Brownie: (hands on cheeks, dismayed) I'm so, so sorry. I didn't have any more stockings.
Me: (sips coffee) Good morning.
Brownie: I thought had got enough for everyone in this office but I got here early and started putting everything up and saw that I didn't have one for you. (hand on heart) I feel terrible.
Me: It's okay. I don't need one.
Brownie: You just tell me which one you want and I'll go back to the store and get one for you--
Me: No, thank you. I don't want one.
Brownie: --there's reindeer, snowmen, snowflakes, um, lemme think....
Me: Don't worry about it.
Brownie: ...and I think I saw some Christmas trees, gold stars, elves-those were cool if you like those. Just tell me.
Me: I don't want any. Thank you. This was nice for you to do, but I'm okay.
Brownie: I could go to another store and see what they have. I could go out to Target on my lunch break and see what they have. They usually have a lot of--
Me: No! No stockings. Please don't do anything.
(Brownie stares me down, exits. Later, at a meeting with my boss and other coworkers.)
Boss: (leans over) So, I hear you don't want a stocking.
Me: Uh, what? No, I don't actually.
Boss: We all have them, just take one and say thank you.
Me: I don't want one and there's no reason for Brownie to put out more effort, especially for me.
Boss: (with intensity) Take it and shut up about it.
(After meeting, back at my desk, I find a reindeer stocking with my name one it. Brownie peeks over the barrier between our cubicles. I turn around and her head disappears in a flash.)