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Using sandwiches for rebellious activities

The best workplace subversion has snacks

By D-DonohoePublished 5 days ago 4 min read
Top Story - June 2024

I’m a smart ass, I accept it. There have been times when my tendency to make a sarcastic comment or crack an inappropriate joke has got me in trouble. But a lot more times, it’s made work a bit more fun, and even lifted the mood in some pretty dark times.

While my sense of humor isn’t for everyone, those who don’t appreciate my humor are generally the people I don’t want to spend too much time around.

I’ve also found that my sarcastic humor can sometimes work as a silent source of protest, even if it’s just me who knows I’m making a statement. It can still give me the sense of standing up against an injustice.

So lately, at work, I haven’t been having the best of times.

My boss and I have not been getting on, in fact after disclosing that her behavior was exacerbating my depression and anxiety, they ratcheted up the bullying. I’ve had more than half my team taken off me, and I’ve had the more interesting jobs removed from me. The work keeps coming, but I barely have anyone to do it. Plus, I’ve been publicly admonished regularly.

However, at the same time, my boss established a brand-new section in a day and brought in one of their mates to manage it. They’ve given some of the other more “friendly” managers extra resources, and praised the work they have been doing, even though it’s quite basic.

At this point, I should say my team has been incredible. They have shown true teamwork and mateship but making sure they look after each other and me. They know that it’s taken a heavy toll on me, but are still keen to stick with me and make sure they can do whatever they can to help.

So, the other week we all went along to a branch meeting where one of the other team members was talking about a course they’d been on recently about team culture and leadership. During that, they said a few things that caught the attention of my team.

At one point they went on to discuss how in a team setting if one person or one team was being treated or even perceived to be being treated more favourably than another, then that could lead to poor morale. I could feel some of my team members start to look at me, I resisted the urge to shoot a glance back for fear of getting in trouble.

Then they went on to show a video of an experiment involving monkeys. Each monkey was required to perform a task and when they performed the task correctly, they were given a reward. However, one monkey was given a grape, and the other monkey was given a cucumber.

I think it’s important for me to say at this point, I am not a primatologist (almost accidentally typed proctologist), so I didn’t know, before watching that video, monkeys preferred grapes over cucumbers. But by the second or third task, the cucumber monkey was losing his shit!

At the end of the meeting, my team started to send me instant messages, all along the same theme of us being the cucumber monkeys. It was a funny little in-joke that we could all unite around.

Fast forward a week and my boss’s behavior had continued to get more and more into the gutter. She sent out an email to everyone that we should have an afternoon tea to welcome the new starters in the different sections (again, most of whom were friends of hers), and asked everyone to bring in a plate to share.

My favorite homemade treat to bring in is key lime pie. I’ve made it a few times, and it’s a winner. So I set about on the Sunday before making a key lime pie. But this wasn’t going to be enough.

I then had to find a recipe for a second, something extra special. I needed to find out how to make that staple of Grandma’s morning teas or after-funeral snacks – cucumber sandwiches.

Come that Monday I left home with a cake container filled with my legendary key lime pie. I also had a loaf of bread, a container filled with a mixture of cream cheese, mayonnaise, chives, and shallots, and another container with sliced cucumber. As I was walking out the door, my wife tried to counsel me that I was going to get myself into trouble, to which I replied, “For making sandwiches? I don’t think so!”

Over lunch, I was in the kitchen spreading the mixture on the bread, layering on the cucumbers, and then slicing them into perfect triangles. Some of the team came in at various points and asked what I was doing. When I replied, “Making cucumber sandwiches”, they nearly fell over.

Afternoon tea arrived and of course, my key lime pie was, as expected, a winner. The recipe is below if you want to make it (I substitute the biscuits for gluten-free ginger nuts but otherwise follow the recipe as it is)

Then people started to ask, “Are those cucumber sandwiches?”

I responded, “Of course they are. I’ve just had so many people give me cucumbers lately I figured I should do something with them”.

My team was in stitches, they couldn’t believe I was being so blatant. A couple of them had to leave the room when I offered my boss a sandwich. Even more surprising was that she took one.

As much as I wanted to stand there and yell “Yeah, those are all the cucumbers you’ve been giving us monkeys” I didn’t. The afternoon tea was a success, and our quiet tasty protest was also a success, the benefits to team morale have been incredible.

But my team has been carrying on the in-joke for a while now, it’s made the entire atmosphere at work just that little bit more bearable.

If you need to make any cucumber sandwiches for subversive activities, here is a handy recipe.

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About the Creator


Amateur storyteller, LEGO fanatic, leader, ex-Detective and human. All sorts of stories: some funny, some sad, some a little risqué all of them told from the heart.

Thank you all for your support.

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Comments (9)

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  • Christy Munson2 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story! 🥳 I enjoyed the twists and turns so much.

  • Ameer Bibi2 days ago

    Stunning piece of writing Well deserve win Facilitation for your amazing win

  • Hanzala Saleem2 days ago

    C'est une histoire incroyable! J'adore comment vous avez utilisé l'humour et les petits gestes pour maintenir l'esprit d'équipe malgré les défis au travail. Votre idée des sandwiches au concombre est géniale et pleine de sens. Pour ceux qui cherchent des recettes ou des idées pour des plats maison, je recommande de visiter pour trouver des inspirations culinaires. Continuez à rester fort et à garder cet esprit positif!

  • Your clever use of humor and subtle defiance in the face of workplace adversity was both inspiring and entertaining. The cucumber sandwiches anecdote was particularly brilliant, highlighting your ingenuity and the solidarity within your team. Congratulations on being featured as a Top Story! Thank you for sharing such a relatable and uplifting tale.

  • Caroline Craven2 days ago

    Wow your boss sounds really awful. Cucumber sandwiches- who knew they’d be a form of revenge! Ha! Good on you and wishing you all the best.

  • Congrats on your top story.

  • Khan3 days ago

    It's an enjoyable read. Congratulations on the top story ❤️

  • Too funny! I love cucumber sandwiches in the summer, as well as cucumber water, and homemade pickles with the cucumber soaked in a white vinegar/mirin blend. Seems like you had the perfect storm for an inside joke. 🙃

  • I may publish one about using a cucumber as the base for a sub sandwich. We see so much favouritism and nepotism, and it is very difficult to deal with, but support from friends and colleagues helps

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