A Colleague got me an expensive sandwich this week and it was so good that I think my jaw, judging from the ache, is still in shock. Since the recession hit me, I’ve become accustomed to eating lower budget sandwiches where the thin bread and meagre fillings just dissolve almost instantly in your mouth. But I really had to chew this one. It was a throwback to my almost successful pre-2008 days, a time of topped up oyster cards, K-Swiss trainers and bi-monthly haircuts in salons on Putney Bridge where a hair ‘consultant’ would talk to me about layering my hair and the latest mooses.
This substantial sandwich gave me a reason to chew. I wasn’t just going through the motions as I usually do with my sandwiches where I over chew them in front of colleagues to give the impression I’ve bought a good sandwich.
I won't forget this colleague gave me a reason to masticate. It felt good to have a reason to chew again, though my technique was a little out of sync, unsurprising given how infrequently it’s called into action these days. Eating it, I looked like I was starring in a badly dubbed film. But it was a good sandwich. This was proper bread, proper chicken, good chicken to bread ratio. My jaw hasn’t had to work like that in years.
My concern going forward is, do I have to now buy my colleague a sandwich in return? Is he expecting one, because if the roles were reversed, I’d certainly be expecting one? And if one weren’t forthcoming, I’d be dropping all sorts of hints in the office, announcing every twenty minutes or so that I was just off to get a sandwich until he eventually came with me. Then I’d be hovering by him in the shop as he chose his sandwich, pretending I wasn’t sure I was going to get one after all, until he would say, ‘come on, you’ve got to have something. I’ll get it for you. Just pick something'. That would be my tactic.
But the reality is he’s made the first move. He’s gone into his pockets first. Now convention has it that I respond in kind. I’ll have to bring him down to my budget and it’s going to be shameful. This guy doesn’t do cheap. They've cut down on overtime in the job too. I don’t want to get into that mutual sandwich buying routine. It’s worrying me.
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