Stop Making Your Office Mates Eat Dessert in the Morning

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Photo: 20th Century Fox

One of the downsides of working in a different city than most of my colleagues is that I am regularly tortured by e-mail notices of delicious treats being made available in the kitchen, 200 miles away from me. The upside is that I can avoid the horrible choice that often arises when such treats are made available in the morning.

Here is the problem. Almost everybody would rather eat dessert in the afternoon than in the morning, unless it’s a doughnut, cronut, or some other breakfast-appropriate dessert. But lots of us would rather eat it in the morning than not at all. When you put out a limited quantity of delicious desserts before lunch, you force your colleagues to race to the kitchen to stake their claim rather than risk waiting for a better time to eat their treat and get shut out. Just this morning, a colleague of mine reports having eaten banana pudding ice cream in the staff kitchen.

At my previous job, where I did work on site, I harangued treat-givers about this problem. It always seemed my efforts were unsuccessful, though apparently they were remembered well enough that at least some former colleagues remember my efforts to this day. It’s simple: Don’t offer dessert until afternoon. Everybody is better off that way.