While there is some literature already devoted to the office candy bowl (does it make your coworkers fat, fatter, or just happy), I wanted to lay down some rules as to the mechanics of candy dish protocol:
- If you have two bowls on the same desk, they should not contain the same kind of candy (ie, two bowls right next to each other both filled with Hersey’s Kisses [unless they are different kinds])
- An extension of Rule 1 is, no two bowls in the same office should have the same candy – if one person already has Tootsie Rolls in their candy dish, no one else in the office is allowed to have Tootsie Rolls in their dish too. After all, variety is the spice of life
- Unwrapped candy (such as M&Ms) should only be in bowls that don’t allow people to dip their whole hands in – they should either have to be dumped out, scooped with a spoon, or dispensed through a spout
- It is okay to mix different kinds of wrapped candy in the same bowl
- It is not okay to mix wrapped and unwrapped candy in the same bowl
- It is never okay to mix chocolate and mints in the same bowl (because the chocolate will pick up the mint flavor)
Funny story about M&Ms: a coworker of mine once conducted an experiment to see how disgusting and unappealing he could make a bowl of M&Ms and still have people eat them. First, he kept a bowl on his desk to see who in the office would use a spoon to scoop some out, or tip some out into their hand, or just delve their bare hand in and grab some. Next, he started leaving things in the bowl – a pencil, a paperclip, the phone cord, etc. – to see if anyone would be deterred. Finally, he put the bowl on the sink in the men’s room – and even still, within a few days all the M&Ms were gone.