What Smelly Lunchtime Treats Are In Your Desk Drawers?


Got this email from Profiled Midtown Lunch’er Jenn today, and it started me thinking what other weird lunchtime treats are people hiding in their desk drawers.

Since the word is out on your LA departure, I thought I’d take this opportunity to impart to you my Midtown Lunch Secret of Shame. A few things you should know first:

1. My midtown office only has 3 people (including myself) in it.
2. My desk is partially blocked from view by a semi-wall.
3. I really really love sardines and other varieties of stinky canned fish.

In my desk drawer, at any point, you will find many cans of sardines and kipper snacks. Some days when I’m in the mood, I run down to Woorijip and grab a small rice to-go. I come back to my desk, duck behind my giant computer monitor and with controlled urgency (go too fast and the precious oil will spill) peel back the top of that little tinned can bastion of briny heaven. Then I pray that the odor (a mix of joy and catfood) doesn’t waft to the other nethers of the office.

Today, I’m alone in the office and so can openly, shamelessly indulge in my Fancy Feast fancies. I also happen to have plain instant oatmeal that I never opened in my desk too and since I do love a savory oatmeal, my lunch consists of salty herring fillets and hot oatmeal….in my coffee mug.

I know it’s anti-Midtown Lunch to be eating at my desk, but I do like to save my outdoor-recess time to get coffee at Stumptown and ogle the old-timey hipster barista boys in teeny pants. -Jenn

Obviously condiments are a no brainer, and remember that guy who used to roll his own sushi at his desk? But stashed away sardines and oatmeal? I love sardines as much as the next guy, but you’ve got to feel a little bit bad for that girl’s two office mates. How about you? What secret (possibly smelly) lunchtime treats are hiding out in your desk?


  • You people in New Yawk City (and even ‘Fred’) are REALLY nasty folks.


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    at the moment, nothing smelly but the [large] stash does include mustard vegetarian mushroom strips (taiwanese vegetarian beef jerky), canned salmon for emergencies, ginger snaps, mixed nuts, daim chocolate, vosges white pepper chocolate bunny, ketchup, pepper, japanese rice cakes with black sesame filling, australian crystallized ginger from penzeys, campbell’s chunky noodle soup (in case i am sick), mccann’s instant irish oatmeal, nature valley oats n honey, wasa crisp n light, see’s candies, japanese potato chips (seaweed and salt).
    nothing smelly but I once ordered korean fried chicken in Queens for lunch with a side of pickled vegetables and that had people racing out of the office. luckily no one knew it was me and I had no idea it would be that smelly. It was indeed really smelly and a non-asian would definitely find it offensive. even asians find it offensive but some can deal with it given that they’ve prob encountered it before anyhow.

  • Well I have ladies in the office that aren’t afraid to spray lots of disinfectant in the air so let’s see those smelly-food bearers enjoy their food with the lysol-scented air. lol.

  • @ ‘sedala’,

    Huh? What??

    Could you repost your comment in good American, King’s English, which is generally more respected and understood in the United States of America – - – which is where, I assume, your are presently living?

    Then, perhaps, we American folks who arrived on this continent via Plimoth Plantation, can understand what the FU*K you are talking about.

    Carry on.

  • What’s with the canned fish in drawers? Even if it’s for an emergency, I think the last thing that anyone wants to experience during an emergency is the briny smell of canned fish.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    My office is right next to Koreatown and we used to have a temp who’d get kimchi every day and bring it back to his desk to eat. I liked him as a person but I was still a little relieved when he left the job.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Reminds me of the time I made fried chicken for the office xmas party and I used oyster & fish sauce to make the chicken.

    Well, when I put some of the leftovers in the microwave later it smelled like death in the kitchen. One of my coworkers, loudly, stated that it smelled in there, but luckily I was already at my desk so no one knew it was me.

    Though it took over 2 days for that smell to leave my apartment.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    There was once this girl in my grad school class who would always bring this repulsive crab/pepper/cheese dip to class with her. She’d sit there during class, dipping pretzels in the thing while everyone else around her tried not to gag.

  • While I don’t keep anything funky at work (just condiments like Cholula, Frank’s, Barbecue Sauce, Mustard, as well as some iced-tea mix and some nuts like almonds, pistachio’s, and peanuts), at home, I’ve had to stop using Locatelli (Romano) cheese as my wife can’t stand the smell. Even Parmaggiano Regiano cheese is too strong for her, with the sole exception of Grana Padana which she can tolerate. She’s since gotten me back by opening one of those tins of kippers though.

  • looks like someone’s had a shit in a cup.

  • not something i wanted to read first thing in the morning especially when im eating oat meal…gross…

    one time this lady did totaly heat up fish and rice for breakfast…not cool…especially with all the other smells in teh kitchen in the morning…(cofee…muffins…fish…rice…)

  • I don’t understand why Zach’s announced departure precipitated this “confession.” What’s the connection? Did Jenn think that Zach might stop by her office if he stayed in town and steal her oatmeal/sardine sundae?

    Just morning coffee at my desk here. No food in the drawer but a couple of packets of hot sauce. (Even tho the kitchen is just 30 feet away.)

  • i can dig a little bit of sardines… but sardines and oats dont do it for me…

    I will say that the worst offense in an office is dumplings. Especially since i work in china town… dumplings smell like straight up garbage- and yet they still eat them! gag!
    i can deal with smelly canned fish- that doesnt linger like the stench of garbage dumplings

  • Why so much hate? Geez. Whatever. Having said that, both my home office desk and my desk at the office appear to have copious amounts of chocolate in them, even though I rarely eat chocolate. Strange.

  • i think parmasan cheese smells pretty awful…THERE I SAID IT!!!!!

  • Do you eat any hard cheeses? If Parmesan is awful to you, it’s mild in comparison to provolone, asiago, romano, etc.

  • Wayne and Rudy really are on vacation. No ladies drawers/sticky fish jokes

    Maybe that’s a good thing

  • Stinky not sticky.. oops!

  • Dumplings smell like garbage? WTH. Dumplings are awesome! Then again, I don’t really eat the cheap fillered dumplings in chinatown. I eat the frozen supermarket variety. Haha.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.