4 min Read
August 24, 2011

Dumpling Day Shenanigans: Part II

Big Duck Intern

Hello again! It’s Abby and Brenna, your favorite dumpling-eating interns. You’ve read the tale of our first dumpling recon mission (if not, check it out here), and we’ve returned for round deux of our Dumpling Day shenanigans. 

The details of the day are a bit fuzzy due to a dumpling-induced food coma, but I can share what I do remember. Dumpling Day fell on one of the hottest days of the year, which made for a very cranky intern. The idea of venturing out of the cool air in the Big Duck office and into the brick wall of heat otherwise known as the subway system in August was about as appealing to me as pulling out my eyelashes one by one.

Alas, I couldn’t let Abby go on the mission alone, just as she couldn’t leave a fellow intern behind. Thanks to Abby’s cleverly designed dumpling ordering form, we were able to snag both of our orders relatively quickly and painlessly.

(Although, I do need to give a shout out to the kind worker at Vanessa’s Dumpling House who handed me a single fork for my order of 40 vegetable dumplings. As crazed and hungry as I probably looked, I don’t think it’s physically possible to eat 40 veggie dumplings in one sitting–and no, that is not a challenge.)

Upon our return to the office, we were met with a roomful of hungry faces staring up at us. We were peppered with questions, comments and concerns–did we get all the dumplings? Would they be as delectable as we claimed? What took so long! Did we get extra?–immediately followed by a stampede to the center of the room to attack the dumpling delivery. According to Dan, you could smell us walking down the hallway, so everyone was well prepared to pounce.

Photo by myinnerfatty

To say that the dumplings were gone in a matter of minutes would be an understatement. The room was silent, sans the sound of happy chewing and the occasional moan of approval. The vegetable dumplings, which we snagged for our sausage-free friends, were just as delicious as we had hoped. The pork and chive dumplings were just as juicy as promised–so juicy, in fact, the extra 2 orders of dumplings disappeared without a trace. (I blame the design team.) The bonus treats, in the form of pork buns and sesame pancakes, received rave reviews. As Sonny pointed out, there is a bit of delicious irony in eating duck pancakes–we’re essentially eating our namesake.

Duck pancake
Photo by Adam Kuban

All in all, Dumpling Day was a smashing success. In the words of Abby, “we got the dumplings, we ate the dumplings, and everyone was happy.” (And perhaps a bit sleepy–there was more than one request for naptime that afternoon. With a belly filled with dumpling deliciousness, could you blame us?)

But for Big Duck’s smallest Ducks (does that make us ducklings?), the dumpling tour, and the following feast, gave us a chance to step out of our comfort zones, do a little bonding, and learn a lesson or two. 

For one, it encouraged us to let our voices be heard. As you may remember, Prosperity Dumpling, our Dumpling Day champion, was Abby’s original suggestion. Contributing to the conversation and then having your statement accepted and affirmed by a roomful of your colleagues is a great feeling. It may have only been about dumplings, but it reminded us that our coworkers value our opinions.

Secondly, it showed us that stepping out of your comfort zone can be a good thing. Confession: until last week, I was a dumpling virgin. I have an irrational fear of soy sauce thus preventing me from enjoying any and all Asian cuisine. With the help of Abby, I tried a food that I never would have touched before. I was pushed out of my bubble and into the wonderful world of dumplings.

Finally, the dumpling tour helped to strengthen our intern team. In many workplaces, an intern’s suggestion to take a two-hour excursion from the office would be met with laughter and a request to get more coffee. While the Ducks are a more accepting bunch, we were still stumped at to why they not only let us go on a dumpling tour, but applauded our initiative. A day or two later, it dawned on us; Dumpling Day was a team building exercise in disguise.

Intern team: assemble! Photo by mape_s

All summer, we’ve jokingly been referred to as one person: the interns. When we were awarded Duck of the Week (we know, we’re awesome), it was given to us as a group, not as three individual Ducks. Our coworkers were simply trying to tell us to tap into each other’s talents and resources–without shoving it down our throats.

It may have taken an impromptu tour of Chinatown for us to get the message, but it worked. So thank you, Ducks. As the saying goes, three heads are better than one–and hey, if we’re one person, we’re an extremely well-rounded one.

Our lesson to you: when it comes to cheap eating, interns usually know what they’re talking about. We are, for the most part, struggling college students, therefore veritable experts on the best place to grab a bite for a few bucks. It’s part of the intern survival code, so listen when we share these pearls of knowledge. Also of note: the smell of dumplings, while appetizing at first, is rather pungent and extremely difficult to rid yourself of. Trust me on that.