Tales From A Hungry Life

October 19, 2017

The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Me

by Maria Schulz

Someday we’ll find it. The winning lottery ticket…

Have you ever participated in a work place lottery? It’s an interesting social experiment. The personalities that are revealed and the conversations that come up with co-workers are always kind of amusing, enlightening, and sometimes disturbing.

I like to classify them in terms of tribes that run the spectrum from “High Hopes to Shattered Dreams.” Here are the 5 tribes of coworkers you will meet when there is $50,000,000.00 on the line. Ready? Let’s go.

Get ready…

The Puppy Dogs (usually young. Possibly hipsters): Should this person win, he/she will open up a chain of awesome youth hostels and explore the world! Will definitely come back here and add cool work features like a ping pong table and Friday beer pong, bicycles for group lunch outings, “thinking rooms” with couches, TVs, and X-Boxes, the best snacks ever found, and an all-you-can-drink soda bar. Will allow half days for massage therapy and in-house tarot card readings. Vows to return, because he or she would miss you all too much!

Life is great! Let’s play

The Lovers: (sort of young, but can’t remember their college schedule like they used to. Thinks retirement is for old people): Loves their co-workers. Enjoys putting bringing in candy, cookies, and cheesecakes for them. Thinks putting money away for children’s college and pensions is fun. Will never retire. Loves nothing more than scoring coupons and getting a deal. If this person wins the lottery, he or she will keep his/her job and live off the interest from the winnings. Plans to continue working here and might even spring for 2-for-1 bagels if they win millions.

blah blah blah

The Optimists: (been around for awhile. Slightly beaten down but still manages to look on the bright side of life, just like Eric Idle as he hangs on the cross in The Life of Brian). Looks at retirement like an oasis: beautiful but a mirage all the same. Always sees the good in people, even those he or she would rather shoot with a 10,000 gallon fireman’s hose every time they open their mouths. No matter how bad things get, he or she will always think people are essentially good to their core. Will most certainly pay their mortgage and get new siding and a patio if they win tens of millions of dollars. Give up their jobs? Never.

Look on the bright side

The Pessimists: (has had their last ounce of human kindness drained by corporate life). Was possibly once an artist. Now rails against anything and everything. Thinks the deep state is out to get him for sins committed at Woodstock. Yearns to lie on a beach for days and not leave until they are a toasty brown color. Can see the darkness that lurks in every co-worker’s soul. Sends out vile emails about how stupid the boss is and cc’s them. Sole reason for living may be stirring the pot of office intrigue and sowing discontent. Wants nothing more than to be fired but has no back up plan. Would dream of staging a hostile takeover if he or she had any imagination, which of course he or she does not. When asked what he or she will do with the many millions, he/she replies: “Doesn’t matter. We’ll never win anyway.”

Always looks as sad as Charlie Brown did in “Snoopy, Come Home”

The Burnouts: (started work at the age of 3 in a coal mine. Hates people, especially co-workers. Was once a Puppy Dog): Usually named “Steve” or thinks they are a Stevie Nicks look-alike. Used to be a go-getter/bright-eyed youth, then a starry-eyed dreamer, then an avid optimist, then someone who sent vile emails to the boss. Now a total burnout who thinks life is better when he or she is anywhere but his or her desk. Would rather work at the North Pole under a tyrant named Santa than here. When asked if he or she will buy the company and liquidate it if they win the lottery, The Burnout looks up, smiles for the first time in years, and says: “Yes. Now take a good look at me, because if we win, you will never see me here again.”

I’m outta here

Where do you fall on this worker spectrum? Are you in the “high hopes” camp or the “shattered dreamers” camp? Take this quick test and discover which group is your “tribe.”

I can’t wait to get there

When you get up in the morning, the first thought you have about work is:

a) I love work! I can’t wait to get there

b) Work is all right. It’s better than living under an overpass

c) I wonder what’s going on in Iceland right now?

d) Gotta get into work and undermine…well, everyone.

e) Why isn’t Warren Buffet my father?

Will anyone notice?

