Bing Blog

Gotta make the donuts

Fred the Baker

A few years back, there was a commercial for Dunkin Donuts where an actor named Michael Vale awoke before dawn, dragged his ass out of bed, and plodded off to work muttering to himself, "Gotta make the donuts."

Throughout the commercial, no matter what he was doing at the time, there came a moment where Michael had to mobilize himself and shuffle off to do it all over again. "Gotta make the donuts," he said.

That's me. No matter what day it is, no matter what else I've got going on inside my head or life as we know it, I gotta make the donuts.

This morning I have a breakfast with someone I really don't want to see this early in the day. It's a customer, sorta. I could cancel, I suppose. But that wouldn't be making the donuts.

Later on, there's a conference call with Miami. You think I want to sit in an airless room and hear a bunch of halting excuses about that situation? Donuts.

Then I get to sit in the same room with the same bunch of people and engage in a swift succession of video conference calls. There's one at 9:30, 10:30, 11:30. They won't be bad. There will be coffee. And donuts.

After lunch, the afternoon looks like it's shaping up to be a bunch of unpleasant altercations with people who consider their interests to be superior to mine. They are wrong, at least as far as I'm concerned. That doesn't mean they don't need to be convinced. More donuts.

That's just today. Tomorrow there's a huge thing that has big, gnarly teeth all over it. Next week, most companies in my business start doing their earnings calls, which is a whole lot of donuts for everybody. And May looks like a pile of big fat crullers in a variety of flavors that have yet to be invented.

If it sounds like I'm complaining, you're wrong. I'm not. Michael didn't complain. He was beyond that. He had a fate. He woke. He put on the uniform, which at that time was an ignoble pair of brownish pajamas and a funny little cap. And he went to work.

Which is what I'm going to do right now. Without the cap. I have my dignity, you know.

30 Comments Add Comment

There was a time that a businessman wouldn't be seen in public without a hat.

Loss of dignity, doncha know....

A hat, yes, Bosda. But not a cap.

"Gotta make the donuts." Also known as "gotta jump through the hoops" and "gotta pay my dues." Any way you slice it, it's "gotta put up with the c**p."
I'm sure glad I'm retired.

Having been without a full-time paying gig since early January, I'd be more than happy to make the donuts. Hell, at this juncture I'd be satisfied just to microwave a stale, store-brand toaster pastry.

I've got a job where delivering a flash of genius once a week, on average, will keep me lucratively employed.

But most of my actual working hours are spent stumbling through a numbing amount of arcane paperwork and procedures that are somehow associated with being intermittently brilliant.

The odd thing is my most incandescent moments usually occur first thing in the morning, while showering.

So if my company really wanted to extract the maximum performance out of me, they should keep me naked, wet and soapy.

I don't think I could sell that.

Pass me a donut. I like the creme-filled. (The white sugary creme, not the yellow, gelatinous snotty creme. Ick!)

Ain't it good that donuts come in so many shapes sizes and flavors! Some like chocolate, some plain, and still some sprinkled.
Each of us has the opportunity to choose the donuts we want. Take as many as we can and enjoy them.
I like donuts.
As long as we each eat 250 or less in a year we are a good people. After that we will get fat and the government will take our donuts away. So we just stop at 250 donuts and then the baker won't need to keep making the donuts.. and the guy who brings the flour can stop, and the egg guy, and the sugar guy, and the coffee guy and well I guess we can all stop.

But I like donuts.

Bing - I had forgotten about the Donut guy. Thanks for the memory.

Take heart that you, me, the donut guy and everyone else that day in and day out does those things that must be done are who drive the wonderful US economy.

Bill, Michigan

Going to work. It's what we do. For the dough.

I remember the line as, "Time to make the donuts," though.

“Every day, I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not on it, I go to work.”
- Robert Orben

"So if my company really wanted to extract the maximum performance out of me, they should keep me naked, wet and soapy."
EAB, if your supervisors really want to get the maximum out of you, they should turn your office into a strip joint.

That was a great commercial. So true, too. Hard to top the wisdom there.

I must point out that he was not managing the people who made the donuts, nor was he selling derivatives related to donuts -- he was making the donuts. There is a good lesson there.

Make the donuts, crack the daily nut, earn your crust, salt, etc.

All good phrases for what we each must do to survive another day.

And Yale not having a full time gig is a problem on my mind, somebody out there hire this person so they can have a reason to get up in the morning.

We all need a reason to get up in the morning, making the dough is a good reason.

