$15/hour Minimum Wage: Bring It On, Motherfuckers.

Restaurant owners are freaking out about surviving a $15 minimum wage. I hope the $15/hour minimum wage proposal IS passed into law, even though I don’t think government should be involved in labor contract between two private parties.  I’m just curious about what would happen to Puget Sound region restaurants, the culinary landscape and socio-cultural life.

“You sick fuck,” some of you are thinking. “That’s like saying you want to be gang banged until your asshole looks like a donut just to see if you’d enjoy it.”

Sure, if you say so. I really don’t think it’ll be that bad.  A few reasons why:

1. Shit like this has happened before.  Like back in 1988, I-518 increased wage of tipped workers by 85%.  Yet restaurant scene is as strong as ever.  And we still have Dick’s, Teriyaki, McDonald’s, Olive Garden.

2. Free agency didn’t destroy baseball, as some predicted.  Attendance has risen and big market teams are LESS dominant than they were pre-free agency era.  And baseball players get paid 10 times more than they would without free agency.

3. Shortly after her arrival to New York City and prior to recording her first single, Madonna was raped at knifepoint. She didn’t report it. What does this have to do with the price of kale?

4. Koreatown, Los Angeles.  Destroyed in 1992 LA Riots.  Today, it’s thriving, the most cosmopolitan and dense LA neighborhood, and the center of LA nightlife.

5. Banning smoking in taverns didn’t put most of them out of business.

6. It’s 1910.  You own stagecoaches.  Some dickhead named Ford starts mass producing automobiles.  Your business is falling apart as people increasingly opt for autos to get around. Should anyone care?

7. You own a turnkey restaurant that makes you a solid income.  Some family opens a similar restaurant a couple blocks away.  Entire family works in the restaurant, no employees.  Since they live 6 in a three bedroom, 1200 sq house in a modest neighborhood, they’re able to undercut you on price.  Forcing you out of business.  Should anyone care?

Point is, doesn’t matter what happens.  Shit happens.  It’s business owner’s responsibility to figure out how to make it work, to cooperate with an unpredictable world. So let’s think about contingency plans. Business owners don’t deserve a certain lifestyle any more than do minimum wage workers.

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Thought project.  What happens at $15/hour to following businesses?

Busy McDonald’s Franchise: Estimate $15,000 worth of increased labor costs per month, assuming staff of six (manager and assistant manager not included), 20 hours per day.  That’s $180,000 per year.  That won’t work for most franchisees.  Solution, replace two employees with self-serve registers, like the ones we see in unionized grocery stores.  One employee — likely assistant manager — handles three registers.  The technology is already there, they’re just waiting for the moment labor costs exceed technology costs. Robot making burgers are also available (expensive) if owner wants to further reduce staff.

Moderately busy Subway Franchise: Having trouble seeing which processes they can automate. There would need to be major overhaul of current processes for automation to happen.  To maintain profitability, Subway franchise would have to be family owned and operated (as is increasingly the case, with South Asian immigrant families taking the lead), with perhaps one 30 hour a week, high value employee (assistant manager). In this scenario, increased labor cost is insignificant. It’d be like dealing with gas prices tripling within a year. Those who treat franchise as turn-key operation won’t make it (as is often the case anyway).

Highly regarded bistros and fine dining establishments.  They’ll professionalize service jobs. Tips will be included in the bill, servers and bartenders will be paid a wage plus benefits, including sick time and paid vacation. That’s what Herbfarm does.  That’s how it’s done in France. Professionalization further reduces turnover and improves service.

Low-End chain restaurants like Olive Garden.  I don’t know how they survive now.  And because of their low status and difficult customers, they’ll have a difficult time attracting professional service workers.  But they seem to figure it out.

Alive Juice Bar. Similar to Subway, will need to be family owned and operated (grandma grandpa, teenager kids, mom and dad, similar to how Pho and Teriyaki restaurants are operated) to remain profitable.  One option is to reduce hours to 6am-3pm and work alone.  Would make same amount as I do now AND work less (managing, training, and hiring takes a lot of time).  In fact, I’d look forward to not subjecting my date to interruptions during dinner.  Professionalization of positions — increasing prices — isn’t an option because we’re take-out fast-food.  Customers aren’t obligated to tip.  Other option is to reduce staff and work longer hours.  Would make significantly more than before.  Will also look into technology that allows customers to place and pay for order from their phone.  Continue to encourage paying with credit card to check themselves out.

The point is that there’s always a way to survive.  I’m predicting that $15/hour will, long-term, spur new technological innovations that will at least double worker productivity (increased pay does NOT improve productivity. Technological advances and lower turnover do. The incompetent will remain so regardless of pay).  Meaning, real labor costs will go down, and businesses will be more profitable than ever. How else can we explain the increased productivity and fairly stable unemployment rate after every minimum wage increase?

(The person watching over 4 grocery self-check out stands is more productive not because he’s exerting more energy, but because the technology allows him to do the work of 2-3 employees working traditional check out line. Don’t ever think higher pay spurs one to work harder.  It does not.  No evidence.  But plenty of counter-evidence).

As for those laid off, technological innovation will make them employable again, as has always been the case.  For instance, timed-cooking technology used at McDonald’s and Appleby’s allowed those who can’t figure out with their senses when a burger is done or a steak is medium rare to be productive enough to work the line.  Advanced cash registers allow those who can’t do arithmetic to be productive. Spell-check may allow an administrative assistant who struggles with spelling to keep his job.

