October 10, 2014
Fluffy, golden pancakes. Butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit, orange juice, and of course, bacon. It sounds good, sounds very good. I’d really like to have a good breakfast like that.
The breakfast I had at the office last week was not totally dissimilar.
I’ll get to it soon enough.
This is Employee Appreciation Week at the Company I Am employed by. While I am not allowed to name The Company, I’ve said in the past that it is huge, national (some would say multi-national) and with amazing resources.
It is also incredibly cheap. For Employee Appreciation Week, the organizers were given a budget that was the equal of, and get ready to be blown away, $2 per person.
Yup, $2. So here’s the breakdown of the events of Employee Appreciation Week. Try to see where the $2 went.
Day 1- Funny hat day! Play Bingo at your desk! (We were emailed a new number every 5 minutes.) Free granola bar!
Day 2- Hawaiian shirt day! Everyone got a plastic lei.
Day 3- Trivia! Every hour a new trivia question was emailed to us. The catch? The questions were about The Company.
Day 4- Decades Day! Wear the clothes of your favorite decade!
Day 5- Pancake Breakfast Day!
Oh, there were four balloons near the doors on every floor, and three streamers in the hall. But the big ticket item, which must have cost as much at $1.85 out of every $2, was the pancake breakfast.
The breakfast was served from 8 to 9:30 am by the corporate executives and directors. Unlike past corporate meals where we were given a specific time to eat, we were allowed to go whenever we wanted. Of course, everyone wanted to go at 8, so the line was pretty long.
When we got into the cafeteria, the food was set up on tables in front of the usual serving area. In other words, the food was nowhere near the stoves, ovens, griddles, hot tables, etc. This was not a good sign.
Our first stop was by the Director of my division, who handed us a small Styrofoam box. Remember the McDLT that McDonald’s used to beg us to buy? (“The hot side stays hot, the cold side stays cold. Really, we think someone will buy this”) The Styrofoam containers were roughly the same size, meaning our pancakes breakfast would be served in a box roughly the size of two Big Mac boxes side by side.
The next station was the pancakes. I’ve eaten my fair share of pancakes in my life. I love IHOP and go well out of my way for the all-you-can-eat pancakes deal. So I know pancakes.
These were not pancakes.
These were very thin, almost see-through, and about 2/3 the diameter of a normal pancake. They were stacked up in a large tin tray and the server, another Director, asked me “one pancake or two?” I said “how about 13?” He laughed and dropped two pancakes in my box, taking up the room of about a couple of sheets of paper.
This was followed by a strip of overcooked bacon and a scoop of mixed fruit. I took a couple of little butter packets and some syrup packets which were generically labeled YELLOW BUTTER and PANCAKE SYRUP (MAPLE).
Lastly was a woman who tried to hand me either a tiny container of orange juice (Tropicana, believe it or not) or a bottle of water. She was not happy when I took both.
And then, Styrofoam container and drinks in hand, we went back upstairs and to our desks to eat since the cafeteria is under construction.
I tried to spread the butter on the pancakes and they tore apart. Then three bites later and my breakfast was finished.
Overall, I’d say that yes, I nearly got my $2 worth out of Employee Appreciation Week.