From the Old Days
As Ford Foundation staff settled into their new home in the mid-1960s, Gertrude B. Winquist sent around a series of whimsical memos highlighting the challenges presented by the imposing building. Here, on December 20, 1967, she sent the “Latest Bulletin from a Disaster Area—Coffee Service!”
Our attempt to supply coffee and tea to individuals at their desks while simultaneously limiting food service to the 11th floor in an effort to preserve the uncluttered beauty of this building has been thwarted by a series of calamities. These ranged from the thirty-five cartons labeled “Cups and Saucers”, which turned out to be only saucers, to the porters who mistakenly but assiduously collected all the paper cups distributed throughout the building and left you all with coffee but no way to drink it. My apologies!
Obviously these are interim arrangements and service will improve. Mobile coffee carts have been ordered and eventually will service the entire building. Until their delivery (approximately February) please be patient with our attempts to serve you fully and gracefully.
A china cup and saucer will be delivered to each member of the staff to be retained. (Hopefully secretaries will do the washing up each day.) Until the coffee carts can circulate, carafes of coffee will be sent around the building each morning, (Water for tea and cream will also be provided.) Mid-morning and mid-afternoon coffee will be served with pastries on the 11th floor until such time as the carts are ready.
Carafes can eventually be retained in offices for water or for coffee or tea to be filled as desired from the dining room on the 11th floor. As soon as there are sufficient carafes for all, may I beg you to transport coffee in carafes, not cups. The furnishings in this building are beautiful but vulnerable to coffee stains—as are people’s clothes in elevators.
We do appreciate your cooperation and will ourselves make every endeavor to improve our service for you. Please continue to let me hear from you.