The only concern is that by dumbing down jobs — as Starbucks has over the past two decades to support their expansion — we’re creating an unskilled workforce that will never become skilled, never enjoy creative work. More troubling, they will become even more culturally and socially estranged from those creating the technology necessary to keep businesses running and people employed and productive.  Will continued resentment and envy be inevitable? Will $15/hour become the new poverty wage?

 

 

 


How the Cult of Self-Esteem Produces Fuck Ups

A professional model, not quite a supermodel but aspires to become one, dumps her boyfriend.  He’s a good guy, has good job, is good looking. Cock is large enough, he’s just kinky enough, no premature ejack issues. Cool parents and sublings, no douchebag friends, no troubling mental health issues. Sort of guy who gets women to battle royale each other.

Why did she dump him? Pick:

a) He criticized her looks too often.
b)  He complimented her looks too often.
c) She’s an arrogant, narcissistic bitch.

Think about it.  We’ll get back to this later.  Open a bottle if you’re nervous.  I’m probably already ahead of you. Cheers.

Quotes From Those Most Consider Supremely Confident and Successful

Will Smith:  “I still doubt myself every single day. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.”

John Lennon: “Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”

Meryl Streep:You think, ‘Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie?’ And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”

Maya Angelou: “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”

“Whaaaat,” some are thinking. What’s with the low self-esteem?  “How can…if I were…” Hold the thought. And don’t project.

Defining Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Don’t confuse self-esteem with self-confidence, even if too many psychologists conflate the two.  If you do, you won’t be able to understand what’s going on above. Self-esteem is one’s PERCEPTION and ASSESSMENT of oneself, eg. I’m smart, I’m good looking, I’m a dumbass, I’m repulsive.  Self-confidence is one’s FAITH in one’s ability to achieve something, eg. I’ll hit 50 home runs, I can make the cover of Vogue, I can beat the shit out of that motherfucker, I’ll find the cure to cancer.

Prevailing assumption is that one must have high self-esteem in order to to have high self-confidence. One must think highly of oneself — “I’m brilliant! — in order to find the cure for cancer.  Concomitant assumption is that those with low self-esteem will be failures and are prone to violence, drug abuse, etc. Such assumptions make it tempting to conflate self-esteem with self-confidence.

Self-esteem is rooted in one’s perception of one’s environment.  An All-State basketball player who didn’t receive D-I scholarship offers may consider himself not very good at basketball because he compares himself to D-I players.  The best basketball player on a last place high school team may consider himself a great basketball player because he only compares himself to his teammates.

Self-confidence is primarily built on achievement in a competitive environment.  Like MVP of NBA. Perfect MCAT scores. An Academy Award.  The more objective the assessment of one’s ability, the higher its value and impact on confidence level.  (Academy Award, for instance, is partially a subjective assessment of ability).

Self-Esteem Movement

Some claim Ayn Rand’s boytoy, Nathaniel Branden (of all people), started the self-esteem movement back in 1969. Whatever, who cares.  Point is, the theory that one must have high self-esteem in order to have the confidence to achieve socially acceptable goals began to gain currency in academic circles sometime around that year. Theory mostly circulates in the academy for a decade, where it’s refined, debated, and pushed (and tested) on eager and impressionable undergrads. Some who, ten years after graduation, began to wield socio-cultural influence, perhaps as journalists, teachers, PTA moms.  Who was listening? Champagne socialists aside, it’s those who looked up to college grads.  That is, those who didn’t go to college but wanted so badly their kids to do so. They thought they were getting the inside scoop on how to get ahead even though it would’ve worked out better if son had taken over plumbing business that pays $120,000 a year instead of getting a bullshit degree from a bullshit college.  Cult of self-esteem grows as Oprah and Glamour mainstream the feel good message to the aspirational working and middle-class by growing and  feeding their narcissism. Different sort of narcissism, as Machiavellianism is so passe in post-industrial America.  This is narcissism by repression, projection, and ironic living. Kids are taught to repress fundamental emotions such as fear and anger. Feeling hate?  Project project project, “it’s not me, it’s him, I’m all love,” rationalizes the kid robbed of his lunch money. And what better way to bolster the ego than community service? “I am special and should be admired because today, I volunteered my time to help people,” she thinks as she rolls a spliff and begins four hours worth of daydreaming about her glamorous future and picking up as many “Likes” on Facebook as she needs to feel good about herself.

Tenets of Self-Esteem Movement

1. Be nice.  Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.
2. Focus on the positive, that is, what one’s good at it.
3. Everyone is special, everyone is a winner
4. You can do whatever you want.  Whatever you want (echo-o-o-o).
5. Avoid stress and pressure to maximize performance.
6. When stressed or hurt, talk about your feelings.

How the narcissist understands these tenets:

1. Don’t hurt my feelings by pointing out my fuck ups. And I won’t hurt yours.  Deal?
2. I prefer to avoid reality, to not think about my fuck ups and how to fix them.
3. I don’t like losing.  Because it feels bad. Like I’m not special.
4. Let me daydream and delay the inevitable realization that there are limits and achievement requires extraordinary time and effort, for which I’m not prepared.
5. Heaven on Earth, the blissful life.  It’s ok to live life as a series of escapes.
6. It’s socially acceptable to live inside one’s head, and to not be responsible for one’s feelings.  (How I define narcissism).

Self-Esteem and the Bizarre

Teen boy comes in.  His parents are the types who continually remind him that “you can do whatever you want, you can be whatever you want.” Places order.  I begin small talk.  He’s a big boy so I ask: “you play football?”  His response: “Nah.  Football coach thinks it’s a waste of my physical attributes.  But whatever.  I can do whatever I want. I can do whatever I want.”

