Kitchen Culture

  • Sqlraider

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5441

    I don't eat lunch...so I can leave an hour early!

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    Egg mayonnaise sandwiches in an oversized tupperware box. Get's 'em every time

    That may explain why I've heard it called 'egg mayonausea'.

    😉

  • tresiqus

    Right there with Babe

    Points: 775

    Andy, sorry, I've been working in IT for closing in on 30 years, so I've been through several organizations and seen even more high dollar management people in action.

    I digress from the kitchen question to explore the management issue, and I promise this will be my last OTP but-

    Again sorry, but I think management publications are usually a big load or s..omething. They basically exist to repeat variations of steps in the rain-dance. Sometimes it rains and sometimes it doesn't, but when it doesn't rain the debate ends up being about whether you held the red beads in the wrong hand, not that the rain dance doesn't have anything to do with whether it will actually rain or not, and so doing the rain dance was a waste of time and money. And no one is allowed to talk about the fewlishness of it all, because the responsible person might not get their bonus and/or promotion.

    The best management consulting scam I've seen to date was this thing called the Fish Philosophy, which basically told management that they were all "Awesome, yeah!" and that if the employees weren't deliriously happy no matter what, it was the employees fault that they weren't happy, and they better start getting happy or the pink slip cannon should start targeting those troublemakers. One bad apple right?

    So basically it said to management that they should continue the beatings until morale improved, and if you're in management at an organization that is fairly miserable to work for, offering support and justification like this is like offering a crack addict a free hit off the pipe.

    Wow, I'm starting to think I might possibly be a little bit jaded.

    And sooooooooooo sorry again, but I have my reasons.

  • logitestus

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2877

    Andy -

    I have worked for multiple companies over the course of my career. Some had "lunch rooms" (basically really large break rooms), some had cafeterias, one actually even provided lunch at no cost to the employee. I will let you guess which one got the most complaints (hint: it wasn't the cafeteria). In reading your editorial I kept on flashing back to situation where one company had their management cooked BBQ for the technical staff (based on some goofy bet, to which, management lost). The issue was that none of the management could cook. Anyone who ate the "food" was stricken with food poisoning. Whenever some suggests that a fellow employee cooks for me, I remember that incident. But I could be biased. 🙂

  • HighPlainsDBA

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2611

    tresiqus (12/22/2014)


    Andy, sorry, I've been working in IT for closing in on 30 years, so I've been through several organizations and seen even more high dollar management people in action.

    I digress from the kitchen question to explore the management issue, and I promise this will be my last OTP but-

    Again sorry, but I think management publications are usually a big load or s..omething. They basically exist to repeat variations of steps in the rain-dance. Sometimes it rains and sometimes it doesn't, but when it doesn't rain the debate ends up being about whether you held the red beads in the wrong hand, not that the rain dance doesn't have anything to do with whether it will actually rain or not, and so doing the rain dance was a waste of time and money. And no one is allowed to talk about the fewlishness of it all, because the responsible person might not get their bonus and/or promotion.

    The best management consulting scam I've seen to date was this thing called the Fish Philosophy, which basically told management that they were all "Awesome, yeah!" and that if the employees weren't deliriously happy no matter what, it was the employees fault that they weren't happy, and they better start getting happy or the pink slip cannon should start targeting those troublemakers. One bad apple right?

    So basically it said to management that they should continue the beatings until morale improved, and if you're in management at an organization that is fairly miserable to work for, offering support and justification like this is like offering a crack addict a free hit off the pipe.

    Wow, I'm starting to think I might possibly be a little bit jaded.

    And sooooooooooo sorry again, but I have my reasons.

    Couldn't agree more. Love the rain dance analogy.

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286982

    I worked for a company that had no kitchen at all. We had a couple of microwaves off to the side and I.T. had their own refrigerator. It was decent, but the people made the corporate culture bearable.

    I now work for a company that has a kitchen, but not one I could cook in. We have a refrigerator, a few microwaves and pop machines, but no stove. It does have decent space where people eat together, but many go out for lunch. I can't do any serious cooking without a stove. We do have cookouts once a year where we grill and have fun, along with the usual potlucks.

    I admit that I've never even considered a correlation between having a kitchen and the corporate culture. Thinking about it, such a correlation could exist. If I'm up there cooking for everyone (and I would be willing to do it) and people are gathered, they're talking about things other than work. Getting to know people is usually good for corporate culture. Interesting article, Andy. It made me think about something I'd never thought of before.

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    The best management consulting scam I've seen to date was this thing called the Fish Philosophy, which basically told management that they were all "Awesome, yeah!" and that if the employees weren't deliriously happy no matter what, it was the employees fault that they weren't happy, and they better start getting happy or the pink slip cannon should start targeting those troublemakers. One bad apple right?

    I've been in IT going on 40 years, and I've discovered it's often the 'bad apples' who have the best ideas and insights.

