My Office Argument About Bagel Etiquette

My Office Argument About Bagel Etiquette

Everything was peachy as ever when I walked into my office yesterday. Sure, the ground was caked in snow and temperatures were in the 20s in mid-March, but the sun was out. Birds were chirping. I could have sworn I heard some upbeat whistling at one point.

I waved hello to Elizabeth the receptionist and strode through the common area of our office. As I made my way to the kitchen, I realized that I had neglected to eat anything before leaving my apartment. Luckily, we keep a variety of bagels stocked in our pantry at all times.

I sifted through the typical options, passing up wheat, plain, and cinnamon raisin—all very entry-level and with very little character — and grabbed the bag of our most coveted style: the everything bagel. I pulled the bag out of the stack of other carb-based products to admire it before getting started on the art form that is bagel toasting, only to realize that one of my coworkers before me had sliced a bagel in half and put the bottom half back in the bag.

After some careful maneuvering, I managed to pull the second bagel in line out of the bag. None of this half bagel bullshit for Charlie. I slid the bagel into the slicer, cut it in half, and dropped in the toaster. Just then, my coworker Stephanie approached me.

“Hey man, you okay?”

“Yeah, just a little frustrated with the state of humanity in this office, but I’ll be fine.”

“Yeah, I saw you shaking your head. What’s up?”

“Well, someone at our office does this thing where they slice a bagel, take the top half, and put the bottom half back in the bag.”

I looked over at Stephanie and realized that she was avoiding eye contact with me. My eyes shifted to the toaster, where I realized that the other half was being used to only toast one half of a bagel. Back over to Stephanie, where I realized she was holding a paper plate in her hand.

“Stephanie,” I said, calmly. “Did you take the top half of the bagel, put it in the toaster, and then put the bottom half back in the bag?”

“I… I did,” She stammered. I leaned back against a wall and crossed my arms.

“So,” I went on, “Can I ask why?”

“Well… you know… I just don’t want to be eating all of those carbs.”

I’m normally a pretty calm person. It takes a lot to get me riled up, let alone to make me want to express my opinions on things. But when it comes to food, I will take no prisoners.

Okay, here’s the thing. If you don’t want the carbs, then don’t eat a fucking bagel. Eat a god damn apple, or maybe an English muffin with some jam. Bagels are dense as fuck and loaded with carbs. At least, I’m pretty sure they are. And on top of all of this, why the fuck would you take the top half? If you’re only going to eat one-half of a bagel, at least have the fucking decency to let one of us bagel enthusiasts have the half that contains all the delicious toppings.

It would be one thing if I had let this lie, and only thought about this. But I didn’t. I said it to her. Out loud. In the middle of our break room.

“Have you ever had an English muffin when you wanted a bagel? It’s not the same thing, Charlie!”

I ignored her argument. It was irrelevant.

“Who’s going to eat the bottom half of that bagel, anyway? Did you even wash your fucking hands before touching this thing?”

Just then, our coworker John entered the room.

“Oh, cool! Is there a bottom half of a bagel left?” he asked.

“Yes!” Stephanie exclaimed.

“No!” I said back. “John, we can’t encourage this behavior. There has to be a line in the sand. It must stopped.”

At this point, both of our bagels had popped up from the toaster. I began spreading cream cheese furiously across the poppy seed, garlic, onion, and sesame seed topped delicacy.

“Well,” John said, “I’m not really that hungry. I was going to make a whole bagel and keep half of it at my desk for later, but if there’s only one half left, I’ll totally take it.”

Stephanie put the disgusting, used, and sad half of the bagel in the toaster, smiling at me in victory. I looked down at my bagel. I was almost finished with my spread.

“I hope the next person you have sex with is selfish in bed,” I mumbled to them.

“What was that?” they both asked.

“Nothing,” I said quickly. “You are both absolute animals. Talk to you later.”

I took my bagel back to my desk and sat in silence, feeling different. Thankfully, the savory comfort of the toasted bread, paired with the cooling texture of the cream cheese prepared me for the rest of the day.

The moral of the story? Eat your bagels like a fucking adult, with both halves.

Image via Shutterstock

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Using sarcasm as a defense mechanism since 1993. At any given moment I'm either tired, drunk, or stressed out. Get at me at or whatever.

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