Ok.  I understand.  Kumar (of Harold and Kumar) points out that just because one has a big dick doesn’t mean one should become a porn star.  That’s fine, I get it.  Then it gets weird.

“What sports do you do?”

“Track.”

“Which events?”

“Pole vault.”

“Aren’t you kinda big for that?”

He has three options.  He can tell me that I’m wrong, that he has the ideal body for such an event and explain why that’s the case; or I’m right and he’s an outlier. Third option is what he chose: “I can do whatever I want, man.  I can do whatever I want.”

Someone tell me that I’m not the only one with the urge to knock this kid out cold and lock him in a dungeon until Stockholm Syndrome sets in for life. This was a bizarre and scary exchange. Total disregard of what’s best for the team. Completely focused on what the self wants. Imagine his future:

Detective: Why did you think it was ok to forcibly stick your cock in that girl’s mouth?

Boy: I can do whatever I want, I can do whatever I want.

Detective: I bet you can.  And Uncle Shirley can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants too.  I can’t wait for you to meet him.

What Kids Hear
Parent says: You can be whatever you want.
Kid hears: I will be seen as squandering my special talents and powers if I don’t achieve greatness. I’m not prepared for this kind of pressure. I need to start searching for excuses.

Parent says: You can do whatever you want.
Kids hears: Who cares about the wants and needs of others.

Parent says: You did a great job, great effort kiddo.
Kids hears: Not really, but I guess I’ll take it.  Thanks.  \

Kids who are talked to in this way are more likely to become envious, narcissistic adults who need non-stop praise and affirmation to stave off depression and anxiety.  Alternatives:

Parent: You can reach your goals if you put in appropriate amount of time and effort. Recognize limits — you’re not going to be an NBA center at 5’6, shorty.
Kid hears: I’m responsible for my achievements. I decide my place in society.

Parent: You’re free to make your own mistakes.  Learn from them.
Kid hears: There are consequences to every one of my actions and I’m responsible for them.

Parents: You need to work on that more if you want to get better.
Kid hears: I’m not that good, but I can get better.

First kid will think he’s great and KNOW he’s not that good.  Second kid thinks he sucks but KNOWS he can do better.  Big difference.  Beginning to see how someone as accomplished as Will Smith can act confident yet be so insecure? Anyway, first kid will make excuses when he fails or only hang out with acolytes (friends) who praise him, feeding him bullshit bullshit bullshit so he grows up to rely on bullshit sandwiches (compliment followed by criticism followed by compliment) to get through work.  Second kid will seek criticism, and screw the praise, that’s a waste of time. There are standards to meet, visions to realize, and that’s all that matters in life.

“I tried my best, I did and gave everything I could,” parents tell me.  No you did not.  I was there, I saw it. I watched you fuck up your kid in your own fucked up way — the needless coddling, the glib praise, the undeserved gifts, the lame excuses, the anxious cheers.  You’re not a cheerleader, you’re a parent, you’re the coach.  So parent and coach. Cheerleaders cheer, coaches teach and berate and motivate. Watch how the best coaches treat their players. That’s how you’re supposed to treat your kids.

 

Why is Self-Esteem Movement So Attractive? 

It promises great results with little work. Takes effort to qualify a loaded statement like “you can be whatever you want.”  Takes even more effort to put such a statement in action: showing them what it takes, how it’s done, by putting in the work yourself.  Takes extraordinary effort to stay up with them through the night as they practice practice practice until they get it right.  Stop telling them how much you love them, love requires ACTION, love is an act, not a feeling.  Words are meaningless, people want acts of love, not bromides. No wonder glib slogans are more appealing. Allows parents to feign work and deflect blame when their kids turn into fuck ups.

The self-esteem movement promises Heaven on Earth.  As with all attempts at making utopia happen on earth, the consequences are disastrous.  Studies are showing: more violence, more depression, more envy, more anxiety, not less.  Less achievement, less happiness, less self-confidence, less motivation, not more.  Good news is that the Atlantic Monthly reading and NPR listening demographic has has figured this out because their media sources have been telling them “reverse course reverse course we fucked up” for the past 10 years (see Atlantic Monthly on Cult of Self-Esteem).  But how long will it take for the Cosmo and People mag reading demo to figure it out? Is it too late for them and their progeny, are they destined to a lifetime of bullshit sandwiches?

What Makes People Go Batshit Crazy?  

People go crazy when their sense of self is at odds with other people’s perceptions of themselves.  Bridget thinks she’s gorgeous.  Because all her friends tell her so on Facebook. Mom and Dad too.  Now lock her in a building full of Vogue cover models and make Anna Wintour (Devil Meets Prada) her boss.  Let’s see if she can last two months.  She either emerges batshit crazy or a better person.

Put differently, dissonance between self-esteem and “reality” makes someone batshit crazy.  That’s why the person who thinks he’s “oh so smart” avoids putting himself in situations that’ll make him look stupid. Or the person who thinks she’s funny and never notices that she’s the only one laughing at her self-described “sarcastic wit” (whatever is being taught in English class, just stop stop stop it) will never have the courage to do stand-up on comedy night. People seek spaces and people who confirm their sense of self, their identity. And tend to avoid those who challenge their self-esteem.  It’s no wonder that those who invite and give criticism are the executives, while those who can’t take it are managed staff, fed steady diet of bullshit sandwiches to keep their fragile sense of self intact.

