“He had a look, perfect hair,” my husband began after thinking a bit to perfectly describe his colleague. The hair spoke volumes, because it not only implied the stereotype but also invoked the idea of people we already knew that also had the same type of image. I’m sure we all have them in our lives.
“But he was shady as fuck. The most dishonest people liked him the best.” He said. “and I was matched with him.” For the purposes of this piece, we’ve given him an assumed name, Captain Sherbert.
My husband was assigned to this person at a previous job. He was required to be his office contact when he was out on the road. It was a good gig for him, very lucrative, but he had trouble with the support staff. He was constantly being moved around. Based on the account of the two munchkins, I totally understand why.
Captain Sherbert would have my husband on the phone while he was driving around, for various requests which were either ridiculous, illegal, unethical, bizarre or all of the above. He would stop at Dunkin Donuts, and query my husband if he thought it would be a dick move to order two munchkins.
Of course, for those of us in the know, munchkins come by the box. They’re meant to be shoveled in by the mouthful. No one really wants two munchkins. But, within the context of the office environment, you can take just two from a pack, leaving the rest for the group. When you’re a road warrior, you don’t have that. An entire box is too much and frankly sad when you realize when you have to eat the whole thing or waste it.
So, Captain Sherbert had devised the smallest denomination of munchkin, the one most likely to be given away. Perhaps he had small children himself and witnessed how the quantity of two would be given to kids accompanying parents without charge. He figured that the odds were in his favor that if he asked for them that they would likely give them to him, especially if he bought a coffee.
Most of the time the ruse worked. He would get his treat for free, and would be reinforced for being a bit of a dick for asking. He got what he wanted. And, in the most Pavlovian of techniques, the positive association of questionable behavior and sweet reward becomes stronger.
This is how assholes are born, people. It all starts with the little stuff like this, pushing the envelope to get what you want. Beyond the reflection of poor ethics when it comes to how someone should act in a retail situation, it shows the true essence of what pompous, entitled consumers we can become if we fail to remember the human element behind our selfish actions.
Of course, people are onto it. At least around the office, my husband was treated with much sympathy. People would inquire about him with the same concern that would be used for a sick relative or something. “Oh hey! *concerned face* How is Sherbert? I know how hard this must be for you. How are you holding up?” They all had the same display of morbid curiosity with what he’d gotten away with now. The two munchkin story would always suffice.