In the break room at work, you are bound to run across interesting conversations. More often, though, you are going to hear the same conversations over and over. The break room is not a place to break ground conversationally, lest you choose your conversational choice poorly and spend the next 40 years known as the awkward break room guy.
That was why I felt no surprise when I heard a man declare something I have heard dozens of times.
“You know, I have a REAL weakness for chocolate.”
This is exactly the level of conversational depth you can expect in the work environment. There would be no discussing of the inner workings of the human psyche or the great artists of the post-renaissance period. There would be food related declarations.
As the conversation continued, delving deep into their desire to eat chocolate, I began throwing myself a mental parade. There was a mental drumline and all sorts of mental fireworks. While this was going on, I had quietly stood off to the side. I had successfully contained my urge to jump into their conversation and say “WHAAAAT?! You like CHOCOLATE?! ME TOO!!!! We’re like candy twins!”
It’s not that this guy has no right to say he has a weakness for chocolate. It makes total sense. There are very few things you can say when you see chocolate. The list pretty much consists of this statement and “Oooo! Chocolate!” I guess you could point out how brown it is, but that just seems a bit strange.
By choosing this particular option, though, this man might as well have started off his conversation by saying, “You know that one thing that most people in the world like? Yeah, I’m like them.” He took one look at a food that people like enough to bring into the office for everyone to eat and shared that, much like the other people who had eaten that chocolate.
What I would like to hear is someone talk about a weakness they have that is far different from the typical weakness. Something like shards of glass. “I have a real weakness for glass shards. I’m telling you, you put glass shards in front of me and I will not be able to stop eating. I just can’t say no!” That would be a conversation that I wouldn’t want to miss.
Maybe they could bring a fresh twist to it. “I have a real weakness for chocolate… on my fettucine!” Same premise but suddenly we’re in completely different territory.
It wouldn’t even have to be that crazy. Imagine the conversation that would follow if a person said they just weren’t that into chocolate. There would be shocked gasps and disbelieving stares. An onlooker would assume that someone had done something terrible like express their love of all things Hitler.
I think I need to pick up a new weakness before I go back to the break room. I need some conversation fodder. Otherwise I could get myself into some real trouble.