Friday, May 11, 2007

Sense and Sensibility

As anarchy bubbled just beneath the surface during today's lunch rush, a Manager In Training blurted, "Let's use common sense". Being on of my favorite oxymoronic phrases, I responsed by saying, "If sense were common, everyone would have it". Or at least, most of the populace could be counted on for thinking versus just feeling. I was angrier than normal during this rush. I really couldn't focus. I was looking for any outlet to release frustration, but at every turn, there was only fuel for my fire and no suppresant. I work in fast food. What bugs me about that? Not the fact that I'm not appreciated, not the fact that I have a college degree; and certainly not the fact that I get to contend with the rude, crude, drunk, crunk and all the lovely personality types in between from the customers. No, my burning problem: kamikaze. What does that word have to do with the fast food industy, you must be wondering. Think of that mindset. An individual comes into an atmosphere with the mantra -- total destruction. Now, I 'm not accusing anyone of pulling an al-Qaeda at the drive thru window, but being on the inside of the hell that is a burger joint has opened my eyes to the decay of society. There are people I work with who are nasty. Not just their personality, but other things. They will drop things and not rinse them. They will see something disgusting, within an establishment that sells FOOD to HUMANS, but will let it be. Some of the stains, droppings, etc. I see are so commonplace, I would swear the store was built that way IF I hadn't seen the prior state where said stains existed. I do what I can, which is an understatement. I have what is commonly called a 'strong stomach'. I mean I can literally handle waste, refuse, etc. of almost all types without even blinking. But it's having to stomach that something I'm touching, something that I would normally avoid on the street (e.g. near a dumpster, pet cemetery, etc.), being near, on, or a part of a $5.00 combo, or $3 children's meal. But at this point I have to be honest, it's much deeper than that with me. Truth be told, the earth itself isn't very clean, and no matter how much bleach and Lysol we put down, some bugs, germs, and viruses are just going to get us. But what happens with the 'virus' is psychological? Before, I told you that I work with nasty people. What if I told you that bad attitudes mixed with confined spaces and the lack of a 'killer instinct', could be more deadly than chain smoking for 40 years? Mind you, this is only fast food; we're not talking rocket science or cutting edge technology like advanced globalized e-commerce marketing modules. Nope, frozen potatoes dropped in oil and 1/2 cm thick patties on a 250-degree grill. But what happens when it's not that simple. What happens when you're told that you have to make an exorbitant amount of money off of customers, of which you are 'promised' a raise (of up to 25 cents!) every three mothns, a quarterly bonus (granted that you start employment just as one quarter ends, because you have to be employed one whole quarter before you get this bonus, and if you don't, you will have to wait until the end of the NEXT quarter), and possibly for advancement.... to a different shirt, and more respons (stress) ibility. What happens when you actually give a crap, and you say to yourself, okay, God, you said to work for earthly masters as though it were to your glory, and you bite the bullet and you work, sometimes well after your shift ends, without a break, without eating (in most cases), and around people who don't take the job that seriously anyway. Whoa. Brick wall. You mean to tell me that I'm thinking of ways to improve food costs, labor, product flow, customer satisfaction, all without being asked, for a ransom of $7/hour, but my fellow co-workers could care less. What do you mean, Archer? (Speaking now as one of 'them') So what if I come in late, as often as is necessary to get threatened with termination? So what if I drink out of the kid's meal size cups, instead of the management approved 6 oz cups; and then leave said cups sitting in various places like in the food washing area, or on the hand washing sink (which sees limited action in that capacity these days)? So what if I cough WITHOUT covering my mouth while prepping products in the morning, I mean, germs can't live on salads, you dork! And yeah, maybe my burger patties are a little red in the middle every now and then, so what? So what if I've cough three times WITHOUT covering my mouth while cooking said patties? So what if there are roaches in the area from which I must retrieve food products meant for human consumption? So what if it was my job to restock this area? Well, *sigh*. I guess I'll do YOU this one favor this one time! Cause I'm in a rush to get home, unlike you, I have to feed my dogs...and look at internet porn.....and drink alcohol, and smoke marijuana (or whatever is available). So you, Archer, can just stay here and deal with making sure that unimportant junk gets done, like doing fresher product, and making sure not too many flies land in the ice cream machine, cause God knows I'm tired of pretending like they're raisins. And you can contend with making sure the night time crew, who won't be in time well after 5pm, will have enough supplies to do a lousy job. What? What's that? Well, what do you expect out of them? They're young! They shouldn't have to respect customers or fellow employees OR managers! (which they don't because they feel as though, since nighttime fast food workers are extremely difficult to find AND retain) (END SCENE).....
But I digress, most of my complaints about fast food would change if there were better training, and more emphasis put on the idea of putting the customer first. With that, I make this statement with as much respect intended as I can must, but people who eat at fast food places really shouldn't set their standards so high. BUT since they do, and will until the Rapture, that's why more emphasis must be put on workplace training. So, in closing, I guess I'm saying to all fast food workers: take it serious. But not because low pay is suddenly a good thing. But because being humble in these places now will greatly benefit the future. To fast food managers: Get your heads out of your rears and look at the big picture: you need customers. To keep them coming you need to put more emphasis on training your crew. You also need to remember that you are already a great salesperson by getting people to work so very hard for such terrible pay, so keep that motivation going. To all fast food customers: first, I apologize. I didn't make the sandwich, but I'm attempting to make it better. And also, be more patient. And cook at home more often. My email is over there <----------- or over there---------> somewhere....

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My First Post

I really am just typing this to see how it will look. Right now, I'm not concerned about how offensive this post will be, nor am I expecting angry e-mail replies. The First Amendment promises that I can speak my mind here. Unfortunately, I really won't offend that many people before this is ALL said and done. But unlike myself, who is very concerned about making others feel bad about my words, recent events prove that some Americans will use their rights to impede the rights of others. Maybe that's not their intent, but America, seemingly has a "We are #1" Mentality. And look at it: the first thing promised in the Constitution ", liberty, pursuit of happiness.."; the 1st Amendment -- freedom to say. But neither of these warns us about the consequences and responsibility that come with individual freedom, especially when expressed as a part of a larger body. Do all folks who live where the Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, and members of the Nation of Islam thrive share the same views as those groups? Most likely not. So how can we justly say that every white person is racist (which is correctly defined as the unethical, immoral treatment of non-white people by white people) just because one white person is portrayed as such on media? Also, (and I utter this with tremendous pride), all able bodied young black men are not drug dealers, violent offenders, and descraters of our Black queens. (*sigh*) Felt quite good saying that last one.