What kind of doughnuts?


My legal assistant is still kind of new, and I think she is intent on pleasing her boss. When I give her direction, she does not question it. Coupled with her unfamiliarity with my dry sense of humor, the consequences can be quite hilarious.

A man contacted our firm via email. He told us he was fired from his job, and the final dispute involved an argument over some doughnuts that were brought to work. I asked my assistant to get more information, and she dutifully wrote the prospective client as follows:

Thank you for contacting our firm. I have attached an intake questionnaire for you to complete so that attorney Nicholas Roumel can review your information and determine if he is able to assist you. Mr. Roumel is looking for information such as the name of the employer, the size of the company, how long you have worked there, your rate of compensation, what kind of doughnuts were involved, and if you are in a union. I will be in touch with you within two days of receiving your completed form to discuss the next steps that he recommends.

When I read that, I just about lost it. I thought it was hilarious. Who knows what the poor guy thought, but we haven’t heard back from him, and I’m not sure we will.

Now in a remarkable coincidence, we had another food related inquiry the next day. This information was passed on to me:

Employee at —. Worked for 20 months as a machine operator. He feels as though he was discriminated against … He quit yesterday after a verbal altercation with his supervisor in which he “felt unsafe” and was put in “a hostile work environment.”

He also wanted to mention that one time another employee ate the chips out of his lunch box.

My response? “Find out what kind of chips.” Ba da boom.

By this time, she was wise to me. We spent some time talking about our favorite kind of potato chips. I wrote,

I prefer, in order:

Krunchers Jalapeno

Kettle New York Cheddar with herbs

Any good salt and vinegar chips

Any good sour cream and onion

 Or I could go old school and eat Ruffles with sour cream and onion chip dip.

She responded:

Wow thanks now I really want to go buy a bag of chips. 

Ruffles sour cream and onion are classic.

I think I’m going to take a couple bags of potato chips to the office today. My amazing legal assistant deserves a reward!

Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel, PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at @nickroumel.