How to Treat a Model

Let’s return to the model who dumps her boyfriend.  Which response did you pick?

I think she dumped him because he complimented her looks too often.  Guys, if you want to date a model, NEVER tell them how gorgeous they are. And not because she hears it all the time from those whose standards she disregards. Think about it, why did she become a model? Because she’s tall and gorgeous?  Plenty of women out there like that who don’t become models, or try and fail.  No, she becomes a model because she was insecure about her looks during her teen years.  Perhaps schoolmates made fun of her lanky frame, hollowed cheeks, and buggy eyes.  She grew accustomed to the criticism, desired it because it confirmed her sense of reality, that she’s not good looking.  As she grew up and filled out and became what most consider beautiful, she stopped getting the criticism she desired.  That’s why she became a *successful* model, so some gay guy can pinch her thighs and tell her how fat and ugly she is, so she can be surrounded by people better than her. Her job confirms her reality.  Her boyfriend didn’t.  So she dumped him and went to work.

Supermodels are supermodels because they’re never satisfied with their looks, not because they think they’re gorgeous.

When parents give their kids a reality — Heaven on Earth — that will likely never exist, they’re giving pharma drug companies a few more customers. Kids can live their unreality for only so long before they’re forced to accept that Santa doesn’t exist; Lassie will die; Grandma is the tooth fairy; Grandpa watches barely legal porn; Mom’s fucking her trainer; Dad sucked boyfriend’s dick.  That she’s not as smart, pretty, and funny as she and her friends and family think she is.  The ones prepared for reality will be able to change it.  Those unprepared will be left confused, helpless, and crushed. That’s reality.

 

 

 


Application Questions: Example of Management Material

Example of applicant who is well adjusted, energetic, easily aroused, and has leadership potential. Recognizes reality about herself and other people.  Rarely makes excuses.  Tries to figure out ways to blame herself when something goes wrong.  

Will provide example of batshit crazy, narcissistic, and mentally unstable in another post.   

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Earthquake during math class! Big enough to topple bookshelves. Nobody is hurt, everyone is okay, just jittery. What do you, as teacher, do?
a) Stop class, act jittery and anxious because that’s how you feel.
b) Have students clean up mess and continue class as if nothing happened. Assign double amount of homework and quizzes for rest of the week.
c) Stop class, bring in school psychologist to discuss how everyone is handling the event and “post-traumatic stress disorder.”

How many hours a week does the CEO of Walmart work?
a)100
b)70
c)40

How many hours a week does the CEO of Yahoo work?
a)100
b)70
c)40

How many hours a week does Eminem work?
a) 100
b)70
c)40

What’s Plato’s Republic about?
a) Why we’re all dumbasses
b)How to be happy
c) The meaning of lfie

Why is your boss so mean to you?
a) Because she’s a bitch.
b)Because I keep fucking up.
c) Because she’s secretly in love with me. That’s just her way of hiding her true feelings.

Why is your boss so nice to you?
a) Because I’m awesome at my job.
b) Because I sucked his dick.
c) Because it’s easier than explaining to me how and why I keep fucking up and fixing the problem.

Efficiency or Creativity? Choose one.
a)Efficiency
b)Do I have to? I want to pick both.
c)Creativity

Nice or Kind. Choose one.
a) Nice
b) Kind
c) I’m confused. My head is starting to hurt.

Who is overpaid?
a) Microsoft Engineer making $150,000 a year, full benefits, 3 weeks paid vacation,matching 401k.
b) McDonald’s Cook making $10/hour, no benefits, no paid vacation.
c) Police Officer making $75,000 a year, full benefits, 4 weeks paid vacation, lifetime pension after retirement (20 years service).

What does the CEO of Walmart do all day?
a)Figures out new ways to exploit hard workers like me.
b)Sets strategy and vision, negotiates partnerships, builds company culture, and manages supply chains to ensure consumers get what they want when they want it.
c)Bangs his hot secretary.

How often do you experience road rage?
a) Once a day
b) Once a week
c) Never

Why are you so mean?
a) I’m impatient, I get annoyed at people easily.
b) I’m not mean, I’m nice, I don’t like hurting other people’s feelings. Mean people suck.
c) If I’m not mean, I’ll get stepped on. They’ll crush me.

Why are you so lazy?
a) I’m not lazy.
b) I don’t have enough responsibilities.
c) I have chronic fatigue syndrome.

Why are you so lazy?
a) I get stressed out easily.
b) I’m self-centered and self-absorbed, so I don’t like making sacrifices for others. It’s too much work.
c) I like having fun. I need rest and relaxation.

Why do you work so hard?
a) I have a lot of responsibilities
b) I’m ambitious, I want to do something special
c) I don’t work hard, I’m lazy

Why are your friends boring?
a) They’re not boring. They’re a lot of fun.
b) They never want to try anything new. They talk about and do the same things over and over again. They’re really conventional.
c) I don’t know.

How many years SHOULD you spend in jail?
a) 0
b) 1-3
c) more than 3

Why are you so lazy?
a) I daydream a lot.
b) I’m bored.
c) I make excuses and blame others when something goes wrong.

What was Eminem likely doing on random date, 2003?
a) Getting high and smacking his hoes
b) Working alone in recording studio, repeating same three lines over and over again because he demands perfection from himself.
c) Getting his dick sucked by two of his dancers.

Why are you so stupid?
a) I’m lazy and obedient, so I don’t ask questions.
b) I’m confused and bored, I don’t see the point.
c) I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!

