Staining the Gift Horse’s Teeth

An uncomfortable afternoon at my desk. 

I’m blessed to work with people I don’t just respect, I genuinely like.  This includes two talented associates, a paralegal, and two partners who are fun, intelligent, and help me become a better attorney.

That doesn’t mean things are always perfect at the office, however, and right now, I’m experiencing some rather acute “good intentions gone wrong” that I feel compelled to share.

Both of our firm’s partners are working moms.  They have large families, and we often have husbands or children visiting us for part of the day.  Their kids are a joy, and it’s always pleasant to have them around.

Today, one of the husbands came to the office with a treat for everyone.  That’s not particularly unusual, as we are often on the receiving end of yummy food, bottles of wine, baked goods, and other feel-good perks that are a part of our office culture.

However, the offering he brought today was a bit more…dubious.  He knows we like coffee, so he brought coffee for everyone.  Iced coffee.  From McDonalds.

Now, courtesy compelled me to take one of these condensation-covered plastic cups, and I legitimately thought I would give it a try.  I don’t recall ever having McDonalds’ iced coffee, as I greatly prefer the hot stuff, and from better places than that french fried pit of guilty pleasures.

It tasted like cold motor oil.

So, I set it down on my desk and studiously ignored it for quite some time.  Unfortunately, our office layout is very open, and both partners and husband kept coming around my desk, asking if I had gotten my coffee, encouraging me to drink it, questioning how I liked it.

Somehow “this tastes like something you found in a swamp” is not the most diplomatic way to assess a free coffee, particularly one carried by your boss’s spouse several blocks, balanced with five others.  “It’s great, thank you,” I mustered, trying to suck on the straw enough to simulate drinking without letting any of the foul black poison pass into my mouth.

This has been continuing for thirty minutes now.  I’m not sure how much longer I can continue fake-drinking without drawing comments.  This is all bad.

I think the above-anecdote qualifies as a first-world problem.  I confess my privilege, and will try to be a better gift recipient going forward.


Published in: on April 8, 2014 at 1:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,