Experiment #68

Differential Equations Part 1 of 2

“Hey Phil,” Steve said. He leaned out from behind their cubicle wall “have you worked on those reports yet?”

Phil sat back and rubbed his eyes.

Hmmmm Phil thought, We talked about some kind of report in the meeting this morning. What was it? Rob said something about reports the accounting department needed, but that was about the time he brought out the donuts.

Palooka’s donuts.

It was a tough choice between chocolate cream or glaze. Carolyn would have turned up her nose if I’d taken two to start. She’s always watching me. But when I bit into that rich chocolate cream still warm from the oven, all my worries seemed to fade away. My that was a good donut. Palooka’s have always been good.

Wait, so we had four, six, eight, nine people on our team and Rob brought two dozen donuts. And everybody had one except Theresa who’s perpetually on a diet. Carolyn and I both grabbed a second.

The little hypocrite.

Oh wait, but Palookas does a baker’s dozen. That leaves sixteen. It’s ten thirty. The meeting ended at about nine fifteen so the donuts have been in the break room unprotected for just over an hour.

They tend to disappear on a hyperbolic curve, quickly at first then it slows down considerably. Plus the customer service people had a big meeting and had lots of vegetables and fruit left over. That should thin out the donut herd of anyone on a diet or preferring natural foods.

So given the typical number of staff who pass the break-room and the fact that Carla is at a conference and Sam is out sick, there might just be one left, assuming Carolyn hasn’t gone back for thirds yet…

Alright so assuming there’s one left I can’t go down the main hall because I’d get stopped by my-life-is-a-sob-story Sarah. Carolyn would see me and beat me to the box. If I head down the east corridor I’ll have to go past Luke who’s been way too up in my business lately and who, frankly, would blab it to the world. Plus I went that route yesterday and I’m just asking for trouble if I pass his desk more than once a week.

If I take elevator four up to accounting I can act like I’m dropping off that report then head down stairwell C to get to the break room. It’ll look like I’m just returning from accounting and being healthy by using the stairs plus anyone who sees me will think I’m on business not grabbing another donut.

And as an added bonus, I’ll skip over Carolyn’s desk and triumphantly walk past her, donut in hand, back to my desk. It’s perfect!

Phil stood up and walked off.

“Phil?” Steve asked, but Phil was already gone.

Phil headed down the hall and took elevator number four up to the third floor. He strolled past accounting and arrived at stairwell C. He hopped down the stairs and burst onto the first floor. He almost danced as he made his way to the break room. He could taste that slightly stale crispness, and the cream that washes his worries away.

There on the counter was his buried treasure. He swayed back and forth and played air saxophone between the door and the counter.

Maybe there were two left, he thought. What a triumph it would be to walk past Carolyn with the final two donuts.

Phil walked to the box. Victory was within his grasp. He lifted the lid and stared down proudly at icing crumbs and sprinkle dust.

He lifted out the wax paper, but nothing lay hidden underneath.

This is a travesty; an office war crime punishable by death, he thought. Not only did they take the last donut, but the jerk hadn’t the common human decency to clean up after themselves. What kind of person would do that to someone else? This cannot stand.

To Be Continued…

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