always so nice. Rare, but nice. :)

      1. Recently my company merged with another company, and the new company’s people are awesome at bringing treats! One of the first things they did was set up a food table in the middle of the office. And if that wasn’t great enough, one of their spouses is learning to be a pastry chef, and guess who gets to try all the experimental baking??

        1. I like that. I think the sharing of food in the workplace encourages camaraderie and improves moods. That’s been my experience, anyway. Everyone is just … in a better mood when there’re treats around. This may, however, have an effect on how peoples’ pants fit ;)

          P.S. Being friends with (or in your case, working with the spouse of) someone who is constantly looking for people to try experimental recipes should be its own awesome thing!

          1. lol @ “experimental baking”..

            Beware of the photosynthetic cupcakes, the neutrino absorbing eclairs and the relativistic pastries (they taste better the faster you eat them!)

            Oh – wait… not THAT type of experiments?

  2. oh man…


    this reminds me of my uncle billy. i’m gonna share this to my whole family. sadly this great uncle of mine who was THE goofiest guy I ever met (hence one of my favorites) passed away, but i will never forget how he used to bring donuts over to my house. he wasn’t observing some kind of arbitrary etiquette and he wasn’t trying to buy our love. he knew that little kids loved donuts and that was good enough for him. he wasn’t looking for a result, which actually made the love that much more genuine and stronger. rip uncle eully. OOOFFAAAHHH!!

    1. Aw, your uncle sounds very awesome. I’m sorry that he’s gone now, but thanks for sharing his story with us so that his awesomeness can live on!

  3. This also works @ school:
    *2 points if a teacher gives you a doughnut from a meeting they had and you were the first one into class
    *5 points if there are multiple treats left over that the class has to share and it is first come first serve
    *7 points to the random kid who has fresh homemade treats from last hour that they are handing out to “whoever wants one” because they are “trying to get rid of them”
    *10 points if someone brings in cookies or cake because of a certain day of the week (this could include birthdays, cookie fridays, or cool teachers who have rules to bring in a treat the next day if you are late)
    *20 points if it is a specific day that teachers and students MAKE SURE there are treats there….that’s right, I’m talking pi(e) day, and when you are younger, field trips and class parties

    So while it is great for those who work in offices, I am writing this comment for anyone who is still in school and still enjoys getting the occasional treat. =)

    1. *25 points if the whole class makes it together then eats it together.

      My chem class recently did a unit on food chemistry. Need I say more?

  4. Hilarious post – an instant classic! :)

    Great timing too – a friend of mine at work just brought my some fresh baked Banana Bread yesterday morning! And you know what I’m bringing her today as a way of saying thanks?

    That’s right, boys and girls..

    The Book of (Even More) AWESOME! (Complete with autographed book plate!)

    If that doesn’t prove that it was pretty delicious banana bread, I don’t know what does.. :)

    1. WOW! No kidding! Usually as a thank you for bringing in treats, I get my dirty dish returned or something. Way to be awesomely thankful, Freddo.

      1. It worked! I got a big hug for it, and heard the squeal of delight when she found it on her chair! (I’d previously given her the first book as well, so she already is a fan)..

        Hopefully this gets me more yummy baked treats, right?? RIGHT?? :)

  5. My department had ‘cake day’ every Thursday where I used to work. We took it so seriously that we even drew up a roster of whose turn it was to bring in cake each week. At one point we had a list of volunteers extending 4 months forward. So much cake…it was awesome!

  6. The big favorite around my office are the pastry hot dogs. MMM….
    Almost everytime my boss goes on vacation, she brings me a big box of chocolate from that place. And very seldom does someone make treats at home just because they feel like it and bring it into the office, but whenever they do it is awesome and tasty.
    Leftover goodies from the big board meetings are great too. The president of the company comes in and they have a big catered lunch with plenty left over for the rest of us.
    The last time we had any kind of treats or home-made goodies was about 2 weeks ago when one of the girls was quitting and we threw her a going away party. (we throw parties for just about anything, we love a good excuse to have a party) There was banana bread, cheese balls, couscous, hot wings, potato salad, ranch beans, chips and home-made dip, tossed salad, and of course delivery pizza. Not to mention all the great deserts….

  7. One of my bosses is amazing at making delicious treats at random for the whole school (faculty/staff, that is … not the kids!). I mean, at least once a week there is some awesome surprise stashed in the lounge with a little note that says, “Happy Wednesday! Enjoy!” Or a huge note taped up that says, “Ice cream cake in the hallway freezer — get it while it’s good!”

    We love those days.

