you’ll eat what’s served and not like it

No overbearing perfume. No obscene pictures. And definitely no French fries for work lunches.

That’s the new edict for employees of the same city Health Department that brought you calorie-counting menus and snuffed out smoking on beaches and in parks.

The updated rules – which range from what workers can serve at agency powwows to how loud they can talk in the office – come as the Health Department begins to move into its new Queens digs today.

A set of guidelines for “Life in the Cubicle Village” sent to employees asks them to avoid wearing products with “noticeable odors” or posting “any displays, photos, cartoons, or other personal items that may be offensive.”

They also should avoid eavesdropping.

If they can’t – “at least resist the urge to add your comments,” the cubicle rules recommend.

Employees also got a bright-colored brochure stipulating what can and can’t be served at meetings and parties.

Tap water is a menu must when food or drinks are served. Other beverages must be less than 25 calories per 8 ounces.

“Cut muffins and bagels into halves or quarters, or order mini sizes. Offer thinly-sliced, whole-grain bread,” the brochure states.

Deep-fried foods are an absolute no-no and “cannot be served.”

For celebrations, cake and air-popped popcorn – “popped at the party and served in brown paper lunch bags” – are allowed.

But when a “celebration cake” is served, cookies can’t be offered.

“These standards are mandatory for meetings and events sponsored by the Health Department,” the brochure states.

Health honchos say they are just practicing what they preach.

“The Health Department is leading by example by updating its guidelines for food and beverages served at agency meetings and events,” spokeswoman Erin Brady said.

Still, one Health Department worker said she was surprised by the brochure’s nitpicking detail…


  1. DougM
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:14 am |

    Eating healthy would just kill me.

    Wait … “served in brown paper bags?”
    Popcorn’s healthier that way?
    [glances around for hidden candid camera]
    Nnnnnnnnn, I’m beginnin’ to think that health is not the real agenda, here, so am I “… surprised by the brochure’s nitpicking detail?” Uhh, nope.

  2. Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:16 am |

    How ’bout Bacon?

  3. iD
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:47 am |

    Someone should explain to them the difference between a one-time indulgence and a dietary habit.

    By their logic, you should skip the birthday cake next time. A glass of water and some popcorn will be just fine.

    It’s just a matter of time before they attack Thanksgiving dinner. Or maybe they have. I really don’t want to know.

  4. Claire, Unreasonable, Ideologically Stubborn Ruralite
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 10:59 am |

    a “no-no“?!?!?!?
    r u fweeeee?


  5. Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:07 am |

    “Deep-fried foods are an absolute no-no and “cannot be served.””

    “No-No”?… yes, the nanny state is talking to children. They are just trying to avoid, “boo-boos”

  6. DougM
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    Buffet-line police required.
    I mean, what if somebody takes two small muffins,
    or *gasp* puts their popcorn on a plate?

    There’s an implied “or else,” here.
    Or else … what?
    Is this a condition of employment?

  7. bob
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    Didn’t we do this one already?

  8. The Ugly American
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    Smiling is allowed but only with a closed mouth.

    No teeth may be shown and absolutely no giggling or laughing is ever allowed.

  9. bob
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:37 am |

    Oops, “never mind”. I must have read it somewhere else…


  10. Buzz D
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 11:43 am |

    This is the Health Department in Moscow, right?

  11. SondraK, Lympian Slayer
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm |

    bob, Jan Brewer’s a racist Hitler and the NYC Dept. of Health are Liberals who care. They’re different posts :)

  12. geezerette
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm |

    You must walk with a goose step and wear your boots and uniform to work– Everyone vill wait at the door and enter together– marching to your respective cubicles– speaking only with whispered tones on your break and at lunch– women vill wear their hair pulled back in a bun and wear their hat when out side– Men vill have their heads shaved and wear their hats when out side— every Monday will be weigh in day and you vill be measured to see if you gained any weight over the week end. I see I typed the word Vill–hmmm

  13. Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm |

    How did “powwows” get past the diversity filters?

  14. dick not quite dead white guy
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm |

    The writer forgot to add the synchronized exercise in the hallway at break time.

  15. Lance Luhrquer
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm |

    We’re next!

    I couldn’t help but notice the condescending attitude towards the supposed adults in the organization!

  16. Lucius Severus Pertinax
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 12:06 am |

    I swear if I had to spend my life in an 8 foot square corporate cubical, with no way out in sight, I would jump off a freaking bridge!

  17. Merovign
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 12:51 am |

    But the chocolate ration has been increased from 15 grams to 12 grams.