Blog Week 38: The office food chain.

Monday 14 August 18.34

The office was pretty much dead today. Tomorrow is a public holiday (yeah I know, another one!).

The weather has been so miserable (cold, grey, wet) and, unbelievably given the recent weather, I am suffering with a summer cold. I suspect the office airco is doing more harm than good. At least I can recover a bit tomorrow...

Wednesday 16 August 19.31

One of the "synergies" from this merger is that the office is gradually getting fewer or better (can't remember which) outside suppliers. Lower price, better quality - you get the idea.

I am currently making a preliminary review of our outside caterers. Both firms used various high-quality traiteurs pre-merger and, needless to say, the partners and counsel all have their own pet favourites. Trying to cut back the various favourites to an agreed list of outside suppliers (as is the new firm-wide policy) will be a real minefield. Thankfully that is not my problem.

When it comes to outside catering, there is nearly always food left over. That sounds really bad, both financially and morally. But the firm has an unofficial policy of ordering too much - rather than get a reputation for being cheap or ungenerous.

Before the merger, both law firms dealt with catered leftovers in similar ways. One had a law of the jungle-type free-for-all - sort of "survival of the fastest" - whoever got into the empty meeting room first got the food. In the other firm it was more orderly - Office Services took the food to the staff kitchen and a notification email was circulated. Within 15 seconds a mini-stampede would start and after 45 seconds it was "survival of the fastest" again.

I write about these leftovers because, by coincidence, there was a catered client lunch today. Word quickly spread that a particularly excellent caterer had supplied the food. As soon as I heard, my mouth started to water. The client meeting finished early and then, with perfect timing, an urgent phone call came. I desperately tried to conclude the call, but silently despaired as I heard Weirdo, Mockney and Shakespeare charging down the corridor. By the time I finally arrived, only the leftovers of the leftovers were left over.

It was so disappointing. I went and got a sandwich in the rain. Its not much fun at the bottom of the office food chain.

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