How much bread can a bread bowl make? You’d be surprised!

17 Dec

bread bowl

So last night was the big company Christmas party, hosted at the President’s home, with all food prepared by me.  Here’s the first part of the story, for those who are interested:

Around 330 PM, JudgyAsshole and BigMike showed up at my house, and cut and buttered all the bread bowls, readying them to be broiled just before serving at the President’s house. Two more friends, GentleGiant and LusciousLocks came along to help transport all the food, and those two spent the evening in the basement, wrangling all the children.  Without such a great group of friends, I doubt we could pull any of this off, so thank you, TeamJB!


We got to the President’s house and shared a glass of wine with Mr. and Mrs. President, and then me and JA donned aprons and Mr.JB set up the table and seating arrangements.  A lot of thought was put into those seating arrangements with a view to turning the informal discussion, eventually, to the promotion we’re gunning for. The guests started arriving and it was a blur of activity until we finally served the cheesecake and tea.  The food was truly amazing and it never ceases to astonish me how effective a really great meal is at creating an air of comfort and camaraderie.  Colleagues who generally can’t stand each other were talking and laughing and joking and just generally having a really great time.

My beautiful friend from Serbia, SnowWhite, sat at the kitchen counter and kept many of the ladies from wandering into the kitchen to chat with me, especially when the broiling process was underway.  Getting the bowls toasted just right was quite a challenge, and it was clear that most of the working ladies had absolutely no clue what kind of work goes into a dinner party for 38, but SnowWhite certainly does, so she kept the ladies at bay.  Thanks, Snow!

I did not feel an ounce of malice or contempt from the working women when they came to talk to me, just total confusion.  “Why?”  They could not conceive of a single reason for doing that amount of work when a caterer is a phone call away.


Here’s why: once people are in that slightly drowsy, warm zone when a good meal is down and the Chardonnay is buttery and all seems right with the world, the conversation can be turned to subjects that are delicate, or otherwise talked “around” rather than straightforwardly addressed.  Technically, people are hired according to a set of national employment laws and HR policies.  Laws, and quotas and requirements are in place to ensure a “fair process”.

Bullshit.  They are hired based on an informal  vetting process and it’s all about who you are and who you know.  The so called “glass-ceiling” exists principally because women do not WANT to be in the upper tiers of management, but also because they do not put in the work and effort it takes to build the networks that ultimately decide who gets promoted and who doesn’t.

Mr.JB had carefully arranged the guests so that the senior management team and the colleagues who supported his application for the promotion were in the same room, along with a couple wives who had no stake in the game. Most of the people were seated in the open kitchen/dining room, but the President’s house also has a formal dining room with glass doors that could be closed.  And soon enough, those doors were closed.

formal dining room

So here’s what happened: another organization in a different town that does the same work as Mr. JB’s organization has been struggling to get through a certification process that will allow them access to a market they cannot access WITHOUT that certification.  They have gone through TWO different senior managers who have both failed to get the certification. Mr. JB’s organization is going through the same process (this is the project that Mr. JB hired JudgyAsshole to work on), and Mr. JB knows the certification process inside and out.  The Senior Divisional Manager job is two full levels ahead of where Mr. JB is currently in the management structure, but the President and several of the VPs had some information for Mr. JB that all came out last night.

The President and the VPs want Mr. JB to apply for the Senior Divisional Manager position at this other organization and they will personally vouch for him.  He does not have ANY of the operational experience required, but they feel confident he will learn on the job, and most importantly, he can get the other organization through the certification process.  And he CAN.  He knew instantly what they were doing wrong, and how to fix it, but of course, he won’t tell them how to solve the problem.  The other organization will have to hire him if they want that information.


Basically, the President will put his own reputation on the line and leap Mr. JB forward about a decade in his career.  And the VPs will line up behind his application, too.  That’s an incredible offer.  It would make Mr.JB one of the youngest Senior Divisional Managers in the country, by far.  Senior Divisional Managers are one step below VPs.  It’s an amazing opportunity.

The President thinks Mr. JB has a good shot at the job, for two reasons:  one, he knows the certification process; and two, he has no trailing spouse issues.  Trailing spouse issues means the new organization would have to find some work for Mr. JB’s wife to do, if she were working.  It’s a huge pain in the ass for organizations, and if the wife hates the new town or the new job, it’s basically over.  They will have to start the search process all over again.  Trailing spouse issues cost tons of money, and when a candidate comes up with a wife at home, that is a HUGE advantage.

grouchy bitch

And the President won’t just be touting Mr. JB.  He’ll be talking about ME, too!  That I am 100% supportive and invested in Mr. JBs career, and that if they hire Mr.JB, he will be in it for the long run.

Is it going to work?  Who knows?  It’s worth a shot.  Mr. JB got an email this morning with a job posting, directly from the President.  “Apply for this.  You have our unmitigated support.  And tell your wife thanks for a spectacular dinner last night.”

How much bread can a bread bowl make? Oh, quite a lot.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you have it all.  One Breadwinner, one Breadmaker.  And one fabulous team that pulls together to get it all done.  Thank you SnowWhite, GentleGiant, BigMike, LusciousLocks and of course, JudgyAsshole, the bread broiler.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

And Mr. JB?  Get that application in, would you?  You gotta shoot to score. Let’s play!


Lots of love,


10 Responses to “How much bread can a bread bowl make? You’d be surprised!”

  1. Anonymous' Mom December 17, 2012 at 18:00 #

    Congrats to both of you. We are hosting my husbands staff this Thursday evening in hopes that it will start bringing them together as a team. If you got any advice about getting the warm fuzzies going that doesn’t include alcohol that would be great.


  2. Odysseus December 17, 2012 at 18:06 #

    “She said a ruler must learn to persuade and not compel. She said he must lay the best coffee hearth to attract the finest men.” Frank Herbert, Dune

    I reread Dune every few years and get something new from it every time.


  3. judgybitch December 17, 2012 at 18:12 #

    Oh try this! Mulled apple cider. It’s wonderful and so heart and hearth warming.


  4. happycrow December 17, 2012 at 18:18 #

    Good for you!


  5. Liz December 17, 2012 at 20:25 #

    Congrats on a successful meal, JB!

    Well done. 🙂


  6. judgybitch December 17, 2012 at 20:39 #

    Thank you! Dinner for 38. A new personal best!


  7. Anonymous' Mom December 18, 2012 at 15:15 #

    Thanks JB! I’ll let you know.


  8. Ferrum Itzal April 14, 2014 at 23:33 #

    Old story, I know, but it dovetails perfectly with my own family experience.

    My honorary uncle is super-wealthy, but he didn’t start out that way. He came back from Vietnam, looked in the want ads and found that 75% of the ads were for accountants. So he used his GI Bill to go to school for accounting.

    Him and secretary fall in love and marry, she quits being a secretary and stays home full-time. He never had to think about anything that happened at home, the fridge was always stocked, the bills always paid, appointments kept, etc. As the kids came into the picture, she took care of everything. Whenever he needed to move for a promotion, there was never a complaint. She handled everything that the family needed to do.

    Suffice it to say that by the time they were in their fifties, they had moved all over the US with him climbing the ladder of success and her handling all the house duties. He finally retired as VP of international sales for his company and he wasn’t even sixty. And he’s the first to say that his success in the business world would have been impossible without her running things at home.


  9. judgybitch April 14, 2014 at 23:35 #

    God. What an oppressive bastard. I’ll bet she’s miserable right?



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