You are probably familiar with the sad desk lunch—the microwaved meals and wilted salads that people eat hunched over their desks as their midday meal. But no one really talks about sad desk breakfasts. For me, these occur much more often, since I am the type to wake up and run out the door in the mornings, unfed and in a panic. A 20-something office assistant with limited funds and time, sometimes the things I have tried to pass off as breakfast at my desk have been, shall we say, suspect. Even worse have been times when I have tried to grab things from my kitchen on my way out the door. In honor of these botched attempts at starting my day off right, here are my five saddest desk breakfasts:
A Handful of Gummy Sharks
I wish that I could say that this was a one-time occurrence, but all too often candy is the only kind of food that can be found at my desk. Snacking usually helps me get through moments where I mentally start to lag mid-afternoon, so if I haven't gobbled down a whole bag of Skittles or gummy sharks by the end of the day, there's usually some leftover for breakfast the next day. Chocolate in the morning is a little more substantial than some of the more outright sugary confections, but I have definitely had sour gummy worms alongside my morning cup of office-made coffee. There was also a time I looked down and realized I had eaten a whole sleeve of spearmint Mentos before noon. At least my breath was fresh for the rest of the day.
In an attempt to try to have healthier breakfast habits lately, I've been buying large tubs of minute-oats from the bodega by my train station. These are perfect because I just pour a bunch into a Tupperware and use the hot water dispenser at work to get them into decent porridge-y shape. Add fruit from my apartment and/or a leftover packet of honey from my last Popeye's outing, and I have cobbled together a decent breakfast for minimal effort. Except when I ordered my oatmeal in an online grocery order and didn't realize I had bought some fancy organic steel cut oats. I brought them in raw and did my usual routine— only to be met with a gravelly mess, even after letting the hot water sit with it for a few minutes. I realized my mistake pretty quickly, but I am embarrassed to admit I ate about half of it before finally calling it quits.
Soggy Avocado Toast
After reading way too many lifestyle websites where everyone swore by avocado toast, I decided I was due for an upgrade. I bought the ingredients and woke up early just to make it. Everything looked magazine shoot-worthy when I left the apartment, but when I got to work, I realized I had wrapped the hot toast in foil when I packed it up and the heat sealed within had made everything soggy. The avocado still tasted delicious, but it was flopping around on very sad bread.
Pepperidge Farm Cookie Sampler
Busy with back-to-back meetings one afternoon, I came to the realization that I had skipped lunch and was starving but only had about an hour left of the workday. Desperate for something quick that would fill me up long enough to get home, I purchased a large Pepperidge Farm cookie sampler from Duane Reade. There were plenty of cookies left the next morning for breakfast, and I was getting my Milano and Chessmen on when one of the directors at my job caught me eating out of the box. I offered her one but confessed that, yes, all these cookies were for me alone. She laughed, but did take me up on my offer.
Take Out Leftovers
A few days later, the same director was passing my desk when she stopped and jokingly asked if I had any cookies for breakfast that morning. I told her that I had already eaten garlic knots. It wasn’t even 10:30 a.m.