My previous entry reminded me of when I worked at AOL, and the guy in charge of Member Services (the department I worked for) had this odd habit of trying to soften the blow of bad meetings by serving a sundae cart. You would show up to a meeting with bad news, and there'd be a catered setup with 2-3 flavors of ice cream, toppings, and so on. After a few of these, it became quite disconcerting. The big one was the meeting where they said, "We've found a cheaper way to do what we do by moving your whole department to Jacksonville! So you can either quit, move to Florida, or stay and get laid off." That's not really how they said it, but their version took two hours with slides and stuff. After that, it was like ice cream = doom. You'd hear this for years with that company:
Phil: We had a meeting at the Hilton today. Bill: Did... did they serve ice cream? Phil: No, thank god. It was good news.