Employee Appreciation “Week”

It’s “Employee Appreciation Week” here at work. Monday was “Fiesta/Western Day” where they encouraged you to wear Western or Mexican style clothing and they served us breakfast tacos. There was also a basket of “Great Value 90 calorie chocolate chunk” bars for those watching their waistlines. Whoever designs the packaging for the Great Value brand needs to be drawn and quartered.

 I feel like I’m eating astronaut food..if I was an astronaut imprisoned in an orbiting concentration camp. Make that.. a robot astronaut prisoner. Ridiculous. I’ve only done a bit of design work on the side so I’m not an expert, nor have I stayed at a Holiday Inn. But I know good design when I see it. Or in this case…don’t see it. Packaging should motivate you to buy the produce, cause you to salivate when reaching for it on your shelf at home and cause a single tear to track it’s way down your cheek at the idea of ripping such a beautiful piece of art just to get to the awesome-by-association goodness hidden within. Or..you know..look cool and stuff.  Great Value fail. But of course, it’s free so I stuffed a couple (or 5) in my lab coat to take back to my desk for those days I’m feeling particularly desperate. It’s Friday now and there’s only 1 left so either the packaging really was tempting or..it’s a rough week and I’m an emotional eater PMS’ing. Maybe that’s who Great Value markets to..PMS’ers. Because really..we don’t care what it looks like or how it tastes. We just want chocolate..even if it is in “90 calorie chunk” form. Moving along…Fiesta Day! Some people dressed up with cowboy boots or hats (though this is Texas so it was hard to tell who was dressed up or who just showed up for work) and some dressed in colorful Mexican attire (though again..this is Texas..former statement still applies). I did not participate. Maybe because I didn’t have anything in my closet that fit either mold…or maybe because I’m cynical like that and refuse to participate in the corporate game of dress-up.

 Tuesday was “Hawaiian Day”. I actually did try to participate but I do not own a single piece of flowery clothing. Correction, I do not own a single piece of flowery clothing that still fits. I may or may not have gained a few pounds this past year. Though I do think the dryer may have had something to do with it. Breakfast this day was a giant fruit tray. That’s pretty “Hawaiian” so I’ll let that slide. Though some of the fruit included is not native to Hawaii. But..I’m trying to work on not saying “Actually…(insert argument here)” all the time. They had  lei’s strewn about the room for you to grab and wear to participate. And of course, the same basket filled with the same awfully-wrapped bars of mediocrity courtesy of the incredibly-void-of-creativity folks at Great Value. Again, I slipped a few in my lab coat pockets to save for a dreary PMS filled day.

 Wednesday was “Sports Day” and we were asked to wear a jersey or T-shirt from our favorite team. For the alarmingly high number of nerds who wouldn’t know a football from a basketball..you could wear your alma mater’s T-shirt instead. I forgot about dress-up day so I had to change into my Astros shirt right before I left the house. AFTER I put deodorant on. Apparently I put on shirts like a toddler because there was deodorant all over the front of it. Which takes me to my husband’s closet and his VERY comfortable, very nice Astros jersey.  Throw a black tank top under it and bam…I’m finally a participant in the corporate game of dress-up! I feel like I’ve sold a tiny piece of my soul. But at least it’s a comfy jersey. Life’s about balance. On the way to work I’m fantasizing about what breakfast could be. What could be sport-themed? Or college-themed? Apparently they went with the latter. There was a giant bowl of…wait for it…Great Value POP TARTS. I’m not even kidding. I can’t make this stuff up. What college kid hasn’t downed their weight in Pop-Tarts? That “Freshman 10” didn’t just happen by itself. So..the largest chemical company in the world is serving off-brand Pop-tarts to show their employees they appreciate them. I hate to see what happens when they fire me. They’ll probably ask for my drawer of Great Value breakfast bars back. Well, they’re not getting it. I’ll get crunk over some chocolate.

 Thursday’s theme was “Golden Oldies Day” with a side note of  “Wear your favorite attire from the 1950’s, 1960’s, 70’s 80’s etc..” Umm..excuse me??  I understand MAYBE stretching it to the 70’s but I take offense at including the 80’s. If I can remember the decade..it should NOT be considered an “Oldie”. For breakfast..we had a bit of heaven that more than made up for all of the lack-luster days preceding it. Award winning kolaches from the most amazing place ever. They picked up a mix of them. And folks, we are talking REAL kolaches. Not “Pig-in-a-blankets” that everyone calls a kolache. I want a t-shirt with a picture of a poppy-seed kolache (because they are the best of course) saying “THIS is a freaking kolache” and on the back it can have a picture of a sub-par weiner wrapped in sub-par dough with a giant x through it. I’m a bit passionate about educating the American public here. It’s in my genes, my ancestors were from what is now the Czech Republic. And they know how to throw down a kolache. I got to work late because it was just one of those mornings..then got hit with a few problems I had to deal with before I could get my coffee (always a dangerous situation). Before I realized it, it was 8:45. Breakfast was served at 7:30. I had full intentions of NOT eating breakfast at work this morning because I thought it would be the pig-in-a-blanket variety of “kolache” and didn’t think it was worth the calories since I’m trying to lose this stupid weight. So, I saunter upstairs just to case out the joint..maybe steal a few more Great Value bars for my collection…when I see the white box on the table with “The Kolache Shop” printed on it. My heart skipped a beat as I walked over to it. I didn’t dare make a sound in case someone heard me and thought “hey, there’s still breakfast up there! Let me go see!”. The last thing I needed was a fight over the last kolache. I opened the box and there it was..laying on the bottom..one cream cheese kolache. Of course, this is my second favorite kolache in the world. And I thought to myself…I know I’m trying to lose weight..and I wasn’t going to eat breakfast here this morning..but here it is still up here for us to eat..here is this box untouched..here is my second favorite kolache from my number one favorite kolache shop..it’s like..God himself was telling me He wanted me to eat it. And, who wants to argue with that guy? A quick pit stop at the microwave for 10 seconds and I was headed to my desk..coffee and kolache in hand. RIGHT when I sit down someone comes in “Hey, can you help me look up something?” I looked at her, looked at the kolache..sighed not very quietly but not loud enough to be rude..just enough for her to know she’s interrupting my quiet time here….and pushed the plate to the left. Type..Type..wait for system..smell kolache…type..type..wait for system…take quick bite of kolache. Then the amazingness hit my taste buds and the world stood still for a second. I literally stopped what I was doing, leaned back and closed my eyes. After swallowing the goodness, I opened my eyes to see my coworker giving me the stink eye. “What? Have you never tasted this before? Obviously not or you would understand me needing a moment to enjoy it.  And no, I’m not sharing.” Sheesh..some people…

 Today is Friday and there is no theme or plate of goods to consume. “Employee Appreciation Week” was only Monday-Thursday. So really..it should be called “4 days of Employee Appreciation”.  I’m not sure what kind of school these guys went to..but a week is 7 days, not 4.

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