Monday, August 06, 2007

Conversations in the Office Kitchenette

I just read Close Quarters Alter Rules of Polite Discourse about conversations in the kitchenette at work. I found this conversation particularly humorous (clearly someone hasn't heard of respectful pluralism as part of religion and spirituality in the workplace):

I got caught in the fray one Friday in Lent, as I was about to bite into a piece of chicken.

"Wait!" someone cried. "It's Friday!"

"It's OK," I said quietly.

"But that's chicken! You can't eat chicken on Friday during Lent!"

I was speechless. Many retorts came to my mind, and I was searching for the most diplomatic one when the others in the lunchroom took over.

"Well, you know, some people don't observe that."

"Well, don't they believe in Jesus?"

"I don't know what they believe."

I didn't know what to believe either. Why was this up for discussion?

It occurred to me how typical this was. People who might not have conversations otherwise are thrown together and make do with the time and space available, but the substance can get skewed.

Staring down at my chicken, I decided the most appropriate response was a silent one. I cut a piece and took a bite. It was delicious.