Giant sheet cake, anyone?

Published 10:49 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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I was on the phone, nodding with empathy, as a dear friend vented about her final days at her job before leaving for, literally, greener pastures.


“I don’t mean to sound ungrateful,” she began…

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“But…” I coaxed.


“But…I hate office send-offs!” she hissed. “Hate them! First of all, there’s that giant sheet cake—“


“There’s something rather depressing about a sheet cake,” I mused, interrupting. “Their whole existence seems to be for office send-offs or birthday parties for somebody who doesn’t mean that much to you. Six inches of icing with their name scrawled in blue and one inch of cake. I take one bite and my teeth are bleeding.”


My friend was on a roll. “The worst part is that after I thank them and say goodbye to everyone and take the rest of the dang cake home, sliding around in the back of my car, I get a call the next day from one of the women asking if I would return the pan!! It’s an hour’s commute to that office, and now I have to drive all the way back to bring that to her? Can’t I just order a new one from amazon? No—she wants that specific sheet pan back!”


At this point, I can’t stop laughing. “But it’s not that you’re not grateful,” I choked.


“I’m not even grateful anymore,” she replied. “Because I haven’t even told you about the giant bouquet.”


“They sent you a giant bouquet?” I asked. “Well, that was nice. Flowers are always nice.”


“A giant bouquet,” she pointed out, “is a lovely thing if it’s delivered to your house. But they had it delivered to the office and I can’t leave it there, right? They expect me to take it home, which means I’m driving with this huge, green glass vase between my thighs for over an hour, during rush hour, trying to see over the top of all the dang daylilies so I don’t miss my exit. And I can’t see out of my rear view mirror, either, because they decided that I obviously wasn’t enough of a pack mule at this point, so they gave me three stupid helium balloons. What’s wrong with people? Why didn’t they give me something I really could use after 30 years of hard work? Like, you know, a check.”


I nodded. “Or a gas card.”


“Yes! A gas card. A gas card says ‘I love you’ in a myriad of ways!” she exclaimed. “But instead I’m out another $30 just driving the stupid sheet pan back.”


I was glad to be a shoulder to vent on. And I was even more glad that she gave me one of the best laughs I’ve had in a long time. But most of all, I was grateful that, essentially, she wrote the entire column for me this week!