I work at an awesome hi-tech start-up company called Actifio. Among my colleagues are a number of fine cooks and enthusiastic hobbyists. Every now and then, maybe once a month on average, we have a potluck lunch. I've written about some of them on these pages - see the links at the bottom of this page.
It doesn't really matter what the occasion is. We do it for Christmas, for Diwali, for Chinese New Year and for Cinco de Mayo, for any reason and for no reason at all. We do it because it's fun, because we enjoy the creative outlet, and because we enjoy sharing our favorite treats with our friends.
Actifio is a start-up. We work long hours building the Next Big Thing. Sometimes we're tired and grumpy and there's something we really promised to ... someone. It's easier to stay motivated if that someone makes an awesome pulled pork, or the perfect hot sauce, or can't cook to save himself but he brings in something wonderful from the North End. It's all about respect and reward with a currency that we control.
The treats don't come along only for the legendary potlucks. We never know when a treat will appear in the fridge or on one of the tables. Naturally I bring back trophies of our Foodie Pilgrm expeditions; a hitherto unknown craft beer is always a cause for celebration, or a bag of Deano's Jalapenos, or Nodine's Sausage or Fox Ham, or a bag of Fiddleheads. Heady Topper? Yeah, that's in the fridge. Got anything new and exciting?
We have a number of friends and colleagues at our office in Hyderabad, India. One or another of them is always on an airplane to or from Waltham. On any random day we might see one or more boxes of Indian treats in the kitchen.
Upstairs is where the executives and everyone who is not engineering live. These are all the hard-working people who keep the gears turning so we in Engineering can build our awesome product. They get ample caloric input, typically from Panera. Customer meetings and other events ensure a steady supply of boxed sandwiches (in the finest boxes) and forlorn pickles of dubious lineage, and truck-ripened fruit on black plastic trays, and cookies the size of dinner plates.
I think it's wonderful for well-heeled companies to respect their employees by bringing in something nice. But as for me and my colleagues in Actifio Engineering, well, we're doing just fine. Down in Engineering-land we make our own, and we do a mighty fine job of it.