Oct 3, 2009

step away from the candy bowl

Jason Kuznicki on the semiotics and politics of office candy:
There were the little rituals. You’d come in, take a piece of candy, start a conversation, do business. But some people would wait until your office was empty, then sneak in without so much as turning on the light. Some of those people got caught. I was once told by a Hershey’s-Miniatures woman that the visitors dropped off when the Special Darks ran out. Once she realized it, she stopped offering an assortment. The visitors came back.

When you wanted candy without a conversation, you’d have to feign a certain socially appropriate amount of guilt. And the owner of the office would feign a certain socially appropriate amount of judgment. A slight wince; a raised eyebrow. And then: chocolate! So worth it.

Your smile may be wide, your handshake firm. But if your candy dish is suspect, so are you.

Oh, and keeping candy in sight, as Kuznicki's later anecdotal observation confirms, is scientifically proven to increase consumption.

Mmm. Candy.

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