The Bagel Ghetto

On Wednesdays, the company brings in bagels and donuts.  There are 4 dozen donuts and 4 dozen bagels with not nearly enough cream cheese.  There are roughly 110 people in the office on any given Wednesday.  On the Wednesday after Christmas there were about 30; the half order lasted till after lunch.  Today, the Wednesday after New Years there are closer to 50.  At 11 am there are still a dozen donuts and 18 or so bagels left which is unusual.  Under normal circumstances the order is completely gone by 10:15 or so.

Wednesday seems like an odd day to bring in snacks.  In my old company we brought them in on Fridays.  There were 30-40 of us in the office and we alternated with 3 dozen bagels and 3 dozen donuts.  Friday, the gateway to the weekend, seems like a great day to have a treat for the staff.  At my old job the food lasted all day for the most part.  Here, I see many people leaving the lunch room with 2-3 items.  That explains why the food is gone so quickly.

But why Wednesday?  That makes no sense to me.  Monday would get you in a good mood to start the week.  Friday would be the celebration of “almost done.”  Besides, we all know that most people slack on Fridays.  But Wednesday only makes sense, at least to me, if you are bringing food in each day.  That doesn’t happen here.  Is Wednesday the day no one in management is looking?

Of course judgment here is always called into question.  Let’s examine the food. First its bagels AND donuts.  I don’t get it.  One or the other, not both.  It is not a cocktail (or coffee) party, it is food to take to your desk.  Strike one.

In the bagel assortment is created by the bakery, which in my mind is just plain lazy – make a good order.  Because the bakery makes the assortment, they are only too happy to give us a few dozenl ghetto bagels.  Being Jewish, I know that the top tier bagels are onion and plain, followed by garlic, sesame and poppy seed.  Then there are middle tier bagels for the goyim like cheddar jalapeño, everything and asiago.  But not here.  We get cranberry, whole wheat and cinnamon raisin. And the worst?  That would be the blueberry. These are the ghetto bagels; the menu items they can’t give away. These are the bagels that would not qualify for food stamps they are so trashy.   I would say that at least 40% of the order is ghetto bagels.  And the order barely includes enough cream cheese for half of the bagels.  A lazy, incomplete order.  Strike 2.

Then we look at the donuts.  The first things I see are chocolate coated donuts with sprinkles.  Seriously?  And then I see the donuts with white frosting and sprinkles.  Sprinkles are for the whiney kids to shut them up.  They are not for hard working adults.  That begs the question, does management see their staff as whiners or are they too lazy to care?  Strike 3.

After over a year of watching the Wednesday orders, I can’t for the life of me figure out why no one evaluates what is left (aka the “rejects” or the “unwanted”) and tailors the order?  By now you know I over think many things, but seriously, if this is meant as an employee perk, shouldn’t more care and thought be put into it?  As a consultant I know these are not really “for” me.  Its why I tend to wait towards the end to take one.  I just wish some of those guys who take 3 would take 2 and that the person in charge of ordering would place a real order.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, he bakery where the order is placed, may be close, but it’s not good.  Their top tier bagels belong in the ghetto too.

How about this year we get our bagels from a middle class bakery?  I know there is no Barney Green Grass in the bay area.  I’d settle for Noah’s or any of about 25 small independent bakeries that do a passable bagel.  Yes Safeway is better.  Clearly buying ghetto bagels has not improved the ghetto economy and their social standing.  I guess this just another failed social experiment.

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  1. Sadly, I think you may be expecting too much from people, Lee. It shouldn’t be too much to ask, that people get a bagel order right, but… *gestures wryly at humanity*

    • having been responsible for the donuts (and sometimes) the bagel at a previous job, I took the time to refine the order by reviewing what got eaten and what was left. I even **gasp** talked to people. the small things don’t mean much when people realize you don’t really care. Then the gesture becomes and entitlement, not a motivator. Yes, I’m always managing. 🙂

  2. Anonymous

     /  January 2, 2013

    here’s to the way we did it at your previous job! 🙂

  3. becca

     /  January 2, 2013

    here’s to how we did it at your previous job 🙂

  4. As someone who knows all about this and people behind it, I am NOT surprised. They take little care beyond being able to place this in the new hire/recruiting materials – YES they put the bagels/donuts in that packet. So little wonder they have a hard time recruiting top talent in engineering. The devil is in the details and I think even he’s given up on the place.


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