Have you ever gotten like this?
See, one of the cool things about the company I work for is the way they seem to embrace family units when it comes to hiring. The manufacturing wing of the place is a constant buzz of activity and noise, but it's also apparently a fairly active hotbed of employees hooking their sons and daughters up -- not only with jobs, but with each other as well...Maybe I should explain.
The way I know this is that a bunch of the bigger extended family groups who work here all bringBut unlike the office potlucks I've become used to over the years where people bring Corningware dishes filled with various items mixed with cream of mushroom soup -- this is an all day affair where the mostly pan-Asian staff here comes in early, plugs in a variety of rice cookers and crock pots so they can simmer homemade dishes to the perfect temperature by lunchtime.
in food and gather around the big tables in the café for this huge sort of family picnic every Friday.
And I'm not talking about handed-down recipes or quick-kit dishes here. A lot of these folks are first and second generation. A lot of them don't really speak English. I'm talking about homemade Polynesian, Vietnamese, Filipino and Chinese food that's literally sitting there cooking with no one guarding it at all.
As a guy who spent many of his formative years mooching food off his Italian best friend's family, an arrangement that Gristina's grandmother once said was a "wonderful compliment to her cooking" -- there's few things more second nature to me than taking a spoon and you know, making sure the flavor was OK.I can't even begin to describe how incredible the aromas are.
I mean, who knows -- maybe I could; the families that hold these lunches seem pleasant enough, but they don't know me from Adam -- And there's a world of difference between offering the kid who's always at your house an extra plate of pasta and having some honky you've never seen before sneaking bites of your lunch between meetings.Something I obviously can't do here.
The obvious solution here is to figure out where these people work, start hanging around there, turn on the charm and see if I get some kind of Eddie Haskell deal where I'm actually invited to the next picnic and then chowdown to my heart's content --- but there's still a language barrier to deal with, leaving me without a clear path to follow or any hot and delicious food on my plate.
But then I noticed something. Something that gave me hope.Because when you take look around the rest of the cafe, you quickly realize that you're not the only one wrestling with this problem.
They're easy to spot. The maintenance guy picking at his salad. The sales specialist staring disappointingly at her Lean Cuisine tray while continually stealing glances towards the homemade Mongolian Barbeque spread that's going on literally two tables away.
The more you look at them, the more obvious the solution becomes. The more you begin to wonder why it wasn't the first idea to come to mind. Because when you have a room filled with hungry people and food they can't have, you have a cause. A single thread that pulls everyone together.
I'm serious. Just because I can't communicate with these people verbally doesn't mean that one or two of us couldn't create some sort of diversion while the rest of us run up and steal as many bowlfuls of szechuan beef as we can carry.What we need to do here is get organized.
I can see it now. An innocent Outlook meeting request. A low-lit conference room. A scale model of the cafeteria area set out on the table, surrounded by a small group of fat people plotting the perfect commando raid.
Personally I'd be the one championing the Red Dawn approach, wherein we all just run up in a single group, yell "Wolverines!!" at the top of our lungs and then just start eating as much as we can off their plates until they beat us back -- but seeing as this is a company full of engineers it only goes to figure that they'll probably want some sort of fancy-schmancy coordinated attack. But to be honest with you, I can't just sit here and sign off on some cockeyed plan that leaves our boys stranded on those beaches without air support.
No, the only way to do this is through the front door.Biggs, Wedge -- let's close it up. We're going in, We're going in full throttle.
[Listening to: Foo Fighters – "Breakout" ]