Donut makers of the world, we need you. We are faced with a crisis of cosmic proportions. No it is not the volcano, the national debt, unemployment or even the risk of Nancy Pelosi running out of BOTOX. No this is serious. has reported that the right type of paper to make quality SOFT TOILET PAPER is in very short supply. This could cause a serious wipe out of wipeout. Any ideas donut makers?

Am quite certain going to work unless i own the company will not put me on the forbes list but it might put some fat cat on the list.

It's remarkable how the "donut" mimicks the "New age Economy".

The only thing that holds them together is the "hole" in the middle.

A hat, yes, Bosda. But not a cap.

Posted By Bing : April 21, 2010 11:20 am

I used to work for a company in which all the executives had caps, and were, on occasion, required to wear them, and were even photographed wearing them, and were happy about it.

These caps had ears mounted on them.

I used to work for Disney.


Blessed are the doughnut makers,
for they will labor tomorrow.

Blessed are the doughnut companies
for they provide the opportunity,

For those not seeing the humanity
they will surely be damned.

Work is a mainstay of human dignity and we dismiss these truths at our peril.

Thank you, Jack. I certainly do have a reason to get up every morning. I work very hard every day to let the world know I'm eager to make donuts and am pretty good at it. Plus, I like to hang out where people are hungry for donuts in hopes that someone will give me an opportunity to start making them again.

I have no interest whatsoever in staying under the covers and expecting breakfast in bed.

So, who's ready for a fresh baker's dozen?

Wow, I had forgotten all about that era! Loved that commercial. Loved those Dukin Donuts. Thanks to bad/good lipid news (those bad egg yokes are now believed to be good), I left Donuts and they left us.

Bing, I have to know something. Do you LOVE making donuts? How about bagels? Have a good day!

Each one of us should ask ourselves the following question: How big would you paycheck have to be to silence your dignity in order to wear an ignoble pair of brownish pajamas and a funny little cap at work?

Hey Bing,

It's now Friday and ya' know we're going to need some more donuts. Better make some extra for the weekend

Winston-Salem is the corporate home of Krispy Kreeme donuts. You may remember a while back, they were considered the "Darling of Wall Street". The then-CEO decided to expand the company too fast and damned near destroyed it.

It was the little guys who get up every morning to make the donuts who saved the company. The CEO got too big to remember what his job was - to make the donuts.

So, when you progress beyond funny hats and switch to suits, always remember that the job is STILL about making donuts.

Lucky you go to make donuts, some 10% of the population lost that luck and God only knows when they will go back to make donuts, lucky you.

Equating the just in time motive of the donut maker with the coercion of corporate culture and and quest for earnings, ain't no small peanuts.

You, Bing, serve as the locomotor of the many containers, empty or full, on the Bing Blog track aiming to be first and just in time like Lou Jacobi.

The Bing Blog doesn't homogenize, cream and bastards are afforded their rightful place on the totem pole. Don't lose your pencil!


This blog is no doubtingly your most depressing. We don't want to hear you are making donuts. We want sushi. I aspire to be an executive in a big company one day. Today, I make donuts, tomorrow sushi. I want your executive life to be better than mine! For gods sake Bing snap out of it!

Cash - I threw my dignity out the door when I enrolled in law school 20 years ago. I wear a 38x30 and a size 7 1/2 hat. Point me to the batter and the frosting.

The boasts of great men are built on a million small sacrifices by others less great, whose sacrifices are driven by considerations of duty, family, dignity, ethics and the daily bread. Unacknowledged, the great swarm of those who do the real work will have turned when the great fall, wondering what happened to the support beneath them?

Lowborn men are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie;
if weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
-- The Sixty-Second Psalm


Your post opens up so many questions. Where to start?

Perhaps, the implied breaking of the social contract that allowed the duty bound to selflessly support the "great".

For every Patton there had to be a Third Army.

For every Mac Arthur a Wainwright.

But why would we be selfless in support of most of today's "leaders"?

Consider the Light Brigade. Could such selfless devotion to duty even be condidered today, much less executed?

These questions, of course, exclude our brave patriots fighting to protect our freedoms in outposts such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dear Paul:

Thanks for your responses. I've been a bit of a miscreant on this blog because work's been busier of late.

My main thought today is to cross-reference the good discussion on Michael H. Jordan:

That post and this post make me think that sometimes if enough people, great and small, decide to do the right thing, maybe we do achieve the right things. I'll go to my grave believing in and fighting for this; I'm not willing to have anyone else shove me away from this viewpoint.

[My other thought is now that this blog's been in place a few years with hundreds of entries, it's high time to make more cross-references between the posts. After all, isn't that what we do in life: Take past pieces, mull them over and make connections?]