T.J. Sullivan

Oatmeal raisin cookies

squirrelI go to a lot of college leadership conferences, and when they serve lunch, I know what’s coming.  Campus dining serves the same thing everywhere – basic American picnic food.  Burgers, hot dogs, starchy salads.  Sometimes a variety of sandwiches: ham, turkey, and vegetarian. Lemonade, sodas.

But, I want to talk about the cookies.  Specifically, I want to talk about the oatmeal raisin cookies.

I am not a fan, and apparently, most of society agrees.  Inevitably, they bring out these enormous trays of cookies with an equal number of three varieties: chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin.  Everyone gobbles up the chocolate chip cookies instantly.  Usually about two-thirds of the peanut butter ones disappear.  And virtually no one eats the disgusting oatmeal raisin cookies.

Find me the one college in the nation where the oatmeal raisin cookies disappear before the chocolate chip. It doesn’t exist.  No one has ever said, “Oh, forget about chocolate chip. Let’s just have a huge tray of those delicious oatmeal raisin cookies!”

Can you imagine the sheer number of oatmeal raisin cookies that end up in college dumpsters each year across the nation? Millions. I’m convinced that this is why squirrels on campus are so huge. They gorge on oatmeal raisin cookies.

The Girl Scouts don’t even sell them.  They did once.  They were called “Snaps” and they sold so badly, they discontinued them.

Somewhere, in the bureaucracy of campus dining services, there is a very powerful person who insists that all campus event cookie trays have that one-third oatmeal raisin cookies. There have been innovators – mavericks – who suggested that perhaps we make these cookie trays with more intelligent ratios that match the tastes of consumers.  “Perhaps three-fourths of the tray could be chocolate chip with just a few oatmeal raisins?”  Those individuals were dealt with harshly.

Who is the powerful oatmeal raisin cookie lobby?

I’m all for giving people a variety.  Surely this blog will get dozens of comments from those outliers (weirdos!) who love oatmeal raisin.  I’m sure there are a few strange children who get excited about candy corn in their Halloween bags, also.  But, in the interest of spending our money wisely and not creating waste, can we chill with the one-third oatmeal raisin cookies?  When you plan that leadership conference lunch, can you take a moment and ask for cookie tray that makes more sense?

This is the part of the blog where I’m supposed to make some great leadership metaphor about oatmeal raisin cookies.  A thinly-veiled diversity message about honoring all tastes.  Or perhaps a lesson about questioning long-held practices that create waste and fail to respond to the actual needs and wants of your constituents?

Nah. I just hate oatmeal raisin cookies.




3 Responses to “Oatmeal raisin cookies”

  1. Whitney says:

    I, of course, am a weirdo that loves oatmeal raisin cookies. But to your point, cookies are meant to be deliciously sinful, and oatmeal and raisins are neither of those things! They’re definitely the Plain Janes of the cookie world.

  2. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal/raisin? What is this, the minor leagues? If you don’t include M&M (or better yet, Monster) cookies, we’re just talking about the also-ran’s of cookies. By the way, T.J., the next time you’re in Minneapolis/St. Paul, I’m taking you to a little joint called the Cookie Cart. It’ll change… your… world. http://cookiecart.org/ Signed, A Cookie Connoisseur

  3. Tayler says:

    This is pretty amusing. You might just be upset about the quantity oatmeal raisen cookies but I still think there is something larger at play here. However if we extrapolate your point I bet we can find other places to apply it too. I’m sure there are other aspects of campus life were we are not catoring to needs well or where we could use resources more efficiently.

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