For the past week and a half or so, Mobius has been hosting a group of people doing something or other all day in one of our conference rooms. What they are doing has nothing to do with me, although rumor has it they are trying to work out a settlement. What catches my attention is that the firm is providing food for these people. Heaps and heaps of food for only 8 or 9 people. They can't possibly eat all of the bagels and muffins and sandwiches and brownies and fruit that is layed out for them three times a day. And they don't. Which is where the temptations start.
See, the food is all layed out nice and pretty about 9 am each morning. The group of random settlement-lovin' folk show up, eat about a quarter of the food, and then retire to a conference room out of sight of the lovely heaps of breakfast. The food just sits there, abandoned, until it is cleared away by our hospitality folk around 11 so that they can lay out lunch. The first couple of days this happened, several of the attorneys and secretaries popped by and took a remaining bagel or muffin before it was cleared away from lunch. I was among them. Free muffin! Ok!
But it was not ok. The entire firm was issued an admonishment by an HR person that this food was for the folks slaving away and conferencing, and that we were not to touch it until it was removed and put out in the 5th floor conference room where it would become fair game. I believe this was mostly prompted by the people on the 5th floor, who are jealous of those of us lucky enough to be quartered on the same floor with the snacks. Anyway, we are now supposed to wait until an email is issued that the food has been removed from our floor and placed on the 5th floor. This means that no one on the 6th floor will get the food, because the 5th floorers have loyal secretaries that will hunt down the food for them before an email is ever issued. And in fact, no email has ever been issued telling us the food is now fair game. For all we know, the food just disappears.
So, every day I am tempted. As the clock draws near to 11am, I am torn between waiting for an imaginary email that won't come to alert me to free food or just grabbing a darn muffin on my way by, knowing it is minutes away from being carted off. This is compounded by my very hungry tummy. The tummy almost always comes down on the side of just grabbing a muffin. After all, the purpose of the "rule" was to make sure that the conference room people got their fill before we got to the food. But obviously the people are finished, as lunch is about to be layed out. On the other hand, there is the small matter of having been told not to eat it before it goes downstairs. And the tummy. Can't forget the tummy.
Which to obey? The letter of the law or the spirit of it?