A Detailed Account of My Battle With Office Holiday Cookies

(Photo: Quote Catalogue)

9:05 am: I walk into the kitchen, innocently (I swear), for a cup of fancy pants Nespresso to wake up. I try my best to avoid eye contact, but I can feel them staring me down.

9:06 am: Against my better judgment, I glance over at the pile of holiday treats. The cookies have somehow multiplied overnight like rabbits. Do you guys see this? Am I going crazy? Yesterday there were only thumbprints, peanut butter blossoms, chocolate peppermint cookies and a handful of macaroons. They have since added snickerdoodles, an assortment of Fanny May desserts in a fancy tin, peppermint bark and puppy chow to their posse. Things are getting out of hand.

9:12 am: I look down at my cup of coffee. It looks so lonely. I mean, aren’t breakfast items basically just a sneaky way to eat dessert first thing in the morning? I’m sure a handful of chocolate chip cookies is close to the same nutritional value of a chocolate-filled croissant, right? Not that chocolate-filled croissants are the best breakfast choice … but man, a peanut butter blossom would pair quite lovely with this Vanizio (which is apparently how you say “vanilla coffee” in bougie language).

One whole minute, which is S-I-X-T-Y seconds, passes.

9:13 am: *Side glances to see if I’m in eye sight of colleagues [I’m not]* Okay, whatever, just one.

TGIF, amirite? What do you mean by, “it’s only Tuesday”?

10:30 am: Alright, listen, consciousness. We know I’ve always been weak for sweets. Waiters and waitresses alike can tell from my aura alone. They prey on my fragility every time they make direct eye contact with me when they ask the table, “Would anyone like to see a dessert menu?” As if they don’t already know the answer to that question. Please bring me several spoons with my crème brûlée; I don’t want to look so selfish.

11 am: It’s 11, so it’s basically almost lunch time if you round up. Put your head down, focus on the task at hand and don’t think about the sprawling assortment of sugary goodness in the kitchen. Wait, was that an online advertisement for Corso’s Cookies? I know our phones are listening in to our conversations, but COMPUTERS CAN NOW READ MINDS?

11:45 am: My stomach is more reliable than my wristwatch. “Time to lose all focus on your work and think about what you are feeding me!” it howls. I think about what it would be like to eat a mountain full of cookies for lunch. Wait, what about a mountain of cookie DOUGH. That’s NEXT LEVEL.

12:15 pm: I usually look forward to lunch. I love lunch. I love food! And yet, staring at my salad, I can only think about dessert options.

1 pm: Lunch dessert is a thing, right? Hellllllo, pre-packaged mini chocolate chip cookies. How did you manage to stay so incredibly soft? How much butter are you made with? JK, don’t answer that. Okay, time to stop talking to cookies, it’s getting weird.

1:20 pm: My stomach gurgles in confusion, deciding that it needs more sugar (or maybe that’s a sign that it needs less sugar?)

1:30 pm: I have a new theory. Hear me out. People who send these delectable treats are only doing it so they look better than us sweet tooth WEAKLINGS during the holiday season. These people, whoever they are, must have the strongest willpower known to man (or maybe they are aliens, you know the kind – who claim they “don’t like chocolate that much” or “aren’t really a sweets person”). We are Regina George and they are the Cady Herons of the world, tempting us with Kälteen Bars.


2:30 pm: Just walked by the kitchen and they have brought in reinforcements. They have somehow multiplied again, and then invited their friends. I have now idea how they got here, but the kitchen island is now invisible underneath an empire built of popcorn, truffles, chocolate-covered pretzels, candy canes and… fruit roll-ups?! Who sent the fruit roll-ups?

2:31 pm: Just noticed someone sent us gobs of white chocolate. I make a mental note to not work with those people anymore.

3:15 pm: The pile is uncontrollable at this point, it’s almost laughable. Even the nuts, an otherwise healthy and innocent legume snack, are sugar-coated (but OMG have you ever had a walnut dipped in cinnamon sugar?)

4:06 pm: Prime afternoon snack time hunger has set in. I go into the kitchen to grab a Think Thin bar and narrowly escape the grips of a Toblerone. Sigh. If you close your eyes and lie to yourself a whole lot, you can almost pretend it’s the same thing.

5:55 pm: I begin packing up my things and strategize how to avoid looking into the kitchen one last time before my exit.

6 pm: Okay, okay. One more for raspberry fudge roll good measure.

6:02 pm: “See you all tomorrow, friends,” I whisper as I make my way out the door. I immediately guilt-lock myself into a kickboxing class at 7:30. It’s all about balance, right?

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About Cass Gunderson

Cass hails from the southwest suburbs as a proud White Sox fan and a graduate of University of Illinois. By day, Cass is a full-time student at the University of Chicago's Booth Graduate Business School. Before deciding to throw away all her money to go back to school, Cass worked for a private equity firm that buys technology companies. Raised as the youngest in a family of older brothers, Cass grew up a tomboy and remains active in sports. To her mother’s satisfaction, Cass learned how to embrace her feminine side in college and has developed an interest for fitness activities that require spandex as opposed to knee-length basketball shorts. In her spare time, she runs a lot because it is cheaper than paying for real therapy. Cass has completed four marathons and one ultramarathon (she claims she'll never do this to herself again, but that's TBD). She can still be found on the basketball courts in Lincoln Park wearing knee-length basketball shorts.