Winter Application version 3.1

Couldn’t get a good sense of mindset and mental health from version 1.0 so we returned to using an updated version of Fall Application 3.3.  Revised questions so more applicants can understand the point of the questionnaire.

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Our baristas are self-managing, responsible for serving customers, managing bar inventory, prep work, cleaning, and making juices and smoothies. They’re known for being fast and tough and we aim to develop in them the work habits to place them at top restaurants like Café Juanita or prepare them for management in their chosen career.

They’re expected to develop cooking and customer service instincts rather than follow recipes and scripts. Search for us on Yelp to get a better sense of the quality of our service. One thirty-five hour per week position, mid morning to mid afternoon shifts, Mon-Fri. One 20 hour per week position, flexible schedule. We’re seeking to fill one (either) position immediately, the other starting in January.

Application questions below. Research anything you’re not familiar with. Ask yourself what you don’t know about the world and yourself, question your assumptions about how the world operates. Look up unfamiliar terms and names. Don’t try to guess what we’re looking for. Just have fun with the questions. They’re meant to give you an opportunity to be reflective. Don’t try to “outsmart” the questionnaire. We’re just interested in how you think and your approach to solving problems. Bold face your responses.

Attach resume. Send application to e-mail shown above. Avoid using craigslist reply because it hasn’t been working properly.
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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)110
b)70
c)40

How many hours a week does Eminem work?
a) 110
b)70
c)30

Your child comes home with a “B” on a Math test. You:
a) Congratulate him for doing a great job.
b) Berate him for not doing better because “B” is for Bitch.
c) Call teacher to ask why her tests are so hard.

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 $80,000 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)Figuring 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)Banging his hot secretary.

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

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.

People should be paid based on:
a) Value they produce for business
b) How hard and long they work
c) How difficult and gross the job is.

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.

Who has the most stressful job?
a) Waitress at busy Olive Garden
b) CEO of Walmart
c) Police Officer

What’s a Senior attending exclusive Lakeside School doing Saturday night, October 23rd?
a) Hanging out with schoolmates at a cafe in Capitol Hill, gossipping and talking about who wore what.
b) Studying for the SAT and writing college essays for Ivy League schools
c) Selling cocaine and marijuana to students

What were you, as a Senior, doing Saturday night, October 23rd?
a) Hanging out with friends at someone’s home, don’t remember what you talked about.
b) Studying for the SAT and writing college essays
c) Working a job.

What was Eminem likely doing Saturday night, October 23rd, 2007?
a) Getting high and smacking his hoes
b) Working alone in recording studio, repeating same three lines over and over again.
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.

Kofi Annan is:
a) Select grade coffee bean found along Owa Tagu Siam river, used by locals for medicinal purposes
b) Some black dude with cool name.
c) Some white rapper whose real name is George Smith

Why are you not special?
a) I am special. My mom thinks I’m special.
b) I haven’t done anything extraordinary.
c) Everyone is special. We’re all unique.

Why do you get stressed out so easily?
a) Growing up, I was coddled so I never developed mental toughness
b) I don’t like working under pressure
c) I’m not getting enough rest and relaxation.

Why are you so mentally tough?
a) Growing up, my parents never coddled me when I got hurt or sick
b) I grew up poor. Humiliation makes one tough.
c) I’m not mentally tough. I’m sensitive, it’s easy to hurt my feelings.

What’s Tupak Shakur most likely doing during a typical evening?
a) Reading Dostoevsky novel
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) Pee on them.

Are you good at researching facts?
a) Yes
b) No
c) Don’t know, you tell me.

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

I am (choose one):
a)Polite and Obedient
b) Responsible and Dignified
c) Agreeable and Nice

Why are you envious of rich people?
a)I don’t have it in me to work as hard as they do
b)It’s not fair. They screw people over and kiss ass to get where they are.
c) I’m not envious. I admire them.

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) I don’t ask enough questions.

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 and hard work, finishes his in 8 hours. How much should Mary pay Peter. How much to Paul? Who 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.

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, like 100 hours a week.

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Seeking Cult Leader

Ever fantasize about being or at least sleeping with Darth(ette) Vadar?  Have you ever been called “cold-hearted” and “demanding?”  Ever wonder how Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot got their gigs? Or how Ann Wigmore convinced so many people to pay a lot of money for something as useless as wheatgrass? Are people afraid of you so much that they’re afraid of losing you?  Do you admire people like Steve Jobs, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Bill Gates?  Want to be the next Gordon Ramsay or Marco Pierre White?  If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, we may have a job for you.

