Why I no longer enjoy the holiday season

It started with the announcement that everyone would have to work Christmas day (my department got out of that one at the last minute). And then it spiraled into everyone will be required to work the day after Christmas, even if Sunday is your day off (and those are the LUCKY people who only have put in three hours. If you’re normally scheduled to work that day–you get to work your normal shift as well as three additional hours). Afterwards, there is a set amount of overtime that must be worked for each of the following two weeks.

With having to get Christmas cards mailed, cookies baked and delivered, and gifts purchased, wrapped, and delivered, and then follow it up with two weeks of mandatory overtime – who has time to enjoy the holidays?

Now before you you begin to feel too sorry for me, there is also a positive side to this, and it’s the main reason why I put up with this same shit year after year.

Our company provides decent incentives for all extra work we put in over the next two weeks. The free food’s not bad. The raffles for all kinds of cool and expensive toys is pretty cool (I won an iPod Touch a few years ago). But what really seals the deal is the money. With all the different types of pay that come into play during this time period, I usually make enough to make the stress, screaming customers, and loss of sleep and relationship time worth the effort. However, it is difficult to make it through the full two weeks without cutting back to the bare minimum of overtime by the end. I just keep reminding myself that we can start the year ahead if I can make it all the way through while grabbing as many hours as they’ll let me have.

It all ends on January 8th. I’ve taken a vacation day for that Saturday, and my husband and family are coming together to celebrate a belated Christmas (I only wish my sister and her kids could be there as well). So instead of looking forward to a December overflowing with screeching over-entitled assholes – I look forward to the end of overtime and the beginning of a new year.

That’s why there may not be much from me over the next few weeks. Unless I really, really feel the need to make fun of someone.

Which is quite possible – this is when support calls get interesting.

More Company Cafeteria Food Porn

Work Cafe - 12/02/10

Bittersweet salted caramel tart

Looked marvelous, but after my horrible experience with their bittersweet caramel, I chose the Hazelnut-vanilla bean custard torte instead

Work Cafe - 12/02/10

Hazelnut-vanilla bean custard torte

While it wasn’t a visually stunning dessert, it was delicious.

Work Cafe - 12/02/10

Creole butter and crab

“Pasta, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, cayenne, paprika, crab, butter, cream, and a touch of spinach pesto (parmesan, almonds, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic).”

I love how our on-line menu at work forgot to list spinach as an ingredient in the spinach pesto. It was the best crab pasta EVER.

Work Cafe - 12/03/10

Meatloaf with buttermilk smashers

Seriously, they actually called them “smashers”.   Sometime they try to get cute with the names. And sometimes they succeed. This was not one of those times.

The meatloaf was awesome but the salad sucked. I wasn’t the only person who liked the meatloaf – probably half of the people I work with had the meatloaf for lunch that day… with the exception of Steve, who decided to go with the chicken curry because he’s cutting back on red meat. Poor, poor Steve.

Work Cafe - 12/03/10

Pistachio ganache and caramelized Asian pear tart

I wanted to like this. I tried so very hard to like this beautifully green pistachio tart, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m still trying to figure out how a dessert built around two flavors I love can be so bland and indifferent.

The tart was VERY sweet, but the sugar was all I could taste. In fact, if the name hadn’t had the word ‘pistachio’ in it – I would have never guessed it was supposed to be there. The asian pear was a bit more difficult to miss, but it was only used as a garnish so I don’t know why it was part of the name of the dessert.

Work Cafe - 12/7/10

(left to right)
Mint-chocolate chunk-vanilla cake, eggnog custard tart, and praline-toffee ganache cookie

The only one I tried here was the praline-toffee ganache cookie. The ingredient list includes: butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, flour, white chocolate, hazelnut paste, and macadamia nuts.

It was fairly good after I scraped out about half of the ganache filling.

Work Cafe - 12/7/10

Eggnog custard tart

I regret not trying this one.

Work Cafe - 12/7/10

Mint-chocolate chunk-vanilla cake with mint Italian buttercream.

I think it was the idea of a strawberry on top of mint flavored cake and mint flavored buttercream that kinda squicked me out.

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Dessert Bar

All of these desserts were from today. A day in which I had just enough money for a main course.

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Cream Puff

Toffee cream puff

Actually, I wouldn’t have tried this one anyway. While I love cream puffs (and enjoy making them too), the filling looked like the toffee ganache from the cookie, which was only good in small doses.

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Vegan Cake

Vegan orange spiced cake

“With coconut oil, vegetable shortening, whole almonds, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, mace, baking powder, and powdered sugar”

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Cheesecake

Lemon-goat cheese cheesecake

“With house-made vanilla marshmallow s’more. With cream cheese, goat cheese, mascarpone, sugar, eggs, butter, flour, salt, lemon oil, and graham cracker crumbs.”

Work Cafe - 12/09/10 - Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna with fried rice

Seared yellowfin tuna, ginger-scallion fried rice, sesame-seared haricot verts, citrus-soy vinaigrette, and cascabel chili paste.

For all of the daily specials, they put up a display plate to show you what the item actually looks like. From some of the previous photos you can see that they are very big on presentation here. Usually. Today’s sample plate was gorgeous, and I wish I had gotten a photo of it because while what I ended up with was fine and not that different than the display, the few changes that the cook made were enough to turn it from beautiful to adequate.

Thank goodness it tasted great (although the cascabel chili paste just tasted like ground-up charred chilies in oil).

When I think about it, sometimes I feel like an ass when I say things like that about our cafeteria food – I must be getting spoiled.