Last week, workers at an unnamed marketing group were horrified as one of their staff members conducted a horrid act. Rebecca Kilgour, 28, was hungry one afternoon and obviously had some sort of craving as she opened up a box containing a delicious looking, moist slice of cake. She began to eat it at her desk in the open-plan office space with no concern for any of her coworkers as she did so.
“I thought maybe at first it was her birthday, or someone in her family. Some leftovers, you know,” a coworker who wishes to remain anonymous shared. “And that’s okay. I don’t agree with it but she could have at least done it away from the desk.”
When questioned why Rebecca was eating cake, she simply replied with “because I wanted it and was hungry”. We asked if there was a special occasion or specific reason but Rebecca insisted it was only because she’d had felt like cake and decided to have a piece. She even stated she had more in the fridge to have later. It was unclear as to whether she had participated in any physical activity before or after the event to make up for the sudden intake of calories.
With many others in the office on diets or with various intolerances, the act was seen as grossly inconsiderate given there was no adequate reason provided. One employee with Celiac’s disease complained that it was difficult to concentrate because the temptation was too strong to join Rebecca in her rebellious act despite her health issues. Another employee who has been on a juice fast for several days said Rebecca even offered her a mouthful despite being aware that she was on the fast.
“It was incredibly rude. She knew I was trying really hard to finish my one week cleanse for the third time this month. this is really important to me. Offering me cake might have sounded polite to anyone who didn’t know [about the cleanse] but it was really, really distasteful,” Alicia Provenzano shared. “Everyone in the office knows [I’m doing the cleanse]. I don’t know how anyone couldn’t know. I’ve been really vocal about it and want everyone to know the benefits.”
Even when prompted that perhaps she should move to another location instead of her desk to eat her cake, Rebecca didn’t budge. She looked at another coworker who was eating their perfectly healthy lunch and tried to equate the situation. This, of course, did not go unnoticed. Eating a healthy lunch of only organic, ethically harvested quinoa, kale and other well known superfoods is on no way equatable to eating a slice of cake. That would be like saying breastfeeding was the same as feeding a newborn child formula or pre-expressed milk. There are no laws against eating cake (or breastfeeding) in public but it is highly inappropriate despite generally innocent intentions.
Rebecca’s manager, who has also asked to remain unnamed, insists they have taken appropriate steps to make sure Rebecca is aware of her misconduct and that she won’t do so again. “She has been since reminded of what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour in the office. Though it isn’t written anywhere in the company policy, it is a strong social faux pas and we don’t like associating with that image. It could really affect work with current or future clients, as well as the relationships and comfort of our current employees.”
It is unknown the specific flavour of cake that Rebecca had that day, though sources seemed to imply it was some sort of chocolate mud. Rebecca says she stands by her decision and has made no further comments.
Louise West for PF Magazine