Doug Hieber, Senior Software Architect
May 13, 2016

Ordering bagels for the team on Fridays isn’t just about breakfast. The author of this blog post uses this example to illustrate that bagels are also a tool for building relationships with coworkers, a metaphor for things that bring people together.


bagelsIf you are familiar with the recent Geico commercial featuring Ickey Woods celebrating over some cold cuts, then you know how I feel on Friday mornings! You see, Friday is Bagel Day here at Strasz and I do so love a good, fresh bagel. But it is more than that. It gets the “heads down, in the cube, hard core developers” up and socializing. When the bagels come in, there is a flood of people fixing up and eating their bagels. They talk about the coming weekend, their kids or events that happened during the week. Sure, people socialize during the week too, but spend 20 minutes hanging by the bagels and you will get to see just about everybody you work with. Little things like this are what bring people together and make the office a fun place.

Bringing people together is important. Coworkers are more willing to go the extra mile for one another when they are more than just coworkers. When you bond over some bagels, you form a deeper connection with people than just “Tom from IT” or “Carrie from Sales”. You get to know them as a person. And the difference is truly transformative. They are no longer just a two dimensional “person in a role”, they are a three dimensional friend. And it is much harder to stay mad at a friend. It is much harder to think a friend is out to get you, or for that matter for you to plot against a friend. Which is not to say work friends will be replacing your high school buddies or will be invited to you son’s wedding, but “work friend” is much better than “coworker.”

A work friend is someone who might teach you to roll a kayak, help you figure out 529s, take up weekly racquetball with you, take you bungee jumping out of a hot air balloon, give you advise on video games for your kids, take you rock climbing, or even just give you a ride to work when your car is in the shop. I have been on either the giving or receiving end of all these, and more. I do not think any would have happened if I had kept the people in my office at arms-length as mere “coworkers”. It is not just that these are better relationships that make work better, they can also make your non-work life better. Looking at the list above, there is little doubt that my life has been more exciting thanks to a little help from my work friends.

Of course, bagels are just the example I am using here to make my point. It can be anything: happy hour, group lunches, company softball team, pizza day, or even bingo night if that is what people are into (probably not but you never know). It can also be one-time events, like paintball, bowling, a trip to the big city, or really anything that gets people interacting.

Do not just sit around waiting for the boss to do it for you! Sure, he will organize the holiday party and (if he is smart) encourage these activities. But he is not your social director. Each and every one of you needs to take a little of the initiative and get out of your cube and make it happen!

Which reminds me, it is Friday.

Whoooaaa, get some bagels, get some bagels, get some bagels! Whoa! Gimmie some!

Doug Hieber, Senior Software Architect
May 13, 2016

Ordering bagels for the team on Fridays isn’t just about breakfast. The author of this blog post uses this example to illustrate that bagels are also a tool for building relationships with coworkers, a metaphor for things that bring people together.


bagelsIf you are familiar with the recent Geico commercial featuring Ickey Woods celebrating over some cold cuts, then you know how I feel on Friday mornings! You see, Friday is Bagel Day here at Strasz and I do so love a good, fresh bagel. But it is more than that. It gets the “heads down, in the cube, hard core developers” up and socializing. When the bagels come in, there is a flood of people fixing up and eating their bagels. They talk about the coming weekend, their kids or events that happened during the week. Sure, people socialize during the week too, but spend 20 minutes hanging by the bagels and you will get to see just about everybody you work with. Little things like this are what bring people together and make the office a fun place.

Bringing people together is important. Coworkers are more willing to go the extra mile for one another when they are more than just coworkers. When you bond over some bagels, you form a deeper connection with people than just “Tom from IT” or “Carrie from Sales”. You get to know them as a person. And the difference is truly transformative. They are no longer just a two dimensional “person in a role”, they are a three dimensional friend. And it is much harder to stay mad at a friend. It is much harder to think a friend is out to get you, or for that matter for you to plot against a friend. Which is not to say work friends will be replacing your high school buddies or will be invited to you son’s wedding, but “work friend” is much better than “coworker.”

A work friend is someone who might teach you to roll a kayak, help you figure out 529s, take up weekly racquetball with you, take you bungee jumping out of a hot air balloon, give you advise on video games for your kids, take you rock climbing, or even just give you a ride to work when your car is in the shop. I have been on either the giving or receiving end of all these, and more. I do not think any would have happened if I had kept the people in my office at arms-length as mere “coworkers”. It is not just that these are better relationships that make work better, they can also make your non-work life better. Looking at the list above, there is little doubt that my life has been more exciting thanks to a little help from my work friends.

Of course, bagels are just the example I am using here to make my point. It can be anything: happy hour, group lunches, company softball team, pizza day, or even bingo night if that is what people are into (probably not but you never know). It can also be one-time events, like paintball, bowling, a trip to the big city, or really anything that gets people interacting.

Do not just sit around waiting for the boss to do it for you! Sure, he will organize the holiday party and (if he is smart) encourage these activities. But he is not your social director. Each and every one of you needs to take a little of the initiative and get out of your cube and make it happen!

Which reminds me, it is Friday.

Whoooaaa, get some bagels, get some bagels, get some bagels! Whoa! Gimmie some!