Ever since brother Johnny decamped to the west coast last July, I’ve been all alone in the Reinventorium. Sure the folks next door at The Guild are always ready with a cheery “hello,” and I have Anne and her new beau Gilbert to keep me company in the summer, but otherwise it’s a lonely one-man shop.
“Office culture,” such as it might be, is restricted to those special days when I remember that I should drink a glass of water and have a stretch mid-afternoon.
In this light, my occasional visits to my remote telecolleagues here at Yankee are an extra-special opportunity to have real coworkers for a change, complete with birthday celebrations, water cooler chats about Super Bowl commercials, and lunches at the local general store. I also benefit from access to the company Keurig coffee machine, and from access to the secret company snack bar.
It took me years to learn about the secret company snack bar.
Not that it’s really a secret, as the price list is clearly posted on the front desk of the company nerve centre. But I wasn’t completely sure that I was allowed to be a patron. Until I eventually realized that realizing you are allowed is the mindset that brings access with it.
And so, once or twice a visit, when lunch was too long ago and supper too far in the future, I’ll pop down from my perch in the crow’s nest to visit the always-friendly-and-helpful Linda — you’ll hear her voice if you ever call Yankee on the phone — for a quick bite. The prices at the secret snack bar are enormously reasonable: a bag of potato chips, for example, is 35 cents. As is a bag of animal crackers. Cookies and granola bars are 40 cents. Chocolate bars are 55 cents, a price they haven’t sold for elsewhere since the 1990s.