Alive Juice Bar is seeking a Cult Leader.  Must be charismatic. Must have experience scaring the shit out of people on a daily basis.  Experience with organizations like Moonies, Landmark Education, College Pro Painters, Art Institute of Seattle, and Amway not necessary – we’re not trying to extract money out of people.  But must have experience following and reading about great cult leaders (owner follows and reads about Jesus). Formal education not necessary.  Formal management experience a must.  Management style doesn’t matter.  You can be the expletive screaming and fist-pounding type like Steve Jobs or the quiet and scary type like Tim Cook.

As cult leader, the owner of Alive Juice Bar will be your bitch.  He will advise and groom you and teach you about the business.  Keep in mind that he will not work under anyone who can’t scare the shit out of him.  Must be able to scare the shit out of employees and occasionally customers.  However, we don’t scare consumers, who are already terrified of US food and water chain, into buying our products and services.  We don’t sell shit like ionized water or spirulina.  Consumers are scared enough. We’re in the business of helping them control and understand their fears before they spend themselves broke on products and services of controversial value.

Cult leader’s job is to instill enough fear (and optionally, love) in the right people so we can realize vision and improve standards.  Must be prepared to be crucified at any moment and to have no life outside of work (for cult leaders, work is life).  Must be able to remove and crush, if necessary, anyone who gets in the way of the vision.

Respond with resume and cover letter if interested.  If interest is mutual, we’ll send you an application.

How to Prepare for (Thanksgiving) Potlucks

I don’t like potlucks. Nearly every potluck dinner I’ve attended has been a culinary disaster.  That’s because the potluck dinners I’ve been to are often poorly managed so you end up with a mess of notes, textures, and colors and an excessive amount of one thing or another (usually protein and sweets).  Most people don’t give any thought to pairings or how to best complement the main dish (if there is one).  They just bring their greatest hits, which leads to gluttony.

Why People Overeat at Thankgiving Potlucks
Typical Thanksgiving potluck has host providing the turkey (main), stuffing and gravy.  Host asks guests to bring everything else.  Here’s what often happens at a poorly managed potluck.

Most guests aren’t thinking about how to complement the main course.  They’re thinking about how to not embarrass themselves so they make conservative choices and bring one of their greatest hits.   Problem is, greatest hits are rarely the dishes that complement the main.  Lightly sauteed zucchini w/red onions and garlic?  Who brings that?  No, people bring their famous sausage w/pasta and zucchini cooked in ranch dressing.  Or macaroni and bacon casserole.  Or cheddar potato casserole. Or ham chili.  Most of these are meant to be main dishes and are basically soaked in gravy.  They’re redundant, they don’t go well with turkey w/stuffing and gravy.

When people eat familiar food, they expect a certain feeling, a taste, memory.  When they don’t get the satisfaction they crave, they eat more of it, eat until they get what they’re seeking.  For instance, when someone takes a bite of sausage and then takes a bite of turkey with gravy, they’re unlikely to get the pleasure — salt and fat — they’re seeking from the turkey because the the bite of salty and savory sausage adjusts the palate, making it more difficult to taste salty and savory.  So more salt and gravy is added to the turkey, more bites taken until one gets what one wants.

Now try taking a couple bites of lightly sauteed unsalted zucchini and then take a bite of turkey w/gravy.  Completely different experience compared to example above because the contrast is so sharp.  Less salt and gravy — fewer calories — to reach satisfaction.  Eat and prepare meals this way, I guarantee you’ll eat less without sacrificing pleasure.  All it requires is a bit of patience, patience to handle slightly bitter note in the finish of the zucchini.

I was watching a kid fuck up his palate by eating donuts and drinking Mountain Dew at the same time.    He’s going to need more and more sugar to get the satisfaction he craves, which means he will gradually eat more and more donuts, drink more and more Mountain Dew in one sitting.  He’s probably going to grow up to be diabetic and obese.  He might as well be doing heroin.  Every time you see someone eat like this, think of heroin, get that image in your head.

How to Manage and Host a Potluck
Disclaimer: I’m not an experienced potluck host. Not an expert.
I don’t host potlucks because it’s too much hassle to manage people’s feelings and egos.  I let guests bring booze, that’s it, not even desert.  But if I had to host a potluck, I’d let guests — by assignment so not too much of something — bring the mains, drinks and desert, and I’d make the appetizers and salads.  That gives guests the option to shine (main) or to not do much (booze), or to be conservative and popular (dessert).  It allows me to make sure each main is properly complemented by appetizers.  And more importantly, the meal won’t fuck up guest palates and put them in a food coma.

