Shank Space

Small Wins At The Office

Jul 31, 2023

A Tuesday in July

Every day I am in office I have breakfast in the office cafeteria. There is a Assorted Dosa Counter. Every day I am in office I have the same breakfast - plain dosa topped with red chutney, filled with cheese. Every day I am in office I ask the cook to make the same breakfast for me. “Chutney Cheese” I say. And he makes a plain dosa topped with red chutney, filled with cheese.

There is generally a line at the dosa counter. He asks for what we want and then gets to making the dosas. I wait as he wipes the hot plate with a cloth, sprinkles some water on it to make it sizzle (just for fun I suppose), and pours the batter on. A dollop of oil, a spoon of chutney, spread, spread. Then sprinkle some cheese shavings on top. Sometimes I feel extravagant and ask him to add a bit more cheese, I say “Anna, inna swalpa haaki”. And I wonder how much more he would add and should I stop him. But he always adds just enough and stops.

Today while I was standing at the line I happened to be looking at my phone, waiting my turn. When I looked up I see the line has cleared up ahead, and the cook had already started pouring out the batter. 

“Chutney Cheese?” he asks me. I nod.

Today, I have successfully graduated to a regular. Today marks the culmination of a life long dream to be a regular with perks at some institution, where I can walk in and have the person remember me and treat me with just a little more than the common folk. Today, I have a cook that remembers my dish exactly the way I want it. Dosa with chutney, with cheese on top. Very James Bond-esque. 

Today is a good day.

A Friday in July

Everyday I am in the office I have breakfast in the office cafeteria. There is a board requesting people not to waste food. Actually there are a lot of boards asking people not to waste food, but one of them is special. They mention the amount of food wasted yesterday, in kilos, and the count of people it could have fed. It is a simple approximation, and it is always a multiple of 4. So, 63 kilos of food wasted, which could have fed 252 people. 

Everyday I am in the office and I have lunch in the cafeteria, I notice the board. I evaluate the math, to see if it is indeed people fed = 4 * number of kilos of food wasted . Because I knew, I knew , that one of these days they are going to mess it up. One of these days the calculation is going to be off.

Today was the day. 

This was, quite literally, a multi month effort in observation. For the past six months I have been observing this board for the board writer to slip up, and they did. And I caught this embarrassing, downright humiliating goof up on camera. Ha.