Someone had left cake in the break room.
Not a whole cake.
But it was chocolate. So we drifted into the break room like raccoons into a campsite.
None of us could make out what had been written in yellow piping, because two thirds of the cake was missing, and what was left had already been sliced up into two-inch squares. The icing was a wreck.
“I think it says happy birthday,” said Edna from accounting. “That looks like an H.”
“Pretty sure it’s a Y,” said acerbic Sherry from Operations.
“Tell me a word that starts with Y,” said sarcastic Sam from sales.
“How about Yutz,” said Sherry to Sam, eyeing him pointedly.
“Maybe,” said Irving from Legal, “It was for Yvonne. I noticed she was dressed a little nicer than usual today.”
“That doesn’t mean it’s her birthday,” said Bill, also from Operations.
“No,” conceded Irving. “But maybe she got a promotion or something.”
There was a snort and Sherry said, “No one gets promoted here.”
“Franklin got promoted,” said Sam.
“He obviously had goat pictures,” said Sherry.
“Oh,” said Edna gleefully. “I love goats!”
“These were not yoga goats,” said Sam to Edna.
“What kind were they?” asked the credulous Edna.
“Isn’t it just like this two bit organization,” said Irving, “To leave a cake in the break room, but no plates or forks?”
“We’ll have to eat with our hands,” said Sam.
“Like the corporate animals we are,” said Sherry. “They should just put the cake in a trough.”
At just that moment, Franklin, the new VP of Operations stuck his head in the break room.
“Hey hey!” he said in just the sort of falsely bonhomie voice one would expect from a VP. “I smell cake!” He stepped the rest of the way into the break room, rubbing his hands together, as if he were now prepared to commit to joining the little coterie.
“Well,” said Sherry, “Apparently we can have our cake, but we can’t eat it, too.”
“Why not?” asked Franklin.
“No money in the operations budget for plastic forks or Styrofoam plates,” said Irving.
“Do you have your phone with you, Mr. Franklin?” piped up Edna suddenly.
“Yes. Why?” asked Franklin warily.
“I want to see pictures of your goats.”
“Goats?” asked Franklin, looking nonplussed, even for a VP.
“Yoga goats,” said Sherry suddenly and too-loudly.
“Yoga goats?” asked Franklin, still looking a little confused.
It was at that moment that Marie, the administrative assistant for Ellen, the president of the division, walked into the break room.
“Oh,” she said, seeming surprised at such a large gathering in the break room. Then she recovered and said, as she picked up the cake, “Ellen wants me to bring this to the board room. She’s with the auditors.”
She whisked the cake away efficiently.
“Well,” said Franklin. “Doesn’t that take the cake!”
“Really gets your goat, doesn’t it?” said Sherry.