30 January 2007

Time to Get the Donuts

My excellent graphic designer at work, Chris, is leaving today. We have only been able to give him two days of work a week for the last year, and oddly enough, that wasn't enough for him to live on. I'll miss him. Working in an engineering firm as a non-engineer, I am always speaking a second language, one I learned too late to be completely fluent in. But having worked in publishing for a long time, I understand designers, and Chris and I have a good rapport. He understood what I wanted; he always took everything in a direction I could never have thought of on my own; he inspired me with his focus and discipline in a chaotic environment.

The only thing Chris complained about was that, since he didn't work on Fridays, he felt he was missing out on the donuts that sometimes appear in offices on the last morning of the week. We're not really that kind of office, the donut-in-the-kitchen-on-Friday kind, but for his last day, I decided we could be.

Where was there a Dunkin' Donuts near my office? Despite their popping up all over the place in the last few years, I never go into them. I have a weakness for donuts; if I told myself I was just going in for a coffee, I'd inevitably come out with a Bavarian Kreme as well. I keep my donut consumption to two a year by just pretending they don't exist.

I looked on the Dunkin' Donuts website, and would you believe that there's no direct mention of donuts on it, apart from the name? It focuses on their coffee, where it comes from, how you can buy it online, what kind of subscription services they offer. In tiny type on the upper right hand corner, you can click on "nutrition." The chocolate donut I just finished eating had 270 calories, less than I would have suspected. I hope they weren't sneakily claiming that one donut is actually two servings.

There was a long line at the Dunkin' Donuts on Eighth Avenue and 36th Street. Most people were just getting coffee, but a few tacked on a low-fat blueberry muffin to their order. None of the 10 people ahead of me ordered a donut, and when it was my time to order, I felt a little self conscious about it. Everything is fast in Manhattan, but nothing so fast as the morning coffee line, and I was about to slow it down by deliberating over a half-dozen donuts. Jelly, fine; glazed, fine; what kind of donuts do people in the office like? Too much pressure. I ended up asking for three chocolate glazed in the end, just because I could feel the people on line behind me going into caffeine withdrawal.

My friend Marianne volunteers at The Adaptive Design Association, which occupies a street-level space on 36th Street, just around the corner from the Dunkin' Donuts. (I've written about them before.) I knew they were there, but was still surprised when I passed their window, which had on display several of the cardboard chairs and stools that they make for children with physical disabilities. Also on display was the tiny chair Marianne had given me to paint for the ADA to auction. If you're passing by, it's painted to look like a park bench, with flowers at the base. The label tells you that it is for sale for $150, and that it was painted by an artist. Considering how I've been feeling about being a non-engineer in an engineering firm lately, seeing that was a nice way to start the day. That, and the chocolate donut.

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Blogger Stuntmother said...

That chair thing is wonderful. Snap a photo sometime, okay?

And doughnuts make everything better. I like the plain one with cinnamon. Or glazed. Or those ripply ones with icing. mmmm.

7:20 PM  

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