Traditional Thanksgiving potlucks, where logistics (big ass turkey) force the host to serve the main, I’d avoid.  The fear of embarrassment is too strong for most to resist the urge to make complementary sides instead of rehashed greatest hit.  I’d insist guests only bring drinks (never enough booze), bread and maybe desert or whatever it is they need to meet their dietary needs (eg. vegan butter).  Thanksgiving dinner should be simple and there’s usually (always) too much food anyway.  It doesn’t take much time to make simple sides like roasted squash or sauteed zucchini and it’ll make postprandial cleanup much less confusing.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Gravy Recipe

With the sudden proliferation of diets, preparing for holiday meals has gotten trickier.  Gone are the days where nearly everyone has the same diet.    Now we often have to prepare for a variety of diets, from vegan to paleo to gluten-free to ethical omnivore to pain-in-the-ass.  Even adolescents are increasingly using — as with music and clothing — food and diet to express their identity.  It’s no wonder preparing for Thanksgiving can be overwhelming for many.

The most important part of a Thanksgiving meal is the gravy.  Gravy, in most cases, is the primary seasoning.  It makes overcooked white meat palatable.  It improves the texture and taste of stuffing and potatoes.  It makes everything easier to eat, hides most mistakes.  Get the gravy right, and most everyone is happy.

Below is our vegan and gluten-free gravy recipe.  Probably 1/3 of calories of flour and animal fat based gravy.

Ingredients:
Olive Oil
Cauliflower
Carrot Juice
Garlic and Onion Juice
Water

For vegan events, we use cauliflower as our “creamer” and “flour.”  It’s ideal because it has a neutral taste, its off-white color makes it easy for you to create the final color you want, and its fibers are, once cooked, very soft.

Cook cauliflower in mixture of olive oil, water, carrot juice, and garlic and onion juice till soft.  Add desired seasoning, such as salt, pepper, etc.  Mix in blender till smooth.  Note that not all blenders can give you ideal smoothness.  Adjust color by adjusting amount of carrot juice.  I like my gravy to be yellow-orangeish in color.   Carrot juice adds a hint of sweetness to the gravy.

Can also turn this into a soup by adding more water.

Doesn’t Everyone Want to be Healthy? (No)

Some assume that everyone wants to be healthy.  Well meaning customers will bring (drag) their family to Alive Juice Bar and ask them: “don’t you want to try something healthy?”  not realizing that they’re are terrified of anything branded as “healthy.”  (I’m not being melodramatic.  I’ve seen many act horror movie scared when someone asks them to try anything green).  That’s why we’re careful to not brand Alive Juice Bar as purveyor of “healthy” food (we prefer “guilt-free”).  We’ve asked customers to do the same.

If focus groups are to be trusted (most are not), most people want to be healthy, just as most want to be wealthy, admired, loved, smart, whatever it is nowadays that feeds the ever growing ego-beast.  But most people don’t want to do what it takes to become healthy…or wealthy, or admired, or loved, or smart.  Many don’t want to eat healthy food, or work 120 hours a week, or solve Math problems 12 hours a day 7 days a week, or constantly think about the needs and wants of others.  Take a look around you.  Self-destructive behavior, from drug abuse to narcissism, is everywhere.

Good news is that while it takes extraordinary amount of patience and mental toughness to become an NBA player or a Nobel winning scientist or a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, it doesn’t take extraordinary effort to be healthy.  That’s the narrative we’re trying to sell.  Those who want to be healthy don’t have to play through a season with a sprained ankle and a broken finger, or experience years of poverty and obscurity working as a graduate student or post-doc mentored by a renown scientist, or work 120 hours a week throughout one’s career.  It’s relatively easy to be healthy.  Yet many find it hard to be so.

Some reasons why we may not want to be or find it difficult to be healthy:

1. Much of society rewards sickness. As children, many of us were rewarded for being sick.  For some, getting sick meant a desired day off from school and coddling from parents and friends, a day of special treatment. Those who, as children, were rewarded for being sick are probably more likely to carry the habit of getting sick into adulthood, especially if one is in an environment that rewards sickness (even if rewards are all short-term).  Annemarie Colbin, founder and CEO of The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts writes:

So what is your choice? What does society ask of you? What gets rewarded in your life, sickness or health? Are people nicer to you when you get sick? Do sick people take advantage of you because you’re healthy and you can do more work than they do? I think we should be mindful of the strange paradoxes we have created for ourselves around the issue of health. And if health is our choice, we need to make sure we are rewarded in some satisfaction or another, in addition to the fact that health is its own reward.

People are more likely to participate in behaviors that will make themselves sick if there’s an incentive to be sick.  (Never coddle and reward child for being sick.  In most cases, they can work through it and nurse themselves back to health).

