Every cloud has a silver lining. And every great picture has an ugly blotch somewhere (a la nazar ka tikka). Take my workplace, for instance. Interesting work, great people (yes…I’m sooooo lucky!). And there is the canteen.
I have rechristened it PPP….that’s Piggy’s Poison Plaza. It is a treasure trove of delights for the sadist. In the name of lunch and snacks, we are treated to a smorgasbord of different poisons. There’s poison that rolls across your plate and promptly falls into your lap, there’s the grey gloop that runs into the inaccessible corners of your dented plate, there’s the evil looking, foul-smelling poison that manages to dent spoons….welcome to Piggy’s Poison Place!
Everything is a learning experience I suppose. I’ve learnt that it is possible for bread to grow fungus in the time that it takes to walk up one flight of stairs. I’ve learnt that white soggy stuff with one brown lump in the center is a variation of chicken biryani.
Oh and there is the power of imagination of course. Piggy has the wildest imagination of anyone in this building, especially when it comes to billing. I’ve been accused of eating lunches that would equal thrice my intake of food for all three meals. Others are frequently charged with equally dubious claims.
We all grumble, we all complain but not much has happened so far. Oh yes, after the last festival Piggy has been seen sporting new clothes and a freshly shaved mug. Dial the canteen number and you are treated to a voice drawling “Hey-loo ken-tin….” in Americanese (or Piggy’s version of it) When you’re getting negative publicity the first thing to do is spruce up your image and enforce remedial measures. Apparantly Piggy understands that really well.
Recently someone in the office did a Pink Floyd….rebelled that is (a la “We don’t need no education” ishtyle). A carefully worded mail, dripping with sarcasm was sent to the admin guys. The arsenic icing was that it was marked to the entire office. So obviously SOMEONE had to sit up and take action.
Monday morning greeted us all with a mail in our inboxes declaring that a new canteen contractor would be ‘tested’ this week. It mentioned his menu, prices (higher than the old guy) and that we would not have at-desk services during the trial period. Ah well, small price to pay for edible food, we decided. It ended with a request to ‘please fill in the feedback forms available at the entrance’. Impressive.
So today was the grand opening….the new contractor. The instant rise in excitement levels in the office were SOME indicator that everyone was suffering from PPPitis. All enthu, we trooped down to the canteen to check out our new facilities. The first thing that caught my eye was that Piggy was still around, sitting at the cash counter as always. What’s more he was back to what I think of as his ‘stinky-pinky’ shirt. Weird. Maybe he just wanted to check out the competition.
And I waited and watched as everyone took their first bite. Well?
“It tastes just like last week’s food”
….Maybe it was.
We had almost forgotten about the feedback forms as we staggered out of the canteen, when someone noticed some new decorations on the wall. A set of tiny scraps of paper tacked to one corner…oh well, they did promise an opportunity to give feedback…they didn’t say it would drop into our laps (like Piggy’s poison does)
Now here are my theories to explain the strange course of events.
1. Piggy sneaked in early and sabotaged the food with his special Piggy poison ingredient.
2. Someone has actually gotten used to Piggy poison and rigged the set-up (don’t laugh…I saw a movie called ‘Vishkanya’ where Pooja Bedi becomes immune to snake venom by consuming regular doses of it!)
3. This is a grand plan fabricated by the master strategist Piggy, who has now succeeded in:
• Making us actually thankful for his brand of venom
• Getting back to his shoddy stinky-pinky self
• Stopping at-desk services
• Getting rid of those annoying food coupons (key-aash only sir!)
• Officially ending people using his cutlery to eat food ordered from other places.
• Increasing prices in the bargain
Apparently the poison has entered my system too. Oh well, time to return to Piggy’s Poison Plaza again.