Corporate Culture Leftovers

Some companies will provide a continental style breakfast for their workers, as a way to save time and money instead of the workers needing to work their hours later. Or to keep people from complaining, maybe. When it's received for what it is -- not an entitlement -- it can be pleasant and a nice light-weight social thing.

Some companies also provide a free lunch -- a buffet of bread, cold cuts, or pre-made sandwiches and soup. It's a way to save time -- going out for lunch (not errands, just lunch) can take the whole half hour many people are allocated. You don't even have to put this on the time sheet -- you (or beg someone else to do it for you) pick up your food and eat at your desk. I love eating at my desk, by the way.

Other companies will heavily subsidize an on-site cafeteria. I love being able to pick up oatmeal and coffee and fruit for under $2! Or a panini, or soup, or salad. It's a great convenience, and when I left the corporate world, this was something I really missed.  One company even put it on my pre-tax withdrawals, so I never saw the money -- it made it free, in my mind.

When I worked for a smaller corporation, there was a (don't laugh!) food committee, and I got on it so I could help control the leftovers. I created a list for people who were interested (#leftovers!) and would let them know, "leftover sandwiches and pasta salad in conf#6" and watch people trying to be casual about running over there to get a share. One woman there would bring her tupperware so clean up everything, so she could eat dinner, too.

Or the note might say, "pizza in con#1 (chuck ordered)" which was code for "not the good pizza," and those who knew better would refrain while the newbies streamed to conf#1. Or, "breakfast courtesy of client event last night -- soggy quiche tartlets, put in toaster oven" and soon the space would be filled with the smell of warming egg and pastry.

It's the one big regret of leaving my corporate job. I think I would have stayed for the food, if I'd thought more thoroughly about it!
auroramaru auroramaru
46-50, F
6 Responses Dec 11, 2012

thank you, redrubies! i am almost tempted to take bets as the too-cool intern from dev saunters along and the dieting cpa from accounting tries to outrun him ... without looking like it. :)

This was delightful! I love the code words! (I know exactly what you mean about watching people try to be casual as they bolt towards the food... I always found that funny too!)

Cute write up, Aurora!

grayhalo, perfect price and usually of a more expensive grade that you'd buy for yourself, right? i loved working for food snobs on a diet lol!

nubbintodeclare, add food is the formula used by many a manager, just to have it degrade to, "donuts AGAIN?" or worse, "why can't we get the healthy pizza?" i've noticed this attitude happens with dinner guests. i recently cancelled a whole dinner party when one of the guests DEMANDED a certain pain in the *** dish be made. what?? ;)

laurenz, it's funny how "a gift" becomes "an entitlement" so quickly. even something like a driver's license is seen as an entitlement, rather than a privilege or a responsibility. and besides, all those people whining about their jobs ... um, do any of them remember what it's like to be without a job??

"not an entitlement" -- HA! Love that part. What has happened to our society?