    Conformity may bring a sullen peace to the workplace, but non-conformists often bring progress.

  • OCTom

    SSChampion

    Points: 11755

    I worked at a place that had full cafeteria service as well as a full kitchen to cook your own meals. It seemed like a dream job but it was an awful place to work. It was very regimented regarding time and did not foster creativity or good work practices. We programmers had to punch a time clock and there was a whistle that told us when to take breaks, lunch, and end the day. The owner came from manufacturing and brought those practices to a software house.

    My favorite place to work was much less regimented regarding time but had no kitchen. It had a refrigerator and a microwave. It was a creativity engine and was a pleaure to work there. In my 30+ years, I have seen no corelation between kitchen facilities and a good work atmosphere.

    Tom

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119694

    logitestus, I can see food poisoning being something you'd remember. A company just around the corner from me just had a holiday party catered in, 50+ sick, 20 of them went to the hospital. No guarantees!

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119694

    tresiqus, we'll have to have a longer conversation on this one day!

  • tresiqus

    Right there with Babe

    Points: 775

    Oh, I can recount a few horror stories. It's why Office Space was a bit eerie. Still is whenever I watch it.

    And admittedly, sometimes I've made some poor choices in employment (I want to work here, they have a kitchen!,) but in some cases, circumstance left me with no alternatives (like that time I was laid off with the other people I worked with when our division was abolished.)

    Well, one alternative was being unemployed and homeless, which seemed less than desirable.

  • aochss

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1677

    GoofyGuy (12/22/2014)

    I've been in IT going on 40 years, and I've discovered it's often the 'bad apples' who have the best ideas and insights.

    Conformity may bring a sullen peace to the workplace, but non-conformists often bring progress.

    Wow,This is so true.

    It's not that these employees are "bad apples", but the only ones that will speak up and question the actions/methods of management. The companies with lousy management just wanted the sheeple.

    I was labeled the trouble-maker at my last job since I would have the nerve to ask the sometimes uncomfortable, but logical questions at staff meetings. It got to the point where the boss would ask me specifically if I had any other questions at the end of the meetings.

    I would rather be the "boat rocker" any day...

    Anton

  • below86

    SSChampion

    Points: 11348

    aochss (12/22/2014)


    GoofyGuy (12/22/2014)

    I've been in IT going on 40 years, and I've discovered it's often the 'bad apples' who have the best ideas and insights.

    Conformity may bring a sullen peace to the workplace, but non-conformists often bring progress.

    Wow,This is so true.

    It's not that these employees are "bad apples", but the only ones that will speak up and question the actions/methods of management. The companies with lousy management just wanted the sheeple.

    I was labeled the trouble-maker at my last job since I would have the nerve to ask the sometimes uncomfortable, but logical questions at staff meetings. It got to the point where the boss would ask me specifically if I had any other questions at the end of the meetings.

    I would rather be the "boat rocker" any day...

    Anton

    You keep asking the 'Why?" questions, you get labeled as resistant to change. Then you have to keep defending yourself against this label. Not that I'm resistant to the change, I just think we need to make sure the change makes sense to us, and not be changing things just for changing. Or someone else has determined this is a "best practice".

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    we travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us
    Don't fear failure, fear regret.

  • Miles Neale

    SSChampion

    Points: 13147

    Kitchen? Are you kidding me??? You cannot be serious? really?

    I could care less about the size of the break room, the cafeteria, or if there is a table and chairs to sit on and talk at lunch. I come to work to work and then to go home.

    And if I have counted all the pros and cons about the job and the people I would be working with, the deciding factor would be how close they are to home, not the size of the break room.

    For all the decades I have work I have never heard it said that "it is a great job and I love it, but I am leaving it since there is no cafeteria".

    Happy Holidays anyway!

    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • Stephanie J Brown

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3866

    Now I'm wondering if there's any actual data out in the world that would allow us to look for a correlation... Can't say I've seen one.

    I've never worked anywhere that had a stove in the break room. My current company has enough refrigerators and microwaves to store lunches and heat them without an untenable wait, from the last time I was on site. Plenty of round tables and chairs to sit at, and a small "couch" area with a table that holds newspapers and magazines. One table usually has a picture puzzle in progress. Our managers seem to understand that getting a break from work is refreshing and does increase productivity.

    That being said, the state of the lunch / break room is not high on my list of things I check on to see if a job is desirable or a good fit. The attitude of the managers and potential co-workers is much more important. If two companies were equal, I might use the break room as a tie-breaker, if there was no other way to differentiate the companies.

    Huh, now I'm hungry.

    And by the way,

    - Yes, I'm a decent cook

    - Yes, I would cook for my co-workers if given opportunity and proper facilities

    - No, I haven't poisoned anyone in my time (and I have cooked for large groups in the past)

    - I work from home, so mostly I just cook for me.


    Here there be dragons...,

    Steph Brown

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