I have a candy dish on my desk at work.

This was something I initiated when I first started at my job years ago. It would, I thought at the time, encourage my co-workers to feign interest in me for at least as long as it took them to plunge their sticky hands into the bowl and snatch a Snickers bar.

And indeed, it worked. People from all over the floor stopped by to pretend to ask about my day, to tell me their problems in excruciating detail, and to generally stick around just long enough to assuage their guilt at using me for chocolate. I developed relationships – albeit ones predicated on giving people free shit – that I might not have otherwise.

But then, something began to happen.

People would come in to grab “just a taste”, as they would whisper when I was on the phone, and then, when I looked away to Purell the receiver or polish an award, they’d grab three more “tastes”.

They’d announce that they had been sent by a laundry list of people who were having chocolate emergencies, and would scoop up enough candy bars to require an insulin pump.

And I would come back from lunch to find the bowl – which had just been filled up that morning – empty. Save for some weird streaks apparently left by someone attempting to lick it.

Okay, maybe I’m just being petty. After all, isn’t human interaction what we all crave? Aren’t emotional bonds and friendships what life is all about? Aren’t those gifts that more than offset the cost of some stupid Milky Ways and Butterfingers?

And really, what is a moment where a co-worker tells you about her uterine cancer worth? How can you assess a “value” to someone sharing the story of her boyfriend stealing all her stuff and leaving town? What possible “price tag” could you assign to someone who texts you the photo of the girl they just hooked up with on Tinder and then comes in to give you, pardon the pun, the blow by blow?

I’m gonna say $29.95.

So that’s $89.85. This candy costs me about $250 a year.

The rest of these greedy bastards better pay up.