Why are you so smart?
a)I’m not smart, only stupid people think they’re smart
b)I’ve always worked hard and set the highest standards for myself. I took the most challenging courses and tasks and wouldn’t accept anything less than an “A” at school and at work.
c) I’m naturally smart, it’s God given.

Why do you hate poor people?
a) We hate those we’re afraid of becoming. I’m afraid I’ll become or am one of them
b) I don’t hate them. I want to help them by showing them how to become better, someone more like me.
c) They’re lazy and have bad habits that are ruining society. They’re hopeless.

What was Tupac Shakur most likely doing during a typical evening?
a) Reading Diary of Anais Nin
b) Drinking his 40 and smacking his hoes
c) Having a threesome and some cocaine.

How many people do you hate?
a) 0
b) 1-5
c) More than 5

What would you do to someone you hate?
a) Fart on them.
b) Get Dark Ages on them, dungeon style
c) Death by thousand cuts.

OPEN ENDED QUESTION
Person A from age 5 to 25, attends school 6 hours a day, studies 4 hours a day, spends 6 hours of leisure time learning to build and building, with like-minded friends, random things, like a tree house, a bridge, a dog walking robot. A also spends an hour per day daydreaming of building something that will improve world’s standard of living. At age 25, he graduates with a Masters degree in electrical engineering and is offered a salary of $150,000 to work as a product developer for a green tech company. He gets 3 weeks vacation, full benefits. He accepts the position and works 60-80 hours per week, and is expected to be available for phone calls and e-mails during his vacations. He pays Federal Government 30 percent of his earnings.

Person B, from age 5-25, attends school 6 hours a day, studies 1 hour a day, spends 6 hours of leisure time passively watching TV shows and films like Jersey Shore and Twilight, 3 hours a day daydreaming about being wealthy and pampered and adored by everyone. At age 25, he graduates with a degree in Socks, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. Unable to find a job in his field of study, he takes a job as a cashier at McDonald’s, making $10 per hour, 40 hours per week, or $20,000 for the year. He doesn’t have to pay taxes.
Let’s assume one of them is “underpaid.” Which one and why?

Based on habits and effort Person A has put in throughout his life, he’s likely at least 100 times more productive than Person B, who is unlikely to be a high value contributor at McDonald’s due to habits developed throughout his life.  Yet, after taxes, Person A only gets paid 6 times more than Person B.  
Multiple Choice
What did Walmart founder Sam Walton drive?
a)Beat up pickup truck
b)BMW
c)Hummer

Why are you so stupid?
a)I don’t know what I don’t know.
b) For the last time, I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!
c) You’re the dumbass for asking this dumbass question, like, 3 times. This is some fucked up shit, I’m out, motherfucker.

Open Ended Question

Mary hires Peter and Paul to dig two ditches, assigning one to each. Peter finishes in one hour because he used his latest invention, the super-duper soil remover zapper. Paul, using a shovel, finishes his in 8 hours. How much should Mary pay Peter. How much to Paul? Whom should she hire if she wants a third ditch?

Pay them same.  Hire Peter. 

How do poor people talk?
a) They brag about themselves, make themselves seem better than they are.
b) They like to talk a lot about their problems.
c) They talk like desperate victims, begging for help.

How many hours did Peter spend developing his latest invention, the super-duper soil remover zapper?
a) 2, genius comes naturally to him
b) 200, he got a lucky break
c) 2000, innovation is hard work

Why are you so lazy?
a) There’s no point in working hard. Life is unfair, it won’t get me anywhere.
b) Most of my friends are lazy. It’s contagious.
c) I’ve never been exposed to those who work hard and long, like 100 hours a week.

The person who wrote this application:
a) Is an angry mother fucker.
b) Is batshit crazy. This is some fucked up shit.
c) Is trying to be funny. Ha ha. Ha. Right?


Foreign Devil’s Guide to Ordering Nasty Shit at Chinese Restaurants

Wonder what Chinese people eat? Curious about how you can get some of it?  Want to try to act Chinese and eat some of the nasty shit? I mean, they’re going to take over the world in like 50 or 70 years so you might as well get a head start and figure out what dinner is going to smell like for you and/or your progeny.

Three types of Chinese restaurants.

1. Those that cater exclusively to Foreign Devils (that’s probably you and if it isn’t, go back to eating your nasty shit).  They serve food like sweet and sour pork, fried rice, General Tso Chicken, beef and broccoli and fortune cookies. Dishes invented in the US.  Not saying there’s anything wrong with these dishes.  (Though the fortune cookie is bizarre).

2. Those that cater to Foreign Devils and those who speak Ching Chong.  Foreign Devils get English menu; others the Chinese menu.  English menu similar to what you’d find at restaurants that cater exclusively to Foreign Devils, but includes dishes that originate from China. Chinese menu offers nasty shit.

3. Those that cater primarily to Chinese.  Only a Chinese menu.  Serves lots of nasty shit.

What’s the Nasty Shit?  
Some examples:

1. Jellyfish.  Slightly crunchy, sliced into noodles, usually drenched in a sauce. Barbarians who try it mistake it for a vegetable.

2. Beef intestine (tripe).  Also slightly crunchy in texture, sliced into noodles.  Soaked in a mild sauce.

3. Stinky tofu.  Fermented in some really nasty shit, so it stinks. Those who first encounter it may feel as if they’re locked in a 4×4 room with two guys farting nonstop after a been and milk meal.  Be patient, stick with it.  When you acquire taste for it, it’ll smell like your own fart.  Or your own feet. Stinky but oddly pleasurable, enticing.  Addictive.  You’ll want more.

