A social experiment (with brownies!)

Apparently I performed a social experiment at work this weekend. I did not mean to create a problem, or to cause any drama. I simply offered brownies.

I work on Sundays, especially Football Sundays (or Sunday Funday as we call it) and I generally work a 6 to 8 hour shift. Last year a bunch of us unofficially rotated bringing in snacks. I love to bake and cook, and I love to share the stuff I make, so I do it mostly so I can bake and share it, without feeling guilty. Football has gone on for a bunch of weeks now, and only two of us have brought in treats. Last week I spoke with Barb, the other woman who has been bringing in goodies, and we discussed a sign-up sheet for everyone to bring in something during football season.

Sunday morning I got up early and made brownies, in cupcake holders. I also created a sign-up sheet with all of the Sundays between yesterday and the end of the year. On the top of the sheet I wrote: "Want a brownie? Sign up to bring in treats for everyone else!". Not a single person signed up or took a brownie. Not one. I gave some brownies to the cooks, because they asked. None of the other servers asked if they could take one without signing. They all talked about it and looked at me like I had wounded them. One server even told me, after I made the brownies disappear, that he did not take a brownie because he did not want to sign up.

It really shocked me. For several reasons. The first reasons is because everyone loves to eat at the restaurant, if you put food out (it could be bizarre and strange) it will be eaten. The second is that brownies or cookies are not difficult to obtain. You could easily buy a mix and bake them, OR you could stop at any of the grocery stores within 5 miles and buy a package or two of cookies or brownies or even a cake! The third reason was because I assumed that I worked in a semi-mature workplace. We are required to work as a close team, with constant communication, and sharing food and stories is the main way that relationship happens. Work is required to maintain any relationship, including working relationships. It really disappointed me that no one was will to contribute that work.

A note on the job hunt: I have an interview this week for a part-time position at a local community college. I'm waiting to hear back about my dream job, as screening begins today (TODAY!!!). I also applied to a part-time, minimum-wage paying position, but have not heard back. There are only a few positions posted recently that I am qualified for, so I'm really hoping I hear something back from institutions soon!


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