    Bonus points for her bringing in something and actually cooking/baking it using the school oven, because then we get the added benefit of smelling it all morning as a build-up to our lunchtime treat! :D

    Also, I feel the need to note … I had a Kringle for the first time a couple years ago and it was seriously amazing. I would FLIP OUT if someone regularly treated us to Kringles. Lucky Kristin!

    1. Same thing with my boss, and that’s a great comment because it happened at my work just today! It was AWESOME.
      The score for today:
      – One seriously delicious oversized box of Nanaimo bars (5 points)
      – Dice shaped cubes of baked yummy with red bean paste from a co-worker’s Japanese connection (10 points)
      – Chocolate covered acai berries – that’s a new category – “Nearly healthy thank you gifts to staff” (25 points)
      THIS, and my coworkers themselves, is why I LOVE my job!

  8. We do “Friday Treat Day” in my college writing classes. When you teach grammar (of all things) you really do need treats, don’t you think? Great post!! By the way, my writing book comes out today! (“How to Write with Flair”)

    1. Wow, what an accomplishment! Just the kind of book I’d enjoy…seriously, I ADORE grammar and writing study. Hope you sell many copies!

  9. My office has a designated “up for grabs” area in the kitchen, which often has food on it. Sometimes it’s delicious stuff (fresh Vermont maple sugar! Homemade Christmas cookies! Leftover birthday treats!) and sometimes it’s just bizarre (a half-empty box of Honey Nut Cheerios! A bunch of mixed peanut and pretzel m&ms in a Ziploc baggie!), but it always disappears by the end of the day.

    1. We have a table that everyone puts food on, and it’s the same thing – sometimes it’s 1/2 a bag of chips, sometimes it’s donuts or cake, whatever anyone feels like sharing, but the same thing happens – it always disappears :) surprise snacks = awesome!

  10. One of my co-workers, Tina, is an amazing baker. She has bestowed us with mocha cupcakes with nutella filling, homemade chocolates, creme brulee, plum cobbler, and more. She is the official office birthday cake maker and not only are her cakes delicious they are beautiful works of art! They are covered with frosting flowers and birds, there are baby shower cakes with little sugar booties on top, a five layer cake shaped like a Christmas tree… every time she brings one in, everyone gathers around to take photos of it with their phones to send to their friends. The communications department even did a story on her in one of their monthly publications. The whole office is rooting for her to start a business, even though we will miss her when she becomes a millionaire. :-) And the “icing on the cake” (pardon my humor) is that not only is she a culinary artist, she is a fantastic person who can only be described by one word: AWESOME!

    1. OMG, Miss Anita, I totally sussed you out! Thanks for the props, for being my best cheerleader, AND “going public”. Y’all are very patient with my experiments and for indulging my as “the office feeder” ! :-) For those reading, Anita is a bad@ss guitar player in a band called “1/2 Mad Poet” (Look ’em up on FB)– she’s more AWESOME than all the office treats in the world! Mwwah!

        1. lol.. Careful Laura – in a few posts you might claim that you’ve never heard of “broccoflower” either.. :)

          btw: there are some AMAZING chip flavors in Canada that they don’t have in the US..

          1) Ketchup
          2) Dill Pickle
          3) “All-Dressed”.. (seriously.. they just take chips, and throw a little bit of every flavor variety at the things.. awesome)..

          and the one I personally miss the most??

          4) Sour Cream and Bacon!!


          1. I’ve seen dill pickle chips in the States, but sour cream and BACON?!!!!!! That sounds fantastic!

          2. Um, if by “broccoflower” you mean “romanesco”, then yes, I’ve heard of it … geez.

            Bahaha ;)

            But seriously, I have never heard of ketchup chips (I recall the bag-of-blood comments, but apparently not in enough detail to have remembered “ketchup chips”). I HAVE, however, seen and tried dill pickle chips from … my local Wal-Mart! So they are in some places in the US … guess you can pick some up when we attend some STL sporting events / you hand-deliver my new windshield wipers! ;)

            1. Actually lol’ed at romanesco comment.

              Perfect.. we can eat a big bowl of dill pickle chips while we finally watch When Harry Met Sally..

          3. There’s no dill pickle or all dressed in the states!!! I knew about ketchup, but WOW are you guys missing out.

            So funny about the sour cream and bacon because I had all but forgotten about them until I the other day when I was volunteering in a food booth and they had them for sale.

            My favorite……Old Dutch Creamy Dill. Delicious!

          4. We do have dill pickle! Come down south! We pickle EVERYTHING: Eggs, chips, pig parts, I could go on…

          5. There are no Ketchup chips in the States??? My mind is blown! I just assumed they were standard chip fare along with Original and BBQ. (And I assumed that everything good we have, apart from Tim Hortons, originally came from the US.)

