Thanks to MuckRock, Americans now know what problems CIA employees must endure daily … in their cafeterias. The website published on Monday a series of emails sent to complain about the CIA’s cafeterias. The results are exactly as petty and passive-aggressive as you’d expect. (Note: All emails are presented with the spelling and grammar of the original sender.)
1. Bad attitudes at Burger King
“Why doesn’t the BK facility here offer the ‘dollar menu’ as outside facilities. Why can’t there be nicer food handlers? Attitude every day.”
CIA salaries must be severely lacking if you’re complaining about not being able to get the cheapest food at an already cheap restaurant. And to top it all off, this man has to deal with rude staff just to get his apparently over-priced food. He’s here for reasonably priced burgers, not your sass.
2. Condiments are serious business
“Please put back the individual packets of ketchup, mustard & mayonnaise. The large pump boxes of these items are not convenient to use, causing frustration & are not liked by many people.”
The above quote is merely a brief excerpt from a long and deeply impassioned rant praising the superiority of individual packets and detailing the brutal struggle of using the pumps. This poor employee even had to go through the strenuous effort of putting down his food and drink just to be able to obtain his condiment of choice. Clearly the CIA must act immediately to end this humanitarian crisis.
3. Don’t mess with a man’s Jazz Salad
“I’ve sent comments about the jazz salads being misadvertised before, but yesterday takes the cake. The Jazz Salad was supposed to be a Sonoma Grape and Proscuitto salad [...] This is one of my favorites, so I stand in line and notice there are no grapes. Grapes are in the title of the salad. I asked about them, and the server pointed to the cherry tomatos, said they were red grapes. I said, “no, those are tomatos, should I just get grapes from the salad bar”. She didn’t really give an opinion — but I did get grapes from the salad bar, and I did tell the cashier about it. [...] I do not condone putting salad bar items into a Jazz salad (I have been known to get a separate container for salad bar items to add to my jazz salad) but felt justified in this case. However, when an item is in the title of the Jazz Salad, please make an effort to include this item in the actual salad. Thank you.”
Trying to substitute cherry tomatoes for grapes? The horror! This person is clearly justified in their outrage, particularly after being forced to take the desperate measure of taking grapes from the salad bar. At least he adds that he does not normally condone such reckless behavior, except in dire circumstances such as this.
4. Stroganoff to a bad start
“I had the Russian meal today and am disappointed. [...] I feel that someone tried to “Americanize” the food so it is palatable to Americans. Please realize that many of us have really traveled to these countries and when you provide food like you did today, it causes me to not support this kind of cuisine in the future. I feel that for example Beef Stroganoff is more American than Russian.”
While it may come as a shock to some, workplace cafeterias are actually not known for providing the height of authentic ethnic cuisine. Of course, chances are, the sender of this email was more interested in engaging in the pretentious snobbery of pointing out how well-traveled he is.
5. Stale bread may cause bad grammar
“I was very aggrevated at buying a subway sandwich and going back to my desk to eat…to find the bread sale and ‘crunchy’ hard…I had to eat the inside and throw the bread out…normally I would return it and have them make me another but I was already at NHB…6th floor…and too far and time consuming to reurn. PLEASE PLEASE…do not serve us stale bread..I never get stale bread at other subways…so can you lease hold quality control here to subway standards. Thank you”
The CIA’s rigorous training apparently doesn’t include a writing course, but it probably should if this email is at all representative of the agency’s writing skills. Stale bread is terrible, but it’s nowhere near as bad as being subjected to all this horrible spelling and rampant misuse of the ellipsis.
6. No workplace is complete without the obnoxious vegan
“I believe HQS used to have indicators to identify vegan food. Would it be possible to bring it back? Also, have more vegetarian/vegan food options at the agency cafeterias”
Any list of cafeteria complaints will inevitably include a vegan whining about the lack of options. This email in itself isn’t especially bad, but the person who wrote it has almost certainly subjected his coworkers to an unsolicited lecture on the evils of meat.
7. At least they got something right
“Finally, you have improved the salad dressing set-up…it is GREAT…THANK YOU”
Once again proving that CIA employees are truly passionate about their condiments, this person was so deeply moved that he felt the need to send a rare compliment. The salad dressing set-up was apparently so wonderful that no mere lower-case letters could express adequate gratitude; an aggressively caps-locked thanks was completely necessary.
You can read all of the released emails here.