Thatz Not Okay: Cream Puff Savagery; A Spam Artist's Friend's SisterWelcome to Thatz Not Okay, a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Please send your questions to caity.weaver@gawker.com with the subject "Thatz Not Okay."


In my office, the "executives" gather every morning for coffee and an informal meeting. They take turns bringing in eats—bagels, pastries, etc. After the meeting clears out, the "underlings" are free to come in and grab whatever is left. Sometimes underlings also bring in morning eats for the meeting, myself included.

I brought in some delicious cream puffs from a bakery close to my house. Everyone loved them (naturally)! One of the executives, with whom I'm pretty friendly, asked me where I got them, so I told him. I also mentioned to him that I stop there specifically for that item, and that I've brought them in several times before (for my own staff).

Less than two weeks later, that executive brought MY cream puffs to the meeting! Mind you, he drove about 10 miles out of his way to go to MY bakery. He brought them again today. I know it's a free country and all, but really? I'm SO irked that he took over MY go-to, non-homemade work treat. Is that okay?

Thatz not okay.

This is like a scenario concocted by a preschool teacher to teach her students how to recognize emotions. “A nice person buys your favorite treat and shares some with everyone, including you. Point to the face that shows how you feel.” All of your classmates pointed to the :) face. You pointed to the >:( face. Now they’re all in Pre-K enjoying lightly structured activities like “circle time," and you’re stuck in pre-school vomiting over flash cards.

Sorry some jackass brought in treats that you like.

Just so we're clear, it’s not like this guy stole your family's secret blend of sugars and spices, is now using your recipe to create cream puffs identical to the ones you bake, and is selling them at a profit besides. Your recipe is exchanging money for goods and services. An old family retail trick. Just like Mama used to do.

Surely when you told your coworker the location of the bakery, you must have had some idea that he might, one day, go there himself and buy the cream puffs you praised so highly? Did you think he was just taking a poll of where everyone buys their cream puffs and that he was going to destroy the data once he had collected it? If you wanted to keep the location of the immaculate puffs a secret, you could have said playfully “I can’t tell you that! It’s my little secret.” This would have been mildly annoying, but it’s unlikely he would have pulled down the blinds and tortured you until you spilled.

The fact that he went 10 miles out of his way to get them is pretty outrageous, until you consider the fact that he was traveling by car, not riding his stallion into the night, or crawling over broken glass on his belly like a snake.

If you want your bakery—by the way, how magnanimous of you to allow your personal baker to sell his wares to the peasants; all the serfs in your fiefdom must thank the Lord daily for your charity—to continue churning out the cream puffs you love, a good way to ensure that happens is to help it stay in business. If you were the only person shopping there, their operating costs would quickly outweigh their profits—even if you bought cream puffs from them every day (which you do not). Businesses, even businesses that you like a lot, need more customers than just you.

It’s unlikely that this executive brought a treat to share with everyone to spite you. He didn’t do it so people would spit out the cream puffs you bring in, and whine, “The ones Tom brought were better.” He didn’t do it to steal your super power (the power to locate and purchase cream puffs from this specific bakery).

What you should do at this point is be happy you have a friendly relationship with a superior at work. If the cream puffs have, in your estimation, become less desirable now that they have gone corporate, consider bringing in another treat from what is evidently a delightful little bakery. Your other options are murder or arson.


From: cnjr4fv+d2w20@guerrillamail.com

Subj: tHATS N noT okaY

my best friend's sister makes 86 an hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 9 months but last month her paycheck was 13265 just working on the computer for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more [URL REDACTED]

Thatz Okay.

There’s nothing inherently shameful about receiving a large paycheck for work you have done. Humility is a virtue; poverty is not. I find nothing offensive about the fact that your best friend’s sister makes 86 an hour on the computer; I am, however, concerned that your preoccupation with the details of her salary has reached the point of obsession.

How is it that you know the amount on your best friend’s sister’s paycheck down to the last digit? Is she giving you this information herself, even though it doesn’t sound like you two are particularly close? Are you rifling through her trash? Is her sister (your best friend) bragging to you about it?

“My son is a doctor. My sister makes 86 an hour on the computer and last month her paycheck was 13265.”

For the record, based on the figures you’ve provided, it would appear that this woman worked normal 8 hour shifts last month, minus a couple personal days for doctor's appointments, vacations, or what have you. She’s not “out of a job.” She has a full-time job, working, as you say, on the computer.

It’s not clear to me whether you’re sharing this information with me because you believe what she’s doing is somehow illegal or because you’re jealous.

If it’s the former, the responsible thing to do is share your concerns with the authorities. You can look up the anonymous tip line of your local police department online; many departments will even allow you to text your tip anonymously, if you’re bad on the phone. You can report an Internet crime to the FBI here. This may be the most relevant option, since your best friend’s sister’s work seems largely computer-based.

However, if the issue is jealousy, my advice is: stop obsessing. Some people make 86 an hour and some people make 7.25 an hour and some people make 200 an hour. That's just how economies work. (I assume we're talking about dollars. If your best friend's sister makes 86 widgets an hour, that sounds like it might be veering into sweatshop territory in which case I would, again, advise you contact the authorities rather than an internet advice column.)

Focus on your own career, not the lives of your friends’ siblings. If you’re unhappy with your job, why not consider pursuing the line of work with which your best friend’s sister has found so much success? You’ve obviously done quite a bit of research into it; go to that website you yourself linked to, to read more. If you’re concerned that her mysterious job (data analysis? Something with Defense?) requires technological skill beyond what you already possess, be proactive. Take a computer class at night. Watch Photoshop tutorials online. Ask your best friend if she might facilitate a meeting between you and her sister so that you can pick her brain for advice on breaking into the field.

What I'm saying is: follow your dreams. Don't waste time gossiping to strangers about these riches; pursue them for yourself. Then maybe one day, years from now, I’ll receive an email from you declaring “I make 86 an hour on the computer. Last month my paycheck was 13265 just working on the computer for a few hours.”

I will delete that email because it is irrelevant to my life but, I mean, good for you.

Submit your "Thatz Not Okay" questions here. Image by Jim Cooke; source photo from Shutterstock.