    1. Americans don’t have Bounty Bars either! And Smarties are some other completely totally lame thing for them! So deprived are they!

  11. I’m that person today! I made cookies and treats in honor of the royal wedding and just plopped them on the break room table to share. I LOVE when others bring treats in, and I love being the person sharing the wealth!

    1. well then…since the way to a mans heart is by way of the stomach, someday your “sweet” prince will come:D

  12. One of my proudest moments was learning while I was at SARA LEE (where I used to bake my own cheesecakes and take them to work — cheeky!) that this guy in his early fifties, who hadn’t gained a pound since college, gained EIGHT pounds during my first year there. Sick, I know, but I took it as some sort of victory! :-)

    1. You are under arrest for excessive and weight inducing awesomeness.
      For every pound that guy took, I your judge summon you to make me 1 cake and send it as attached file !

  13. My office lunchroom is equipped with a toaster oven and my colleague and periodically use it to bake homemade banana muffins and distribute them throughout the office. In the words of my co-workers. “Thanks…these muffins are awesome!”

  14. So, I really had to laugh when I saw that first picture.. because it reminded me of a favorite memory of mine..

    I was starting a brand new job.. my FIRST job out of college, and of course I’m nervous.. we’re at a big first-day orientation with a bunch of other young faces, fresh out of college.. we’re trying to mingle, and eat some donuts, but a lot of people were being pretty stuffy and I wasn’t making many “fast friends”..

    Well, one donut was left in a box and it looked a lot like the one in the top right corner in that first picture..

    All of a sudden, some tall Scottish guy walks up, and in his charming accent said: “whoa! who took a S**T in the box??”, and I thought – I have GOT to get to know this guy better..

    Well, he turned out to become one of my best friends at work, quickly became an “out of work” friend (awesome thing #465).. and he even flew all the way from the UK to come to my wedding a few years back, all based on that comment..

    1. Yeah, the apple fritter is not the sexiest-looking donut, but definitely my favorite! I like to tell myself that the apple chunks in it make it healthier than the others…

  15. We do this in my psychology class as well. On Friday afternoons we have a double lesson, and because there are only a few of us in the class and we all know each other pretty well now, someone nearly always shows up with a tray of brownies or something to get us through the last 2 hours of the day.

  16. A few weeks ago I was given a large box of chocolates with the instructions “don’t eat them all yourself”. So I put the box in the lunch room at work with an ‘EAT ME’ sign on it and enjoyed watching everyone scoff them down and wonder who the mystery donor was. It was awesome. :-)

  17. Every time I read that there are no ketchup chips in the states or UK, I completely take advantage of the fact that us Canadians do have them and go on a ketchup chip binge. I have a feeling one of those is going to start pretty soon…

  18. Interesting…<3 the phrase "eating a candy-coated scorpion."
    Sometimes it was like that for me so I didn't benefit much from my office colleagues' return from their home country cz I didn't wana risk hurting my stomach with things it's unaware of.

    Thanks for the blog

  19. Our boss randomly brings treats into our office and it ALWAYS brightens our day! There’s nothing like pizza for lunch or doughnuts in the morning to motivate student workers to work just a little bit harder. It’s important to never underestimate the influence of a high morale in an office setting. Productivity increases along with the level of endorphins flowing through each person!

  20. Why is that we always have the urge for sugar but we can not simply pick up healthy foods and eat them, I mean really!? Eatting unhealthy foods only causes problems in our future, like now for example I have type 1 diabetes and yes it gets very annoying and I wish that it would go away. I would not care if a coworker or whoever brought in treats I would not a except sweets for them I would only bring me in some healthy stuff and maybe for others too!

  21. my mother hates ketchup chips so I didn’t get them much as a kid, living on my own now – ketchup chips all the time!!!

  22. Sometimes after swim training, someone will bring something random that generally fits the context of ‘sweet’. I’ve had some weird caramel, tooth supergluing candy from China, unsweetened arrowroot candy (I don’t know about these people…), Coffee Crisps, and DONUTS. It almost makes it worth getting up at five (almost.)

  23. I once cleaned out my pantry and brought in all my unwanted goodies. Including canned goods, boxed items (like rice, pasta and cous cous) and “eat me right now” crackers, chips, cookies, and candy. I bought a few two-liters of soda, cups and ice and set them in the kitchenette. People got on-the-spot-treats AND take home goods. A security guard thanked me with near tears in her eyes. It was AWESOME!

  24. I am typically this person. And its so fun. Everybody is happy to see you and together you get to take a moment to share a goodie.

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