Saturday, January 06, 2007

New Year, New Cafeteria Aggro – FB2B, part 43

Ah,…the start of a new year. New resolutions, a fresh start on those dietary and exercise goals, more promises to myself to stay away from the candy machine when the mid-afternoon slump hits. What?! What’s this? They took our holiday break to redo the company cafeteria and institute pricing changes that effectively jack up the cost of our subsidized lunches? There is something really wrong about that.
I’ve worked in quite a few places that didn’t have an on-site facility for meals so to me having a quick, cheap place to grab breakfast, lunch and/or snack is a bit of a luxury item, if it can be called that. I know, I know, they usually carry the same old boring standard fare. Most of you who’ve had access to them could recite the menu without ever having set foot in the one that I patronize most days between the hours of 12 noon to 2:30 p.m.

The folks who run this particular establishment, however, actually have tried to liven up the usual salad bar-sandwich bar-hamburger/grill-pizza/pasta station format. There’s theme days (although I’ve been to some of those countries and never seen what is served here), an Asian stir-fry stand, and one that rotates tacos, chilis, Mediterranean, and noodles. The real treat is the so-called “Chef’s Table” which bi-weekly has a sushi chef come to visit. On that day, the line is so long, you’d think that some major giveaway like free open gym membership, luxury apartments and speedboats for everyone had happened.

But it was the change in how they priced the food by the pound – it’s now by the ounce – and the fact that the set price for a hot entrée and 2 sides went from $5.00 to by-the-ounce and became self-serve in the process that has people talking. You’d have thought that they’d asked us to travel to the moon, or at least to Jersey, to purchase our lunch, which we’d have to pay for in Euros and then convert our change back into dollars [not to pick on the Euro-regions but you get the point]. We’d been living in our subsidized-lunch bliss world for too long.

Still, we are resilient. We will overcome these pricing changes. We will most likely still continue to grumble while at the same time continuing to eat there (although I really hope that the guy who sits in the group next to mine cools off on this topic soon as he’s been obsessing about it every day this week). And, I still have hope that somehow, I’ll find something more interesting to eat for lunch each day….

Buon appetito!

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