Friday, January 04, 2008

New but ...

Something new was coming up on campus this new year! Guess what? A new cafeteria, as in, new management, new vendors, new service, new everything. So what we have been used to before is now gone! Thus on the first day of work on campus, I deliberately planned to have my lunch at the new cafeteria. By the time my stomach was growling at around past noon, I was ready to venture to try & taste something new. I decided to walk so I could get some exercise. I was quite excited at the prospect of trying out this new thing as it was hyped earlier that outsourcing cafeteria services is the answer to all our cafeteria woes! So there I was, walking excitedly with a spring on my steps, despite my weakening knees due to hunger. I went in and sensed that things were sluggish and the mood was quite subdued. People were idly milling around in front of the stalls, some flitting from one stall to another, others were queuing up and waiting for their food, & then leaving. I saw some friends moving around, complaining there was nothing to eat! I had to see for myself what was on offer. And indeed, I myself did not find the food appetizing or palatable! Despite my hunger, it was not able to coax my mind to accept just any food. Was it that bad? Hmmm. I saw a friend who was brave enough to order from the Thai salad stall. She said she would just try it. I was afraid to just try anything. I felt like I lost something! Me with my hungry stomach felt like a kid who was left at school waiting for somebody to pick her up but that somebody never came. I made another round again to really see if I could order something. But there was really nothing. It was not as if there was no food there. There was but they looked like hmmm somebody said, “hospital food”? I decided to just leave and find food elsewhere on campus. I went to the Arcade where a grocery shop was also selling some food. I met a few friends there who had the same experience as I had earlier. So we bought sticky rice and fried pork. And banana. That was my lunch that day. I took it to the office and ate it there. A couple of officemates who had lunch at the new cafeteria came and they were talking about how expensive the food was, the serving especially of rice was so little it would not last them all afternoon, the service was slow, and many more. I told them that I had to walk out and find food elsewhere! Another officemate arrived from there and said that she would never go back and eat at the cafeteria anymore!

Oh well, I do not know whether this is a normal reaction, something like “resisting change”? But I do not think so. We are mature people here and we know when a thing is good and when it is just so-so or “cheuy cheuy”. My observation if I use colors is like this: previously things in the cafeteria were pink, yellow, orange, green and a kaleidoscope of colors, but this time, we just see gray and white and black. I hope that things can be rectified soonest, before the avalanche comes, i.e. when offices open full blast and classes start, which is next week!

For me, so I wouldn’t go hungry and get some ulcer and blame the new cafeteria, I planned my own feeding strategy ha ha ha just like fish culture. I would buy food in the morning at the Arcade and keep it for lunch, similar to bringing a lunchbox to the office. I did that for lunch earlier and it worked ok. Also, that means that I have to do more cooking at home, especially for dinner. That was what another male officemate said yesterday, he had to start using his kitchen and stock up on kitchen things. We do not have a choice really until the situation improves (if ever).