Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Let's Do Lunch #1

"Let’s do lunch" began in earnest yesterday as I started counting down to May 3, my retirement date. It was a small group of 4 people I’ve come to love and respect over the past couple of years as we tackled big problems together and were successful.

We actually got off to a rocky start initially in our working relationship because they knew so little and demanded so much of my time and support. But they came with an attitude of wanting to learn and respect for me, the only ingredients I demanded. They have a boss who is seldom around and gives them about as much support as my boss gives me. Perhaps that’s what we really have in common.

As for lunch – Originally I had thought we would be outside at a picnic table, so I brought in the blue striped tablecloth. But yesterday we were still in the spring deep-freeze, so a room inside seemed a better idea.

At 11:45 I filled the faux-silver bowl with mixed salad greens, sweet grape tomatoes, chopped walnuts, croutons, and lots of grilled marinated chicken strips. We headed upstairs to a secluded room where we could gossip to our hearts’ content.

The others brought great additions to the group salad: sliced hard-boiled eggs, crab sticks, and feta cheese. I dressed it with Annie’s Raspberry Vinaigrette. Then we tossed it all together and served it up. One of them provided a cheese ball and crackers, always good comfort foods.

The salad filled our growling stomachs as we launched into discussions ranging from office gossip to who might take my job to issues of joint custody. This is not a shy bunch. They are actually about as fed up as I am with the current state of things and every one of them has thoughts of bailing out.

No lunch would be complete without something sweet. The guy in the bunch contributed homemade chocolate chip cookies and there was a choice of Hershey’s chocolate.

By 1:00 we headed back downstairs with a mostly empty salad bowl and a feeling of closeness and closure.

This was exactly the sort of experience I intended when I came up with the idea of saying goodbye over salad.


Blogger Kristin said...

You're making me hungry...

12:11 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

After eating the leftovers today, I'm becoming a fan of a big salad for lunch. It isn't heavy, but it is filling!

12:55 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

Did you receive any lunch offers from folks at the office who don't deserve your lunch company for obvious reasons? How are you handling that?

1:31 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Matt -- I am carefully making the invitations for lunch to purposely exclude those I wish never to see again. It seems a little weird, but I don't want to be in the position of shaking a hand whose neck I would like to wring!

2:28 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Sounds like a wonderful start to your lunch good-byes.

I often have salad for lunch -- lots of places near me that make them: Cosi, Brown Bag, Just Fresh........or make your own from the salad bar at Farragut West.

And as for shaking hands instead of wringing are right to limit these lunches to people you care about.


3:11 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate -- This is a case where being a control freak is essential. I wouldn't want to commit mayhem on the way out the door!:)

3:16 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

We are definitely going to have to eat together! Glad your first lunch went well - hope the other farewells are as comforting and positive as this one was.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Socializing is always good.

You did get them to sign a release waiver on the photo?

7:15 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

LOL @ Richard!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- Yes, eating together should be one of the first things we do if we ever get to visit one another!

Richard -- You've got to be kidding. No, you probably aren't. And the answer of course is NO!

Kate -- I agree!

9:39 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Great idea and far more meaningful for you! Lunch on!!

3:50 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Who made the chicken for you? :-)

9:05 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- This lunch was just a practice for a much bigger group next week.

David -- Drum roll#*&%! You get full credit for grilling the chicken, which I hope you will do for the remaining lunches as well.

9:40 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Barbara you have a knck for doing that which is apprpriate up to and including the bill of fare for these events. You can write my menu anytime.

12:52 PM  

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