Tuesday, October 17, 2006



Grading is by far the worst part of teaching lab, and all of teaching I presume. And if you don't stay on top of it, it piles higher and higher until it comes alive and kills you.

That's what I'll be doing for the next few minutes (half hour probably, maybe longer). Please send a few "Good interview and get a job" thoughts and prayers this way. J has an interview for a "real" job at 10:30. Hopefully she'll get it.

She told me yesterday that she actually likes working at Subway more than Publix. And as I'm halfway through "Fast Food Nation" I think I know why. There is much less to deal with at Subway. Sure you get bad customers but all you're in charge of is that sandwich. Olives? Lettuce? Cookies? And the cash register is pictures, so you don't even really need to be literate (although basic math skills are required). They've taken all the thinking out of the job, or as much thinking as they can take out. They (fast food restaurants) do this to ease the hiring/firing process. After watching J tote around mounds of books and papers while she was teaching, she came home after getting hired at Subway with a sheet of paper. On this paper was what went on each sandwich. Tuna = 4 LEVEL scoops (their emphasis). BMT = 6 ham, 6 turkey, 3 something else. 1/2 for 6 inch. Just one sheet and she didn't actually need to learn it because it is taped up right behind the counter just in case. On her 3rd day she trained another new hire. Her THIRD day. Yep, this is sandwich artistry, not rocket science.

Fast Food Nation is definitely strengthening my resolve to never eat at fast food places again, or at least no more than once every two months. And that includes frosties, which are delicious if you take them home and refreeze them in your freezer. Especially that new vanilla frosty. Hopefully a strawberry frosty is in the works too.

I'm only halfway through but it's very interesting. A bit dry, sciencey and statisticky in parts, but as a scientist I love that stuff. The list of chemicals that went into the "natural flavor" of strawberries was really long. REALLY long, roughly 38-40 different chemicals, but don't worry, all are GRAS (generally regarded as safe). Who generally regards them as safe? Beats me.

Also came to the realization that the fast food industry is waaaaaaaaay too big and they are a big reason that minimum wage has been stagnant since 1997 at $5.15. But if I paid thousands of employees, I wouldn't want to have to pay them $7/hr for doing the same job, I want to make all the money, screw the employees!

J actually said that she wants to open up a Subway. Um, we'll see. Yes they do have healthy sandwiches with under 6 grams of fat, but I would have to check the ol' sugar content before I was convinced that they were healthy.

And I can't find a way around sodium nitrite. It's everywhere! It's a major preservative in all meats. So I might just try and reduce my hot dog intake and drink lots of water to try and dissolve some of the nitrite already in my system.

Off to grade.


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