About 11 am, you suddenly think:

a) I am so energized by meetings! I love having one-on-one time with my colleagues

b) If I have one more meeting today, I will run screaming from this f!@#king building

c) I wonder if I can binge watch Game of Thrones without anyone noticing?

d) People are essentially good…right? Of course I’m right!

e) I wonder if I could die at my desk without anyone noticing

Let’s eat

It’s lunch time! You take this opportunity to:

a) Go outside and walk briskly so you’re energized for the afternoon work shift

b) Sit at a small, sad table in your windowless cafeteria and wonder how everything went so wrong

c) Stuff your face full of burritos at Chipotle

d) Carefully unpack the nutritious lunch you brought from home because saving every penny is the way to nirvana

e) Plot your escape

Healthy and Delicious

It’s 3pm and you’re at your desk. You:

a) Scrounge up change to raid the vending machine

b) Wonder how on earth you will ever make it to 5 pm

c) Wish you could have siestas here

d) Refuel with granola and Jolt

e) Eat the economical snack you brought from home

One last task to finish

It’s 5 pm. You:

a) Linger at your desk, getting everything straightened out before heading home

b) Write a 6 page memo about the lottery and ask co-workers to light a candle/pray for a bashert/call-out to Vishnu/put your religious ritual here so that we can all win and split that $50 mil seven ways to Sunday

c) Have disappeared, possibly hours ago. No one noticed.

d) Wake up and run as fast as humanly possible to your car

e) Send one last vile email to your boss, because you enjoy tempting fate


  1. Your Predominant Answer is: A

    You are a Puppy Dog. Congratulations! You are overeager and self-assured. Your endless striving and enthusiasm is relentless and irritating, even though everyone admits puppies are cute.

    Your Predominant Answer is: B

    You are either a Pessimist or a Burnout. But never fear! You still have the smallest ounce of optimism in you (hence the prayers for lottery winnings)

    Your Predominant Answer is: C

    You are either a Lover or an Optimist with strong Pessimistic tendencies. But overall, you are not a soulless shell. Congrats!

    Your Predominant Answer is: D

    You are a Puppy Dog that will soon be a Lover. Don’t cry. It happens to the best of us.

    Your Predominant Answer is: E

    You are without a doubt the most Pessimistic Burnout on the planet. You enjoy dreaming about stealing all of the winnings from your co-workers and running away with every last dime. You are a soulless corporate drone who will never get fired or win the lottery. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

If you have a weird mix of answers, congratulations! You’re human. Robots need not apply.



Great Lunch Ideas…When I’m not scarfing down Chipotle (because I really am a Puppy Dog at heart)

So good

These Cheap, Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work from Eating Well look great. I like the BLATS (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato sandwiches), the Mediterranean sandwich, and even the vegan Buddha bowl. They are perfect for anyone who wants to pack healthier options…and it appeals to the Lovers inside of us all.

So…where do you fall on the Hopes and Dreams scale? Which tribe do you belong to? Which healthy/cheap lunch idea is your favorite? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!


  1. This is amazing, brilliant and hilarious!
    Your perennial puppy dog friend,

    Comment by wordimprovisor177 — October 19, 2017 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  2. Maria, I saw myself as part of all the tribes but now have joined a new tribe called the retired club. I don’t have group lotteries because I don’t have to go to an office anymore. Up until I stopped working from day to day I was in one or some of the tribes in your survey. Now I just wake up and enjoy the day. Now that’s the tribe to strive for. Tony

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — October 19, 2017 @ 10:46 am | Reply

  3. I must admit my answer is all of the above with a qualifying “That depends!”. Age isn’t even a qualifier because it all depends on how I feel that day. I have to admit it also depends on whether the Yankees won that day and how they won is a dependable factor. However, if I ever win the lottery I have to fight the urge to control lives because that big of a prize affects how everybody else looks at you. Harvey Weinstein comes to mind as does Warren Buffet. So while I like this blog I must answer by saying it all “DEPENDS”.

    Comment by bglou — October 19, 2017 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  4. Thanks for making me giggle.😉

    Comment by Paula — October 19, 2017 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

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