4. Duck tongue. Yes, it’s possible.

5. Chicken feet.  Fun to eat, get it at any place that serves dim sum.  Slow cooked in a sauce, the bones break off easily.  You play with them in your mouth, using your tongue to strip off the meat.  Then spit out the bones.  This is how I learned to kiss before my first kiss.

6. Fish eyeballs.

7. Fish heads.  That’s why we keep the head on.  We plan on eating it.

8. Duck head.  That’s why we keep the head on.  We plan on gnawing on it.

9. Pig’s colon.  Don’t worry, the caca has been washed out.  And even if it hasn’t, it’s thoroughly cooked.  No worries, I promise. Sheesh.

10. Pig uterus.  Why toss it, waste it?  Cook it in some soy sauce, slice it up.  It’s like Chinese calamari.

How to Get the Nasty Shit

First, you’ve got to convince your server that you’re ready for the nasty shit.  If you speak Chinese, they’ll give it to you.  If you don’t, they’ll hesitate, and in some cases, not give you what you order (give you fried rice and orange chicken instead).  Be persistent.  Have what you want written on paper, English is fine in restaurants that serve both Foreign Devils and Chinese.  If you’re in a restaurant that serves mostly Chinese people, use sign language. Make a claw (with hand, not feet)if you want chicken feet.  Point to stomach if you want beef tripe.  Squeeze your nose if you want stinky tofu.  Make fish lips and point to eyes if you want fish eyes.  Do it. It works. But don’t point at your asshole if you want pig colon. Trust me on this one, too much room for misunderstanding.

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Most of the body parts above are also served throughout Europe, South America, and Africa.  Question arises: if most of the world eats offals and this ingredient and that body part served in this and that way, how did the American palate develop to become so limited? It wasn’t always this way (and has become more adventurous since the 90s).  To explore how the mainstream American palate was developed after WWII is to ask questions about the politics of food and eating and the psychology of nation-building.

Part II on the national development of the American palate coming soon…


Application Questions 6.0

Two part-time positions.  One for Barista, the other for Barista’s Bitch.

Barista job duties:prep food and drinks with precision and alacrity; change expletive laden music when kids walk in; serve customers; listen — learn about and from — customers; tell customer to fuck off; remind customers to shut bathroom door; figure out what people really want, not what they say and/think they want; recognize patterns of behavior; deal with hung-over and emotional co-workers; berate customer for acting like an asshole; ask questions; draw stuff on windows; download music; clean mess; correct co-worker’s grammar; explain why ionized water is for dumbasses; explain difference between glycemic load and glycemic index so customers stop freaking out about carrot juice; make inappropriate comments that will get you fired everywhere except Microsoft; make co-worker stop acting like a whiny bitch; babysit your Bitch.

Barista’s Bitch job duties: shut-up, observe, learn, emulate, ask questions.  Cry at home.

Application questions below.  Research online for clues.  Be honest.  Be consistent.  Think about reality, what makes sense. To recognize reality, try to get out of your own reality and consider what makes logical sense. This test is modeled after MMPI used by hospitals and law enforcement agencies to assess mental health.  Its purpose is to figure out who is batshit crazy.  Even if you score batshit crazy — nearly all of you will, some because of your lack of experience, others because of your social background — you may still get hired because batshit crazy is, well, normal, common. Our job is to help you grow out of batshit crazy stage of life, to help you develop a stable identity and to recognize reality about yourself and others.

Check yelp to learn more about Alive Juice Bar. (If you apply to restaurants without reading their Yelp reviews, then you don’t deserve to use toilet paper ever again).  If you have a history of working at establishments with poor yelp reviews, you’ll be asked about bad habits you’ve picked up.  Not saying we’re awesome and set the standard.  Our faults are many, and we find them intolerable.  We just want to keep improving rather than devolve into something awful.

Bold face your answer. Pick best answer. Attach resume.

Let’s begin!

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Earthquake during math class! Big enough to topple bookshelves. Nobody is hurt, everyone is okay, just jittery. What do you, as teacher, do?
a) Stop class, act jittery and anxious because that’s how you feel.
b) Have students clean up mess and continue class as if nothing happened. Assign double amount of homework and quizzes for rest of the week.
c) Stop class, bring in school psychologist to discuss how everyone is handling the event and “post-traumatic stress disorder.”

How many hours a week does the CEO of Walmart work?
a)100
b)70
c)40

How many hours a week does the CEO of Yahoo work?
a)100
b)70
c)40

How many hours a week does Eminem work?
a) 100
b)70
c)40

What’s Plato’s Republic about?
a) Why we’re all dumbasses
b)How to be happy
c) The meaning of lfie

Why is your boss so mean to you?
a) Because she’s a bitch.
b)Because I keep fucking up.
c) Because she’s secretly in love with me.  That’s just her way of expressing it.

Why is your boss so nice to you?
a) Because I’m awesome at my job.
b) Because I sucked his dick.
c) Because it’s easier than explaining to me how and why I keep fucking up and fixing the problem.

Efficiency or Creativity?  Choose one.
a)Efficiency
b)Do I have to?  I want to pick both.
c)Creativity

Nice or Kind.  Choose one.
a) Nice
b) Kind
c) I’m confused.  My head is starting to hurt.

