Food Day: go away.

Since my transition from country living to city living I’ve had the luxury of working day-to-day in the comfort of my own home. This of course has its perks, but also its downfalls (i.e. all work and no play makes Kristi a dull boy).

Talking to Bruce (my cat) as if he were an old baby-friend has never made me feel particularly eccentric and I’ve never even been fazed by my ability to carry on a discussion with myself (I’m the most introspective person I know, right me?). That being said, lately I have noticed a frequency in cat-self conversation that might spill beyond the “normal” point: Two days ago I caught myself asking Bruce how to do a screen shot on my MacBook and yesterday I asked myself to answer the phone.

So, cabin fever might be setting in … and the frigid outside temperatures aren’t doing much to remedy the situation … but what is the most horrific part (or lovely part, depending on how you look at it) of working from home? The sudden and mysterious disappearance of food days.

Food Day, the day at work that makes a standard potluck gathering look like a continental breakfast at the Red Roof Inn, is a day held dear by all cubicle inhabitants roaming the corporate landscape. Little known fact: In corporate America, food days go against the concept of simple economics in that they are in high demand AND high supply. When analyzed from a real estate industry perspective, food days are like being in a buyers market AND a sellers market at the same exact time. Is this making you hungry?

So some of you might be wondering: “What the heck is a ‘food day’ … and why have a food day?”

“Food Day” is not just a clever title. Taken literally, it is a day of food that typically occurs in the workplace. A food day’s purpose is celebration. Celebration of virtually anything worth celebrating. Birthdays. Retirements. Anniversaries. Farewells. Welcome backs. Holidays. Certifications. Designations. Promotions. New babies. Weddings. Project completions. Supply cabinet restocks. Asbestos removals. The addition of Coke Zero to the vending machines. Tornado survival. Tiger-escape-from-zoo survival. Taco bar addition in the cafeteria. Seasonal changes. Etc.

Now you’re asking, “How is a food day confirmed by employees?”

Typically an email is sent to a department titled, “Food Day Friday” or whatever day the event shall take place. A truly organized food day will include a sign-up sheet posted in a convenient location where all participants are required to list what they plan to bring to avoid standard delight duplication. The unspoken rule is that an individual who does not contribute to the food day shall not participate in the food day unless he / she is the reason for said food day. This rule is commonly broken.

When sponsored by a single department, non-participating departments can catch wind of the food day easily and in a variety of ways. Scent immediately notifies those not involved in the food day that there is, in fact, a food day. Another way a food day will be revealed is via office-gossip. For example: “Did you hear that HR is having a food day?” This single statement is not only heard by the recipient to whom the communication message was directed … this utterance, no matter how quiet or seemingly small, is immediately heard across oceans of cubicles. Ears perk up and tummies rumble. People in corporate America commonly forget that in a building full of carpet walls … word travels fast.

Sight is another sense commonly regarded as a food day’s dead giveaway. Sight notification occurs when an individual whose nostrils or ears were earlier notified of the food day decides to venture out into the unknown to identify the location of the food. Once the site of food has been determined via the naked eye, it is this individual’s job, because he/she is a team player, to eagerly run back to report the information to his/her fellow work-cronies.

Now you ask, “Are there any complications brought on by these alleged food days?”

Absolutely. I argue that food days, although fun and tasty, are rather detrimental to the health of corporate America. The typical food day spread consists of cookies, cakes, pies, taco dip, potato chips, cheese spreads, sweet tea, pizza, meatballs, and cocktail weenies. These foods are so plentiful during one’s typical 2,000 calorie day that the excess treats tend to spill out from the tip food pyramid in a gush of sugar and fat. 2,000 calorie days double or even triple during a standard food day.

Not only are food days unhealthy and promote poor eating habits, but they are also consistently supplied at the absolute worst location: among fields of desks where people sit for hours on end, moving only the tips of their chubby sausage fingers in front of a glowing computer screen. Productivity can be low, and caloric intake can be very high.

In conclusion, food days are prevalent, easily identifiable, fun and well-rounded events yet fatty deposits grow exponentially with every bite of cake and dip of a chip. Since I’ve transitioned to a work-remote situation my fatty deposits have shrunk but my crazy deposits have expanded.

About Kristi Zimmerman

When I'm not navigating the interwebs as an internet marketing consultant, I'm either participating in a community theater production, running a local race, scoping out new Indie music or playing fetch with my cat, Bruce.
This entry was posted in culture-shock, good eatin'. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Food Day: go away.

  1. Tara says:

    I love how you reference HR’s food day…because we have one once a month! I think you may be incorrect on a couple of minor details though, allow me, my lady…. 1 – Food day boosts my productivity because of all the delicious food smells, sights, sounds, and tastes. My mood goes from sad to happy the moment I hear the crockpot being turned on, this causes me to want to pump up the jam (or in corporate words) get my projects complete. 2 – I think some coworkers are ashamed or shy about approaching the food area because the food is not good* for you…NOT ME…but others…so to avoid talking to others and embarrassment they slyly sneak to the area, grab the food quickly and leave…so not much socialization is going on (at least from my experiences). *I object to any remarks saying that food day food is bad for you, only because I refuse to believe such deliciousness and pure ectasy can be bad for your health. If you’ve ever had a bite of the cheesy dip Stacy makes then you’ll know what I’m talking about..words can not explain…

    Yours Sincerely,
    Food Days For Life or Die

    • Kristi Zimmerman says:

      You’ve raised some very valid points, muh’lady. Perhaps I am wrong about food days. Maybe I should give them another chance … and host one here … now.

      • Tara says:

        For millions of years food has brought smiles to billions of faces…think of that little kid in Aladdin that Aladdin gives the bread to or Simba the first time he eats the worms…slimy yet satifisfying….that’s how I would describe our food days round here…or
        If I could use only one word to describe food days it would be ‘hallucinatory’ or maybe even ‘elephanterrific’…..

      • Kristi Zimmerman says:

        You’re a wild goose, you know that?

  2. says:

    Don’t know if you guys learned this in school or not, but the first food day occured in 1860 in Hendersonville, Tennessee. It was a typical office setting, and to celebrate birthdays for the month of September, an assistant named Mandy Forrest suggested they all bring in food. During the course of the day, Jeremy Flavin’s crock pot full of nacho dip was inadvertently unplugged, causing the dip to form a hard crust on top. Flavin accused the guy in the next cube, Jefferson Davis, of unplugging it on purpose, since Davis had boasted all morning that his nacho dip was better than Flavin’s. Historians regard this as the beginning of the Civil War, which lasted from 1861-1865.

    • Kristi Zimmerman says:

      Oh yeah, now I remember. For some reason I thought George Washington cut down that cherry tree to make a pie for the first food day ever back in 1742 … but he did that just to be a little menace. As it turns out, that’s how Dennis The Menace got started. I love history.

  3. says:

    i live in the city but i so mutch prefur country living the only reason i stay in the city is because its more practicle you have shops etc on your door step food is so mutch easyer to make as well cause you forget anything the shop is only five minutes away

    • Kristi Zimmerman says:

      those are some great points, Kevin. The city is convenient but country living is easier on the soul. Thanks for stopping by!

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