This will be the topic of my next speech in, The Entertaining Speaker manual. It’s the third project: Keep Them Laughing. The speech is meant to use humor and needs to be 5-7 minutes.


Mr. Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters and Guests,

Let me see a show of hands of the people who like donuts.

[PAUSE]

Now, let me see a show of hands of the people who have a favorite donut?

[PAUSE]

My favorite type of donut is a glazed chocolate cake. Though most of us have a second favorite option. You wouldn’t walk up to a box of donuts only to not find your favorite donut available and say, “Well I guess I’m not having a donut today.” No, you choose another option like raised or cake, frosted or glazed, filled with cream or jelly, or maybe some sprinkles. Today, I’m going to talk about an office dispute between two of my coworkers and a chocolate frosted donut.

I was about one year out of college when I got my second job in the Fixed Income group of a local mutual fund company.  This company was known for still requiring all employees to wear suits every day.  When I told my some-to-be-former coworkers where I was heading they all gave me the same warning.  

“That place is really buttoned up and stuffy.”

“You better watch what you say and how you act because it’s a really up tight place to work.”

I ended up finding out that they couldn’t have been more wrong.  To be fair, at the time, was working in the finance department so all my former coworkers knew about was other coworkers experience at my new jobs finance department. I’ve heard that the finance department at my new company was very much a stuffy, buttoned up atmosphere.  Investment Management, where I was going to be working, was not.

This story mainly involves two of my coworkers.  I’ll call them Chris and Kevin for this speech.  Chris worked with me in the Fixed Income group and Kevan worked in the Equity team that sat next to us. During my first few weeks on the job I considered them to be pretty close office friends.  They went to lunch together, talked about relationships, and went to happy hour. Then someone brought in a box of donuts. Actually, I think I was the one who brought in a box of donuts.  I grabbed my glazed chocolate cake donut, Chris grabbed a chocolate frosted donut, and a few other workers also got a donut. Then came Kevin.

Hold on, maybe I should give you a little bit of background information on Kevin.  I wouldn’t call him a chronic liar. I think he just really stretched the truth.  For example, he told us that he was the stunt double for Kevin on the Wonder Years, a comment so ridiculous I didn’t even think about checking the internet because what kind of stunts did Kevin do on the Wonder Years? Ride his bike or get beat up by Wayne? He also told us that he was offered a scholarship to be a pitcher for a division one baseball team but instead decided to go to a smaller college in Pittsburgh, not receive a scholarship, and not play baseball. When we asked him how far the distance was from home plate to the pitcher’s mound he didn’t know.  The other thing he told us was that his family was friends with Kevin Bacon,so your welcome, you are all now a part of the six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Now back to the donuts story, Kevin looks at the box of donuts and then looks at Chris and me standing nearby talking.  He asks Chris if he could split his chocolate frosted donut.  Chris and I gave him and odd look and Chris abruptly said, “No, choose one of the other five donuts that are left.” Kevin went on to tell us that he didn’t like any other donuts.  His favorite was chocolate frosted and that we should have known that and left him one.  Again, he said to Chris, “Just give me one piece of your donut.” I think I had a look on my face, like are you serious. At this point, Chris was annoyed and says, “No, dude, I’m not giving you a piece of my donut. Go take one of the others that are left.” Kevin stormed off to his cubicle while Chris, our boss, and I are almost doubled over laughing about the conversation.

During lunchtime, Chris is out to lunch but I’m working at my desk when I overhear Kevin talking to another coworker, “All I wanted was just one piece and he wouldn’t give it to me.”  I think I nearly fell out of my chair.  It was too unbelievable to not tell Chris.

A week goes by and we start to notice that Kevin is ignoring not just Chris but also everyone who associates with Chris.  It got to the point when you would see Kevin walking down the hallway he would stop on a dime, turn the other way, and walk away in the opposite direction.  A week goes by and Kevin brings in rice crispy treats for what we thought was an apology for acting like a jerk during the past week.  We all received an email saying the rice crispy treats were for everyone. Chris received a different email stating that the rice crispy treats were for everyone except him.  Chris ended up forwarding that email to everyone in our group.

I decided to eat a rice crispy treat and as I was cutting off a piece.  Kevin popped his head out of his cubicle like a Meercat looking from side to side. Then after noticing it was me, he motioned an Ok sign but then pointed a finger at Chris whose back was turned and gave a stern look while shaking his head which I guess was supposed to signal to me that it was ok for me to take a rice crispy treat but not Chris. Later when Kevin went out to lunch, Chris ending up eating half of the tray. Finally, at the end of the day Chris put Kevin’s email detailing how he was not allowed to eat his rice crispy treats into the text-to-speech tool in Microsoft Word and turned his speakers all the way up.  The robotic voice shouted across our whole floor.  My coworkers and if were barreled over from laughter.

Sadly, Chris and Kevin’s relationship was never the same.  Kevin quite talking to our entire team and anyone who associated with Chris.  Less than a year later Kevin left his job and moved away from Pittsburgh.  None of us have spoken to him since.

This story makes me think about how we all have crazy events happen in our lives. Think for a moment, about how you’ve handled a difficult situation in your life. Did you ever try thinking about it from the other person’s point of view? You might think their issue is as ridiculous as wanting just one piece of your chocolate frosted donut, but it’s important to remember that small issues can lead to big problems.

Mr. Toastmaster