September 05, 2006

Placing group orders for food at work

In the essay described in the last post, one of the headings in the table of contents reads “TSMC shopping network: every day is shopping day.” Unfortunately, the section describing this phenomenon was not included in the forwarded email I received, but it is easy to understand what the author is referring to. At many companies, employees pool together to make huge group orders of things. By ordering things in groups, you can get discounts on the items and possibly free delivery. Some of the things that people order are not easily available outside of Taipei or wherever they come from and some things are ordered because the quality is better than what is available locally. Also, shopping while at work is a good way to pass the time. In short, it's one of the few genuinely fun things about working in an office in Taiwan. Some people or departments like placing orders so much that they gain a reputation for constantly ordering things.

Most of the things that people order together are food. There must be other things, but I can't think of any. Things that I have ordered or seen other people order include: cakes, pies, ice cream, plums, strawberries, nuts, chicken feet, duck heads, dumplings, pudding, dried seaweed, fruit-flavored vinegar, bottled juice, and some Chinese desserts that aren't so easy to describe. (There are also the usual lunchtime or afternoon orders for drinks, noodles, and other snacks that are delivered from within a couple miles.)

This is one thing that I have ordered at work, a mango flan (from here). I thought it was very good, although I prefer eating mine without the leaf.


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