The new workplace: food

This post was drafted 23rd March, 2010, when I was living in Spain and working in the brand new campus built by the parent company. I’ve since relocated, and the parent company sold the company I worked for, who have since relocated out of the campus into another location. The rules below are no longer in effect.


Perhaps the biggest disappointed have been the rules regarding food.

Although I haven’t been able to find an official document, the following are the rules:

  • The cafeteria is not open outside the hours of 1:30 and 3:30
  • There are no kitchens any where else in any buildings.  No microwaves, no kettles, no sinks.
  • Coffee is only available from vending machines, and it is not very good terrible.
  • There is no tea.
  • There is no hot water to make your own tea.
  • You are not allowed to eat at your desk
  • You are not allowed to eat within the campus, but you are encouraged to enjoy the common green areas, which include lovely landscaping, ponds, plants and so on.  But only for a total of 30 minutes a day (see previous post)
  • You are not allowed to bring your own food into the cafeteria.
  • Cafeteria meals are a choice between 3 styles, and 2 sizes.  Large size is 7€, small size is 5€.
  • You can opt for a novation, which saves you 2€ on both sizes, and is deducted directly from your salary.

Some observations after the first couple of days:

  • The quality of the food is poor
  • The cafeteria does not have any of the sound proofing present in all the other buildings, so the result of thousands of people all eating within the alloted time is a cacophony that makes dining unpleasant.
  • People are bringing in their own food, and eating it in the car park. A bunch of these people were fired, and people stopped doing this.
  • People are driving out to the local neighborhoods and scoffing a sandwich and rushing back so as not to be penalised for being late.
  • Morning tea is a popular Spanish tradition, and people are now bringing in a sandwich, and standing around in the cramped vending machine vestibules.
  • People are very, very angry.  They are comparing the owner of the parent company to Mr Burns.

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