Texas Orange Order.
Much has been said about this shadowy, mysterious, infrequently seen and often misunderstood organization that exists on the UMass Campus. The TOO represent a tiny percentage of the UMass student body, yet have the power to influence many aspects of your day. Once inducted into this secretive society its members become fiercely loyal to each other and to their cause. You may not know it but the person sat next to you could be a member of the TOO. Look around. Perhaps one of your closest friends is aligned with this group. Its members meet in Southwest several days a week and often before much of the campus are awake. A dark, squat, windowless building serves as their headquarters but there are a couple of smaller satellite locations close by.
The Texas Orange Order has been known by several other names and has been in existence for more than 40 years but has always been committed to the same primary goals. Owing to a change in leadership just over eight years ago the entire organization received a shakeup of huge proportions. In an effort to bind likeminded individuals together the new “Leader” drafted a set of rules and issued bright colored clothing, to be worn at predetermined times only and never beyond the confines of Hampden room 123 (rooms A,B &C included) unless under the most strict conditions. Answering only to their white coated overlords, members of the Texas Orange Order swear allegiance to the uber controller known only as “Chef”. This band of devotees swells its ranks every September and again in January and though some members drift away the vast majority remains loyal for life. Travels often take members to the farthest corners of the world yet upon their return they seek out the comfort and security of their own kind and are welcomed back into the fold with open arms. Words like “rapido and schedule” (pronounced Shed-u-le) and names like “Chuck, Neenah and April” are familiar to the TOO as are the many secrets of “Table Work”.
The TOO brings you your baked items every day. They are responsible for many of the treats you enjoy. They assist their “early risers” (pun intended) in many aspects of the ritual of baking and without them everything from breakfast muffins to the often requested Chocolate Torte would be virtually impossible to produce. TOO members enjoy many benefits for all their hard work. In addition to the generous salaries they earn, their gathering place is always toasty warm and frequently smells of chocolate. As if that were not enough members of the TOO have access to freshly brewed coffee and freshly baked pastries, daily.
How does one join this secretive order? The selection process is strict to be sure and not all that apply are accepted. Inductees are subjected to rigorous background checks and an intensive interview process. Furthermore, the negotiation of an obstacle course involving rope ladders, ravines and live alligators, the successful conversions of all weights from ounces and pounds to grams and kilograms, and the ability to demonstrate sound negotiation skills with a classroom of toddlers between the ages of 2 ½ and 3 ½ are also required. If you are interested in joining seek out “Chef” and be prepared for the “fun” to begin!
The TOO is committed to providing the highest quality service to you each day. Spare a thought for them and if you happen to bump into a member take a moment to thank them for their service. If the TOO didn’t exist neither might Chocolate Torte and that……………would be a disaster!