Friday, February 1, 2008

I really like my new job. I mean I hate it already, but I like it- know what I mean? Did I mention the hours are 0545-1415? Awful, yes- but there are compensations. The commute is around five and a half minutes, max. And even with sixty-five co-workers getting in my way, I can still make a cup of espresso and get outside to enjoy it with a cigarette before works starts. That was never even remotely possible anywhere else I've worked. Not only is this the first place to offer an espresso machine, it's also the first place to actually stock and maintain coffee-making supplies in real time. Quality seems quite decent, too. I hate feel-good bribes, especially when it's so damned obvious they are funded by reduced wages, but if they are unavoidable and they are done right, they don't irk me all that much. The free catered "hot" lunch does bother the living heck out of me- it's too little food for too many people, it's always cold, and it's not very good. Some people seem to think that merely containing exotic ingredients is enough to make a meal magic- well, I'm not going to fall down dead in awe of shrimp or calamari or a peanut sauce just because a certified food planner thinks I should. Nothing, not even a vacuum-fried truffle sandwich (not offered, a fictional example) will make up for overcooking, insipid seasoning, uninspired preparation and heedless presentation. But it probably looked great on paper. I know it costs the equivalent of $1.25/hr of wages per shift: I can pack a better lunch for $0.75 than they put on for $12.00, and it doesn't need refrigeration or heating. Bah! I say. Pay me 1/3 to 1/2 the difference in wages, keep the beverages coming, and leave lunch-making to people who know what's good for them. So long as some damned fool whose only qualification is a chef license from the Fancy Knife Institute insists on playing cute with the menu, and it all keeps falling flat, I'm going to remain utterly unimpressed, churlishly ungrateful and justly resentful. If this offends anyone (except a real chef), GOOD! I hope you choke (figuratively and only momentarily, at that) on your displeasure and have to give yourself a Heimlich Hoist, which I sincerely hope will save your life, because I need readers.

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