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.

Napa in 3 dots or less

By now you’ve figured out that I have way too many thoughts running through my head.  It has always been the case, but it can be harder to hide it as I write about diverse topics and try to weave topics together.  Most every day, I start a post only to realize it’s going nowhere fast.  Much like Hawaii, my blog has a minimum speed limit.  Those posts don’t see the light of day.  One day you’ll thank me for that.

Someone recently urged me to write about my last Napa trip so she could live vicariously though my blog.  That post never materialized.  Too many moving parts and too few coherent thoughts prevented that from happening.  But I do have a few things from that weekend.

  • Alpha Omega is fantastic winery. Thanks to my brother for getting us in and kudos to the staff for taking such good care of us.
  • Hartwell and Elyse remain my two favorite Wineries.    Both produce excellent wines and have fantastic staffs.  Hartwell is my luxury Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.  Elyse’s wines run a wide stretch of the varietals, each excellent.  I love their Cabernets and Petite Sirahs (on the Jacob Franklin label.) The Jacob Franklin Hayne Vineyard Petite is my favorite wine these days and the Quality/Price Ratio at Elyse is off the charts.  Rick at Elyse or David at Hartwell make both places warm, welcoming and must visits.  Drop my name, it might help.  But don’t be upset if it doesn’t.
  • If you must wear designer flip-flops this season, they should Gucci.  Prada is so 2010.
  • Sift in Napa makes great cupcakes judging by the half of the bacon cupcake I was allotted.
  • In Downtown Napa, I love the service, vibe and coffee at Caffe Molinari.
  • Sweetie Pie makes whoopee pies to die for.  Someone please send me a care package.
  • My BBQ is better than the 2 places I had BBQ at.  I’m not sure if I’m that good or they weren’t.
  • Dillon at Cindy’s Backstreet Café made every woman in my family swoon.
  • There was no Jello on the menu at any restaurant I visited
  • Bello Family Vineyards in St. Helena is an up and comer.  Nice wines, great staff and a spectacular tasting room.
  • I sat next to Abbie Hoffman, or someone like him, at the Oakland Raiders Training Camp.

Those are just some of the things I tried several times to weave into a narrative.  Continuing my homage to Herb Caen we have:

  • I have never had a better Greyhound than the ones at Van Kleef in Oakland.  There is magic in their grapefruit juice.  I do love a great dive bar.  Especially one with a Rhino, Boar and Bear holding court.
  • Keep your eyes open for Stag’s Luncheonette in Oakland.  You’ll hear about them soon.
  • Strange de Jim is not feeding me information. His silence frightens me.
  • The drama at work is never-ending.  I am thinking of asking Lemal to write a theme song.
  • I am very excited to being going to the Windy City for WorldCon.  The Brotherhood without Banners will be well represented.  An advance scout team from down under is in San Francisco and ready to drink.  Good times will be had.
  • If you learn nothing else from Robert Irvine, you need to use more salt and pepper.  And you shouldn’t get ice in restaurants.  Too many bad restaurants cause us to question all ice machines, even the clean ones.
  • A six-foot pallet makes a great planter.  But no fence is strong enough to support that weight.  Yes I might have bought 50 more succulents.  And some crazy grasses.
  • The donuts at Donut Savant in Oakland are great.  And small.  My mom would still try to limit me to half of the tininess.

And with that, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Crack a few bottles, have a  whole donut or kiss your loved ones.  It’s all good.  Sometimes, its even better.