Wednesday. *sigh* Unprepossessing and laying claim only to the distinction of ‘hump day’ – that one in the middle you need to get over, get through, get past, to achieve the mental decline (and relief) afforded by being that little bit closer to the weekend.
I heaved myself out of the torpor induced by Office Work At A Computer, and shambled over to the kettle, eyes unseeing, mind full of professional jargon, and announced to the three other beings-glued-to-screens that I was making a cup of tea, and would anyone like one.
There was a lag, as there always is when a voice breaks the bonds of concentration and a Real, Live Person makes themselves audible beyond the quiet nonsense and pop music of the radio. I let them gather their thoughts whilst I shambled over to the water cooler, filled the kettle, and got their replies.
Three solid “No”s.
I shambled back (it being (apparently) a shambly kind of day, having had insufficient sleep or caffiene to underpin any kind of motivated effort at movement) and plugged it in, standing with my hands on the edge of the sideboard, idly staring at nothing as I checked that I’d flipped the switch right and it was actually beginning to boil.
My eyes swept along the surface of the sideboard past old cups, stained teaspoons and the clutter and detritus of an office of intermittently present teammates.
They stopped, widening suddenly, arrested by a novelty – a bag full of bright, colourful sugar mice! What!
“Where did these come from?”
One of my colleagues turned around with a sheepish grin playing about her lips “I brought them. I fancied some sugar one night and found myself on eBay, so I bought 50 of them (as you do) and now I don’t know what to do with them. My mum’s taken some into the school where she volunteers but there are loads left, so I hoped that they might get eaten here.”
WICKED! Sugar mice! Sugar mice are AWESOME!
…and made of sugar. Which I’m currently off, in the middle of a 30-day no-sugar-treats challenge (which has been stuck to COMPLETELYexceptonce)
…and they’re going to sit there and play on my mind, with their bright, lovely sugar-mousiness and the way they dissolve on your tongue and make your eyes sparkle and your tummy happy with their sweet, sweet, artificial-dye-infused wonderfulness…
But…NO! Most people like sugar, right? And there’s all this sugary goodness to be got rid of. And a whole hospital full of people out there…
…there’s the dental receptionist, who I walked past for a year in mutual unacknowledgement to use the toilets (cos the ones in dental are better than any of the others) before deciding that I was being ridiculous, and stopped to introduce myself. She’s a sweetie.
…there’s the doctor’s surgery receptionists, who I’ve walked past for just as long, locked into that same mutual unacknowledgement. I don’t know them yet, but…no reason why they wouldn’t like sugar, right?
…there’s the woman in the transport office, whose reputation precedes her to almost legendary distance – she could *really* do with some sugar.
…there are the maintenance guys who haunt the corridors like maroon-besweatered ghosts, getting their jobs quietly done. Bet they don’t get noticed much.
…there are the information desk ladies, who deal with a constant influx of the same questions over and over, from behind their glass barriers. Must be difficult to smile at that many new people all with a variation on a query. Sugar might give them a boost.
…there are the receptionists in x-ray, who always seem to end up talking to my patients, because one of our clinics shares a waiting area and patients are easily confused. They’re friendly and helpful and it’s nice to acknowledge that.
…there are the cafeteria ladies – I wonder how many times a day they get unacknowledged while people shuffle past, grabbing their food, paying coin, and leaving again without sparing a thought for the human opposite them. Someone should do that. *I* could do that.
My brainwaves spiked into a blurt “I bet I could get rid of them, if you want – I could take them around on a little jolly – I bet LOADS of people would like a sugar mouse…”
Work stopped. Chairs swivelled. I was surveyed with mild surprise by my colleagues, and (to my fancy) a slightly bemused indulgence. I was given the go-ahead, and at the appointed hour, sallied forth with the bag of bright treats in my hand, very much wishing I wasn’t totally undermining my allegiance with All Things Diabetic by the presence of that half kilo of sugar, and hoping that all the people I had in mind would be pleased at me interrupting their day for this.
I was right.
They loved it.
Words of greeting were exchanged, then I explained my presence, and my colleague’s inexplicable surplus of sugar mice and watched with wonder as professional masks fell away to reveal shining-eyed individuals behind them, eager to engage with sweeties and a few words of just-human-level, mutually warm interaction.
I didn’t introduce myself. I didn’t have an agenda. I didn’t require anything. I just handed out the goodies.
When I got back to the office, with a solitary mouse left in the bag, everyone stopped as I gleefully described how happy everyone had been to receive the sugar. I rolled my eyes slightly at the accolades of bravery – it’s just extrovertism, and I felt slightly bad that I was going to take credit for the sugar, when the source had been my introverted colleague, but in the end I think this was probably just teamwork done right.
Sometimes The Village needs a little sugar…
When was the last time you were able to give with such abandon? What reaction did you get? Do you think this is something it’s worth doing on purpose another time, just because?
This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better world with a particular focus on COMPASSION.
Write a post relevant to this month’s focus – COMPASSION – and add it to the link-up right here by clicking the blue button below.
Here’s how to get involved:
Join 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion on Facebook
Visit the 1000Speak blog
Follow @1000Speak on Twitter
Use the #1000Speak hashtag across social media.