Quick quiz for you: You’re at a morale-building function at work (whether it be a company picnic, a birthday celebration, or even just coffee and donuts). Someone decides to ask you what you think about how the food tastes. Do you:
1. Offer a frank opinion, based off of the nuances of the food being offered.
2. Lie your ass off, because frank opinions in the work place are as unwelcomed as intercommed announcements requesting your presence in Human Resources.
The correct answer is “#3″ – Stare at the person who asked for your opinion until they offer their own answer and then mimic at your own discretion.
I offer you these examples, because while at work, you’re dealing with people who believe themselves to have exquisite taste, even as they offer you a bite of their green bean casserole made with Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup and stale Onion bits. Smile and take a bite. It won’t hurt you…much.
The idea of cuisine at most workplaces is a bizarro world of ideas and traditions. Coffee is proffered via vacuum sealed packs of micro-granules that were once coffee beans, but are now seen as standard requirements to getting any project completed. Food is offered in Vending machines containing donuts and Bear Claws that haven’t seen natural lighting since 1998. And when Birthdays are celebrated? Cakes are purchased from local supermarkets whose ideas of frosting include two primary ingredients…sugar and vegetable shortening.
You, with so little say in the ways of food at the workplace, can only bring yourself to nod and accept these culinary ideals, because somehow, somewhere in this building that you work in, someone else actually likes this stuff. Woe be to you if you happen to besmirch the fine, upstanding reputation of Caterer’s Blend Inoffensive Coffee Blend around said person, especially if said person is someone who has direct influence over the amount you recieve in your paycheck every two weeks. In the workplace, everyone has good taste.
I say this to you as a warning. Today was a day where the workplace’s Softball team held an event where they sold to an unsuspecting crowd chili (which consisted mostly of beans, ground beef and tomato paste), and hot dogs (which were…well…hot dogs).
It was wonderful.