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When I was working at Company, the snack of choice was Maruchan’s Instant Lunch.

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It seemed like everyone had their own stash in a particular flavor. It was always a rush right before break time to get to the hot water dispenser so you could fill the cup with water and start rehydrating the noodles and vegetable bits in time to eat for break. I imagine that people with different flavors would trade sometimes, just like elementary school lunches. Well, what I assume happened in elementary school. I never traded lunches with anyone. But it seems to be a thing? I guess?

Anyway, I imagine that they traded their cup of sodium just like precious commodities. I bet people would hoard different flavors too. Some were probably savvier traders than others and end up with good deals all the time. Maybe there would be some people who were stingy. From what I remember, this happened to a lesser degree with hot chocolate. I don’t really know. I didn’t partake in this game of snacks trading. (No, Company was not a preschool.)

So, now that I work for THEM and things also get traded around. Well…not so much things as whos. You see, THEM is the engineering consulting arm of CORPORATE, so employees get traded around from project to project and between directors and project managers. I suppose it sounds kind of bad, but how else do you make sure that some people don’t stay on the bench all the time? Anyway, the whole process is really amusing to me.

In the Southern California region, there are three directors who have roughly divided up territories in the different industries according to their own expertise. I think they do most of the haggling for employees. From the stories I’ve heard from my boss, it seems that one of the other directors is really skilled at haggling for employees that he wants. My boss…not as much. I guess. I don’t really know. I just do what he tells me to do and let him worry about how to staff projects. He’s got me tied up with projects out in Thousand Oaks. So…I’ve effectively been taking off the trading table? They’re having a meeting right now and I hear my name come up now and then. They always close the door to the conference room when that happens. The whole process is really entertaining to me.


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