Who is overpaid?
a) Microsoft Engineer making $150,000 a year, full benefits, 3 weeks paid vacation,matching 401k.
b) McDonald’s Cook making $10/hour, no benefits, no paid vacation.
c) Police Officer making $75,000 a year, full benefits, 4 weeks paid vacation, lifetime pension after retirement (20 years service).

What does the CEO of Walmart do all day?
a)Figures out new ways to exploit hard workers like me.
b)Sets strategy and vision, negotiates partnerships, builds company culture, and manages supply chains to ensure consumers get what they want when they want it.
c)Bangs his hot secretary.

How often do you experience road rage?
a) Once a day
b) Once a week
c) Never

Why are you so mean?
a) I’m impatient, I get annoyed at people easily.
b) I’m not mean, I’m nice, I don’t like hurting other people’s feelings.  Mean people suck.
c) If I’m not mean, I’ll get stepped on.  They’ll crush me.

Why are you so lazy?
a) I’m not lazy.
b) I don’t have enough responsibilities.
c) I have chronic fatigue syndrome.

Why are you so lazy?
a) I get stressed out easily.
b) I’m self-centered and self-absorbed, so I don’t like making sacrifices for others. It’s too much work.
c) I like having fun. I need rest and relaxation.

Why do you work so hard?
a) I have a lot of responsibilities
b) I’m ambitious, I want to do something special
c) I don’t work hard, I’m lazy

Why are your friends boring?
a) They’re not boring. They’re a lot of fun.
b) They never want to try anything new. They talk about and do the same things over and over again. They’re really conventional.
c) I don’t know.

How many years SHOULD you spend in jail?
a) 0
b) 1-3
c) more than 3

Why are you so lazy?
a) I daydream a lot.
b) I’m bored.
c) I make excuses and blame others when something goes wrong.

What was Eminem likely doing on random date, 2003?
a) Getting high and smacking his hoes
b) Working alone in recording studio, repeating same three lines over and over again because he demands perfection from himself.
c) Getting his dick sucked by two of his dancers.

Why are you so stupid?
a) I’m lazy and obedient, so I don’t ask questions.
b) I’m confused and bored, I don’t see the point.
c) I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!

Why are you so smart?
a)I’m not smart, only stupid people think they’re smart
b)I’ve always worked hard and set the highest standards for myself. I took the most challenging courses and tasks and wouldn’t accept anything less than an “A” at school and at work.
c) I’m naturally smart, it’s God given.

Why do you hate poor people?
a) We hate those we’re afraid of becoming. I’m afraid I’ll become or am one of them
b) I don’t hate them. I want to help them by showing them how to become better, someone more like me.
c) They’re lazy and have bad habits that are ruining society. They’re hopeless.

What was Tupac Shakur most likely doing during a typical evening?
a) Reading Diary of Anais Nin
b) Drinking his 40 and smacking his hoes
c) Having a threesome and some cocaine.

How many people do you hate?
a) 0
b) 1-5
c) More than 5

What would you do to someone you hate?
a) Fart on them.
b) Get Dark Ages on them, dungeon style
c) Death by thousand cuts.

OPEN ENDED QUESTION
Person A from age 5 to 25, attends school 6 hours a day, studies 4 hours a day, spends 6 hours of leisure time learning to build and building, with like-minded friends, random things, like a tree house, a bridge, a dog walking robot. A also spends an hour per day daydreaming of building something that will improve world’s standard of living. At age 25, he graduates with a Masters degree in electrical engineering and is offered a salary of $150,000 to work as a product developer for a green tech company. He gets 3 weeks vacation, full benefits. He accepts the position and works 60-80 hours per week, and is expected to be available for phone calls and e-mails during his vacations. He pays Federal Government 30 percent of his earnings.

Person B, from age 5-25, attends school 6 hours a day, studies 1 hour a day, spends 6 hours of leisure time passively watching TV shows and films like Jersey Shore and Twilight, 3 hours a day daydreaming about being wealthy and pampered and adored by everyone. At age 25, he graduates with a degree in Socks, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. Unable to find a job in his field of study, he takes a job as a cashier at McDonald’s, making $10 per hour, 40 hours per week, or $20,000 for the year. He doesn’t have to pay taxes.
Let’s assume one of them is “underpaid.” Which one and why?

Multiple Choice
What did Walmart founder Sam Walton drive?
a)Beat up pickup truck
b)BMW
c)Hummer

Why are you so stupid?
a)I don’t know what I don’t know.
b) For the last time, I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!
c) You’re the dumbass for asking this dumbass question, like, 3 times.  This is some fucked up shit, I’m out, motherfucker.

Open Ended Question

Mary hires Peter and Paul to dig two ditches, assigning one to each. Peter finishes in one hour because he used his latest invention, the super-duper soil remover zapper. Paul, using a shovel, finishes his in 8 hours. How much should Mary pay Peter. How much to Paul? Whom should she hire if she wants a third ditch?

How do poor people talk?
a) They brag about themselves, make themselves seem better than they are.
b) They like to talk a lot about their problems.
c) They talk like desperate victims, begging for help.

How many hours did Peter spend developing his latest invention, the super-duper soil remover zapper?
a) 2, genius comes naturally to him
b) 200, he got a lucky break
c) 2000, innovation is hard work

Why are you so lazy?
a) There’s no point in working hard. Life is unfair, it won’t get me anywhere.
b) Most of my friends are lazy. It’s contagious.
c) I’ve never been exposed to those who work hard and long, like 100 hours a week.

