Tuesday, March 25, 2008

sour-dough, french, multi-grain or rye?

I quit my job. I was working at a great natural foods market called New Leaf in a tiny mountain town near where we live. I was working in the delicatessen, doing prep work for the cooks as well as making sandwiches. I had high hopes for things going a certain way, a different way than they did. I mean I have so much experience making food....doing freelance catering, personal chef work etc. Not to mention my artistic ideas for creating cool signage, and making an overall positive contribution in whatever way I could. BUT needless to say this job did not turn out to be too rewarding other than a paycheck and the free food that I scored out of the compost and culls. I'll just sum it up by saying POOR MANAGEMENT. LOW MORALE. I left work feeling exhausted and drained. I cannot tell you how sick I am of making sandwiches. My last day someone ordered this disgusting combo: egg salad AND tuna salad mixed together with pepper jack cheese on a sweet roll. But I cheerfully assembled the order, wrapped it in white paper, cut it in half, wrapped it again in brown paper and handed it over with a smile and an "ENJOY".
Pictured here are some of the scrap papers with sandwich orders scrawled on them. We all had our own codes and abbreviations for writing down the orders. At the end of the day there would be a pile of these in a basket. The other picture is of all the plastic ties from the bread bags. I saved them the entire time I worked there. Each one stands for a loaf of bread that I parceled out into an array of sandwiches....the variety so individualized it is sort of maddening. I mean, really. But in certain ways I found it quite revealing. I swear, its a certain type that orders tuna salad with extra mayo, another type that orders BBQ beef with extra pepperoncini. And of course there are the "Fakin' Bacon" people who always want vegan aioli instead of mayo, lots of sprouts and invariably want something "on the side".
There was a guy who came in almost every day and would stare at the sandwich board and act indecisive but always end up with the same turkey pastrami and swiss on sprouted wheat, no onions, but everything else. For now I'm investing my time into my art and looking for some more inspiring options to make money. Now I can add "sandwich artist" to my resume.


JOhn said...

I often find myself in the position of the guy who reads the board and nearly always orders the same damn thing. Wheatfields: focaccia & salad with blue cheese and a glass of water for here.
I'm looking for a way to get outta the day job. The idea will come.

tracy said...

ARGH, this gave me a flashback to my last repetitive, thankless service job!

I hope you find something more inspiring soon.

Paige said...

leave it to you Ken to make some cool art photos of your experience and find the poetics in it all!! Thats why I love you so much!!! Speaking about love, I met a man on line that Im totally in love with in SF- I want to move there and spend my life with him (even though I havent really met him yet) we could be neighbors at last!! I would bring you poppies and strawberries from my garden (as always dreamed) Love Paige Can I come visit and see you and maybe fall in real love with this man?