A True Story

Dinner Rolls


by Rocky

I realized early on in my work life that there are those people who can be motivated to work for an employee of the month award (sorry SpongeBob), or a 25 cents an hour raise, etc. I thought this was mainly limited to the fast food service industry, for those folks who have no choice but to get their excitement from meaningless plaques and such.

But no, here at the nut house, the employee of the month awards and the subsequent employee of the year award are a big deal. There is actually an article in the local weekly newspaper about it. People frame the certificates and hang them in their offices as they would a diploma (had they ever graduated from anywhere). Two types of people are eligible for the award; those that have kissed sufficient ass in the past six months, and those that have been royally screwed by management and haven’t bitched about it.

The employee of the month award is given out during the meeting of all supervisors held on Tuesday mornings. The recipient employee is given some excuse of why they must attend the meeting. Once there, the poor recipient is asked some off-the-wall questions by the administrator of the hospital, such as, “Well Jim, you were asked to come today to discuss new developments in your department.” After an awkward silence, “Jim, weren’t you prepared to give a presentation today?” This usually causes the recipient to obtain a deer in the headlights stare and to offer up some muttering. This goes on for a couple of minutes, until the administrator finally assumes the employee has suffered enough and lets him or her in on the “joke”.

The latest employee of the month award assembly went like this:

The employee, a dietary worker, nervously enters the room full of about 30 supervisors and has a seat.

Administrator: “Ernie, I bet your wondering why we invited you here today.”

Ernie: “Yes.”

Administrator: “Well, I’ve been told that you are an expert at preparing rolls. Share with us your procedure for preparing delicious dinner rolls.”

Ernie: [I’m not sure but I think he looked around and muttered, “What the fuck?” His face begins to turn beat red.]

Administrator: “I’ve been told Ernie that you a responsible for preparing the rolls, now share with us your technique."

Ernie: I just put them in the oven. [this is followed by nervous laughter, and his face is now glowing hot]

Administrator: “But you do the rolls better than anyone else, what do you do differently?”

Ernie: I don’t know.

Administrator: “You mean to tell me that we pay you money to prepare rolls and you DON”T KNOW what your doing?”

Ernie gets a strange look on his face, looks up at the ceiling, and slumps over in his chair. Nurses and doctors rush over, and chaos rules the room. The administrator has the “I just lost my job” look on his face, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the spectacle. Ernie and a few others in the room, but not the administrator, were aware that a patient had choked (and died) on a dinner role the night before.

Turns out that Ernie passed out from elevated blood pressure or something like that, but he survived to read about his award in the local paper the next week. The administrator is now spending three days a week at another hospital