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Monday, October 31, 2011

A Note to the Cafeteria of an Anonymous Fortune

MONDAY, MAY 3, 2010

To Whom It May Concern,

I was visiting the cafeteria today and noticed with glee the shiny new condiment dispensers. Brightly colored and clearly labeled, I see we are now offering – for free – portion-cup sized dollops of our favorites: ketchup, mustard, mayo, barbecue sauce and sweet relish. Although the color of the ketchup and barbecue sauce dispensers are a little too close for my personal comfort (I would hate to approach the inevitably popular area in a rush and reach through the crowd and mistakenly squirt my beloved French fries with a blast of barbecue sauce instead of ketchup - that would truly be a tragedy, especially given the time and cost it would take me to order another helping of the deep fried goodness), I agree with your thinking that it would probably take a true idiot to make such a mistake, especially with the colorful dispensers being so clearly labeled and all, but I digress. While nearly giddy with excitement over the bright, shiny new dispensers, by the time I got back to my desk with my banana, for which I had paid a dollar and seven cents, I realized that the surface beauty of the dispensers and my impulsive love for anything new and shiny and brightly colored had been dulled a bit by the excessive price of the tropical Musaceae. I usually stopped by Circle K and bought a banana for 20 cents. I was vexed. Perhaps a better plan to grab customers might be in order.

And I am pleased to help.

It seems to me, that the purchase of five condiment dispensers may have been a bit over-optimistic, if not foolhardy. I can understand ketchup and mustard and for the most part mayonnaise, although many might balk at the idea of a gallon of mayonnaise sitting out at room temperature all day. Not myself, for I come from a long line of drunken, bleary Irish who would eat most anything slopped on a plate and usually mistake spoilt mayonnaise for Miracle Whip. But sweet relish – really? A gallon? I thought back to how often we serve hot dogs and could only recall twice in recent memory, and both of those times being vendor-sponsored events, where packets were
probably easily procured and paid for by those sponsoring the event. Since a case usually comes with a minimum of six million of these packets and by my estimate only about 2% of the living population even considers sweet relish outside a ballpark, a case of sweet relish should last approximately 75 years. And I could think of no other single food item on which sweet relish isused. No need for the dispenser.

And barbecue sauce, while tasty, probably does not deserve a gallon dispenser of its own, just as it does not deserve any more than a sentence to note its worthlessness.

And upon further rumination, I recalled that the tortillas used in the quesadillas had seemed to decrease in size from the standard 10” to something resembling an 8” substitute – of course, this is only an estimate and my sense of measurement and in particular length are somewhat skewed, according to women I have dated. But the tortillas are smaller nonetheless, even by my myopic standards. Is this really how you want to save on food-cost, by cutting back on quesadilla size? It is an affront to fiestas everywhere. Here’s an idea: Cut the price per ounce on the self-serve salad and make up the money on the amount of lettuce you will sell over that which you throw away at the end of the day. I feel I can safely speak on behalf of my teammates when I say “NO!” to the eight dollar self-serve salad. It only makes us bitter and resentful for trying to be healthy. And stop catering to the weak. Ordering special items for those with intolerances and allergies to peanuts and wheat and fun and humor and latex will only cost you money and eventually a lawsuit. Don’t worry about them, they will either bring their own chow, or mercifully die.

I guess what I’m saying is “Keep it simple, folks”. Give me a greasy burger and some fries, with ketchup, or some pasta or a few tacos when I have a hangover – I don’t need Chicken Kiev, or Marsala, or Piccata or Cacciatore or any of that fancy stuff, nor do I need colorful dispensers for my Miracle Whip. Then maybe we can keep up with Circle K when it comes to the banana-thing. And we want Monster drinks and chewing gum again. And low-cut outfits for the ladies.

Thanks for listening.

(Originally Posted May 3, 2010)

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