“Cookies in the lunchroom!” If you have ever heard this phrase and immediately made a beeline for the kitchen in search of homemade cookies, you are not alone. There is something special about homemade food brought to the office – it just tastes better.
And what meeting isn’t improved with cookies or muffins or pizza or well, anything edible? Here at Reid Middleton, I have to admit my guilt in food-bribing employees to attend lunchtime “brown bags.” Let’s face it; brown bags are more enjoyable when there’s a free lunch. We’ve all seen coworkers with no interest in the brown bag topic suddenly perk up and participate when grub is provided. And no one faults them; we only wish we’d also shown up for the free food!
At Reid Middleton, there are many motivations to bring food to the office. We celebrate goals that are achieved – both personal and professional. Just added to your family? Had a birthday? Moving away? Getting married? All good reasons to celebrate with some daily sustenance. We have cook-offs, bake-offs, exchanges, competitions, and outside barbecues. Seahawks won this weekend…let’s have treats! We celebrate Wednesdays – yes, you read that correctly, Wednesdays. And woe to the person who forgets to bring in doughnuts on Doughnut Wednesday when it’s their turn!
Food is also an element of our Emergency Preparedness Plan…yummy beef jerky, anyone? Another celebration of food here involves supporting Reid Middleton employees’ children by buying and sharing Boy Scout Popcorn, Girl Scout Cookies and academic fundraisers’ frozen cookie dough. Okay, I also buy wrapping paper, entertainment books, and discount cards from these young tycoons but I fancy the food fund raisers (read: weakness for frozen cookie dough). I tell myself I’m supporting a good cause, but truly, it’s all about appeasing my sweet tooth.
In truth – it is really more than just food. While we are enjoying the food at these events, we are also socializing. Associations are initiated with colleagues who work at opposite ends of the office. Relationships are strengthened in a non-workplace atmosphere as we get to know each other better. We talk about things we are passionate about and many trivial things. Opinions are shared about sports, plays, and what’s going on in our lives outside work. There is even talk about the exciting work-related engineering we do here at Reid Middleton. Food encourages camaraderie in this place where we spend a good portion of our day. All of this consumption fosters cooperation and teamwork – a good thing to have in any office and a cultural bonus at Reid Middleton.