Back when the chicken was fried

Even corporations like Google, which claims to welcome a measure of chaos, eventually become too bureaucratic for freewheeling early employees. The San Francisco Chronicle reports a third of the first 300 Google employees, most of them stock option millionaires, have already left the search engine giant. Among them, Charlie Ayers, Google's former cafeteria chef. He reminds us of the time before Google's killjoy Culinary Team Kitchen Food Standards.

In the kitchen, Ayers said, he was accorded the same free rein as an engineer working on software as he developed signature dishes like mahogany salmon and Elvis fried chicken to spice up the menu in the now-famous free cafeteria for employees. But as Google grew, the spontaneity evolved into a bureaucracy of budgets and organizational charts that highlighted the chasm between executives and foot soldiers, he said. [San Francisco Chronicle]