Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Chicken Wing Confession

wingsOn Wednesday there were big predictions for snow, sleet and freezing rain for the next day. Before a single flake had fallen, the hyperactive schools were already issuing closings and the power company started running their public service announcements on what to do if you have a power outage. The hype was big. There was definitely a steady snow the next morning and the excitement was climbing.

Considering the very warm winter we've been having, everybody wanted to see some real winter weather – even my boss. He announced that he was taking everybody to lunch and then we'd probably be heading home. The temperature was dropping and the sleet had started.

There were about fourteen of us at lunch. Everybody was in a good mood and talking about what they were going to order. Some jokes were made about how I would order chicken wings and then eat only two of them. It was true. The boss usually ordered appetizers all around and I would fill up on cheese fries and then not be able to eat my wings.

When I go out for lunch I always think about leftovers. It's a habit I got into years ago when I did WeighDown. I also think about My Geek and what we're having for dinner or lunch the next day. Since I was going to have leftovers anyway, I decided this time to order 25 wings instead of the smallest order of ten, that way I knew there would be plenty to take home. I told the waitress, "Go ahead and bring a to go box. I'll take the rest home for dinner."

The moment that sinful mound of food was placed in front of me I had a terrible realization. My boss was paying for everybody's lunch and I just announced that I was going to double my order so I could take home dinner! And my boss was sitting next to me. My intention was not to take advantage of his generosity but that certainly looked and sounded like what I was doing.

I had no idea what I was going to fix this situation. I had already eaten my fill of cheese fries and, sure enough, after about two chicken wings, I was full. But the only solution I could think of was to eat all the chicken wings. As I was digging in, I noticed one of my coworkers staring at the wings and then at me. That made me feel even worse – he also caught on that I was taking advantage of the company. I was stuffed so I relented after four wings and had the remaining ones packed up to take back to the office.

My guilt and embarrassment was getting worse and I still thought I needed to eat these wings before the workday was over. I started my "snack" time about 30 minutes after getting back to the office, making sure to eat whenever anyone came to use the copier next to my office so that they could see I was eating what I had ordered. Believe it or not, it took me a long time to come to the realization that I was making myself sick and I needed to run to the bank, get some cash and make things right with my boss.

I told him that I was embarrassed for splurging at lunch but hadn't intended on taking advantage of his generosity. I always order extra for dinner and I just wasn't thinking. He just laughed and told me that he didn't even notice and not to think twice about it. He made a point of thanking me for saying something to him and to "enjoy." It was tough to go in there and confess but it wasn't nearly as difficult as trying to eat 25 chicken wings. I called home to check-in. When we discussed dinner I said, "I'm full but you’re having chicken wings."


Erin said...

Well, I'm cracking up!

But I'm also thinking about what a clear and practical picture this is of "what a passion for righteousness" looks like in your life.

I'd venture to guess that no one in your office was thinking any of the judgemental thoughts you imagined, and yet... there's the conviction of the Holy Spirit whispering in your ear. "You just took advantage of your boss' generosity."

I think the biggest statement is that you went back to your boss, apologized, and offered to pay. THAT is being salt and light, my friend.

And I'm still cracking up!

rhon said...

Yea. When I told My Geek, he couldn't stop laughing. He told me he was surprised I didn't walk up and down the halls gnawing on a chicken wing.

Also, to be clear, I had the cash in my pocket but I didn't offer it to him. He is a very proud man and I realized once I was in there and that he didn't care, that it would be more of an insult to offer him the cash. I'll put it toward some meals at church or something.

San said...

LOL! This is hilarious. Sooo funny. Totally cracking up here. :)

rhon said...

Yea. I think I've told the humiliating story about 5 times. My Geek says he never gets tired of it. Hmmm?