2. An alarming number of people think that healthy living necessarily means sacrificing enjoyable diet.  People have confessed that they know that their diet is quickly killing them but prefer to “die happy than live miserably.”  I agree, not being able to enjoy food isn’t a good way to live life.  But ultimately, healthy food versus tasty food is a false choice.  Healthy food IS tasty and fun food as long as one’s palate is developed.

It’s like with music.  For most children, simple, predictable tunes are most pleasurable.  Some, as they get older, develop more sophisticated taste in music.   Maybe they begin to appreciate harmonic dissonance or unusual frequency ratios between successive notes.     They become intolerant of sappy, saccharine music.  Or at least they can’t listen to R. Kelley or Spice Girls for more than 10 minutes, just as some grow sick of ranch dressing after enjoying a taste or two.  Palates mature with experience, patience, and thought.  I can’t say that those with mature palates are happier than those with less developed palates, but for the former, eating is a healthy and enjoyable activity, while for the latter, eating is an either-or exercise that tests will and discipline.

There are many other reasons why many don’t want to be healthy.  The point is, healthy living isn’t universally desired.  Many public health policies fail because they don’t recognize this fact, they assume everyone wants to be healthy.  So they think that giving the poor “healthy” options will improve their health (nope).  Or that it’s just a matter of education (nope).  Or it’s a matter of money, affordability (nope).  They don’t realize that for many, it’s a matter of taste and habit.

Absurdity of Ground Beef Prices: The Rise of the Bullshit Burger

Noticing a confusing  trend in meat section of grocery stores.  Charging premium prices for “extra” lean ground beef AND kobe ground beef (well marbled).  Doesn’t make sense.

Which costs the most?  Options:

  • 97 percent lean ground beef
  • 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 80 percent lean ground beef
  • 70 percent lean ground beef

Which costs the most?  Options:

  • Kobe ground beef
  • Prime ground beef
  • Select ground beef
  • Choice ground beef

From group 1, most expensive is “97 percent lean.” From group 2, most expensive is “Kobe,” renown for its high fat distribution among lean tissue.  Cheapest would be the high-fat “70 percent” and “Choice,” which is known for its lack of fat.  Seems like pricing partially depends on how something is named, marketed.  It’s as if one can take ground beef that’s 70 percent lean and triple its price by rebranding it as “kobe style” ground beef.

People are told by some nutritionists and doctors to eat lean beef.  That drives up lean beef demand, which increases its price.  People are also told by chefs that kobe and prime beef (well marbled) are the best cuts (they are, fat is flavor!).  So some consumers favor “kobe” and “prime.”  Both make bullshit burgers.

There’s no point in paying more for lean ground beef because fat is, if you’re cooking the beef medium well or more, cooked off, especially on a grill.  In the end, 97 percent lean probably doesn’t have that much less fat than its 70 percent lean counterpart.  Also, fat is what makes meat taste good.  As argued elsewhere, meat with little fat often results in more use of condiments such as mayo.  Most people will figure out a way to get the satisfaction they crave.  Just enjoy the fat and you’ll gradually eat less of it

So kobe beef burgers — popular these days — are also ripoffs.  You’re going to lose the fat that makes kobe so tasty and tender anyway.  Anthony Bourdain on the absurdity of Kobe beef burgers:

Enterprising restaurants are now offering the “Kobe beef burger,” enticingly priced at near or above $100 a pop. And if there’s a better way to prove one’s total ignorance of all three words – Kobebeef, and burger – this, my friends, is it. It’s the trifecta of dumb-ass. The Kobe experience is principally about the marbling, the even distribution of fat through lean. A hamburger is a bunch of lean beef thrown into a grinder with varying degrees of fat. If you are foolish enough to order a Kobe burger, you are entirely missing the point. Firstly, the fat will melt right out of the thing while cooking. Secondly, you are asking the chef to destroy the very textural notes for which Kobe is valued by smarter people. Thirdly, for an eight-ounce Kobe burger, you are paying for the chef to feed you all the outer fat and scrap bits he trimmed off the outside of his “real” Kobe so he can afford to serve properly trimmed steaks to wiser patrons who know what the hell they’re doing. And fourthly, you’re paying a hundred bucks for a freakin’ hamburger! Get over yourself! You’ve already established you’re too drunk and stupid to enjoy it in the first place.

So they’re not, at least anymore, $100, but they’re often featured as happy hour Kobe beef sliders at restaurants that attract the clueless and pretentious who are more impressed with labels like “kobe” than substance.  Don’t be a meathead, think about, understand what you’re eating. Just keep it simple and enjoy life without wasting money on marketing schtick.