The 20 Minute Party

When they walk into the meeting room there are several plastic plates with slices of cake waiting for the people who’ll eat them. The girl from HR is cutting the last ones. When everybody is finally there, all employees with birthdays from December to February get a happy birthday song and a round of applause. After that everyone eats the over-sweetened cake and drinks coke. You could choke on the sugar, yet they comment on how subtle the nutty flavor of the topping. They all talk among themselves with the ones they always do, in small groups of two to four. Half way through the cake one person’s promotion is announced. It happens to be the one hot guy in an 87% female office. “Great chance for a congratulation hug” is the thought in the minds of at least 50% of the girls. He get’s fancy beer as a present and poses for a picture with the boss, the only one not eating her cake. People take turns to greet him. The girls roam around him trying not to form a line but instinctively doing so. He smells of clean laundry. One of the girls gets in line a second time, blushing furiously. He pretends not to notice. They all walk back to their desks with condensed milk breaths.