The person who wrote this application:
a) Is an angry mother fucker.
b) Is batshit crazy. This is some fucked up shit.
c) Is trying to be funny.  Ha ha.  Ha.  Right?


How Schools Produce Fuck Ups

Imagine two approaches to teaching students: either impart centuries old time tested wisdom and approaches to learning disciplines, as imparted by Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Da Vinci, Sun-Tzu,  Al-Khwarizmi, and so forth. Or rely on poorly tested pedagogical theories produced by academics from relatively new disciplines (eg. Education) that are based on problematic methodologies.

Most schools choose the latter. The best schools the former.  Here’s what students learn at each (latter = New; former = Classical):

New Philosophy: Be happy. Happiness is ultimate goal of life.
Classical Philosophy: You’re a dumbass, you don’t know jack shit.  Those who don’t realize they’re dumbasses who don’t know jack shit are dangerous, will never grow, and will be miserable (summary of Plato’s Republic and Socratic dialogues, which are foundations of Western philosophy).

New History: Bad people do terrible things to good people.  Good people are victims.  Be good and help these victims.
Classical History: People do some fucked up shit to each other.  Figure out ways to protect yourself from other people.  (Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian Wars).

New Science: Nature is beautiful and thus should be left alone, protected from human intrusions.
Classical Science: Nature is fascinating and unpredictable and thus will do some fucked up shit to people.  Figure out a way to work with nature, to protect yourself from its whims. (Francis Bacon).

New Math: Math is for boring people who are not creative.
Classical Math: Use of numbers is the most precise way to map and describe the world. It’s a language and critical to understanding many fields, including music and art.  (Leonardo Da Vinci).

New Literature: It’s wrong to feel hate, rage, and anger.  Such emotions must be repressed.
Classical Literature: Life is cruel, lonely, and painful.  Deal with it by embracing full spectrum of emotions, including hate, rage, and anger. Use such emotions to motivate oneself, to fight against failure.   (Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night).

New Writing: Good writing uses lots of big words, many adverbs, and strings of long sentences.  Good writing is an expression of one’s feelings.
Classical Writing: Good writing is succinct, concise, and precise.  Good writing is simple and focused on effective communication.  (Common Fucking Sense)

New Social Studies: Make the world a better place by protecting people, especially children, from stress, so they can maximize their potential and create a fair world.
Classical Social Studies: People, especially children, must be exposed to frustration and pain, and learn to embrace a wide range of experiences and emotions in order to prepare them for reality that’s often cruel and unfair. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile).

The reason so many schools choose new, untested, theories is because they promise dramatic improvement with less work.  Figuring out what the best schools do right and emulating them is too much work and likely too offensive to too many parents. The best schools are run by leaders who understand the value of and the extraordinary effort it takes to improve on time-tested wisdom.  It takes a lot more than simply being “nice” — easy to do — to a kid to make him capable of learning how to learn, to be sentient, compassionate, and passionate.  That’s why the best schools — public and private — expose their students to pressure packed environments that test their resolve, both in the classroom and on the field. The rest instead complain that students are too overworked, too stressed from this, that, and whatever.

Consider the above distinctions carefully, how they produce different results.  For instance, the kid who thinks nature is merely beautiful is NOT going to become a scientist working to solve problems that arise from climate change because she will NOT have the same sense of urgency as that kid who thinks nature is fascinating and sometimes cruel.  She will more likely become a self-righteous activist. That’s because the “nature is beautiful” narrative feeds one’s narcissism —  “so nature is meant for my enjoyment, my pleasure, and I must defend that which is made for my pleasure.” Nature as “fascinating and cruel” motivates because it understands science as the race against disaster.  Starting to see how a public school like Stuyvesant, full of working class students, can consistently produce world changing scientists from each one of its classes, while ours mostly produce activists?

Alright, so I’m exaggerating — I was trying to get your attention — our schools don’t produce mostly fuck ups.  The point is, they’re mostly producing mediocrities and we have to figure out why that’s the case.  Unless we’re fine with mediocre, which in this rapidly globalizing and competitive world can quickly become the new Fail.  Now that’s fucked up.


Closing Procedures (For Employees Only)

 

1. Clean back stations, sweep back (8pm).

2. Take out trash. Bring trash back if bins are full.  Don’t leave trash outside bins.  If you do (and some are stupid enough to do it twice), you deserve to slip on a banana and have a carrot lodged up your ass.

3. Clean prep stations.

4. Sweep and mop floors. Do not ask customers to do it for you.

5. Turn off rice and beans (9pm).

6. Review credit card tips for errors.

7. Check crock pots (all on warm unless told otherwise)

8. Wipe down tables

9. Break down and wash juicer (20 minutes before close).  You have option to tell customer that juice is no longer available, but encourage him to purchase smoothie or shake instead.

10. Put rice and beans in fridge.

11. Tip out. Clock out.

12. Change sign, lock front door, turn off sign.  In that order.  (muscle memory).  In other words, don’t close store until you’re done with clean-up, even if that means staying open past closing time.  Customers can still pick up food, and you can still make smoothies and shakes.

13.  Turn off music.

14. Make sure oven is off.

15. Turn off lights.

16. Exit back.  Slam door shut.  Get your ear trained to hear that sound.  (Back door has been left ajar).

Note on customers who are still in store: invite them to stay after you leave.  Ask them to leave out back.  Tell them if they d0n’t shut door properly, I’ll terrorize them.  Remind them to leave money for whatever food they take.

Don’t hesitate to rock out during last hour.

 


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