So this is a little story that (mostly) happened to me a while ago. There’s an update today, but since I never posted the original story here, here it is, skip to the bottom if you must:
The Toaster Revolt of 1997
So, I’m getting a bagel this morning. Little did I know I was about to witness the worker’s revolt of 97.
I get my nice sesame bagel, head over to the bagel biter, slice it in half and and turn to go to the toaster. This is one of those commercial conveyer-belt toasters. Anyway, there are about 10 people around the toaster, this 1 woman, whom I’ll refer to as Norma Rae, is pontificating to the cafeteria guy, (we’ll call him Jambo), on how much of her precious break time is being wasted dealing with this toaster. People are putting their bagels, bread, muffins, puppies, etc into the toaster, staring at it for a minute and taking their item out, looking at it and shaking their heads. It seems the toaster isn’t so much as toasting as it is warming.
Ok, so normal person would say, “Oh, darn” and run the bread product through again until the desired toastedness is achieved, but not your average corporate citizen, no! The folks are standing around, ganging up on the poor cafeteria guy, “What’s wrong with this thing?, “Why aren’t there 2 toasters?”, “Why do my shorts keep riding up?”. Poor Jambo is just trying to get to the knob to turn the thing up a little, but Norma won’t let him get by. She continues her assault on defenseless Jambo while one of her compatriots, whom I’ll call Brain Donor, is repeatedly PRESSING the temperature adjustment KNOB. So Norma is quizzing Jambo on why there is only 1 toaster, Jambo is mounting his only defense, “I’m just a contractor, the corporation supplies the equipment”, Donor is continuing to press the knob, wondering why it is having little effect.
Meanwhile, another party, whom I will name MacGyver, swoops in to retrieve his bagel. Mac discovers that his bagel is being blocked in the output tray by another. Being the resourceful guy that he is, MacGyver grabs the tongs, removes the offending bagel, placing it on a plate to the side of the toaster, and takes his own bagel, slipping away stealthily. Well, Mac had no idea what he had done. You see, this bagel belonged to Norma, she had finally disengaged from Jambo’s jugular to get her tasty bagel. Much to her horror, someone…or something had removed her bagel from the toaster and placed it on….a plate! “Did someone take this out?”, Norma demanded. “Who did this, did it fall?” “Is this my bagel? Who’s is this? Mine was a sesame? Is this mine? Who took this out?” My mind was reeling from the assault. It was all I could do to weakly mutter “that’s mine” when Norma pointed at my bagel, which was on its second trip through the toaster.
Well, I got out of there just as Norma was looking for something to make protest signs with and Donor was wondering what the pretty red things inside the toaster tasted like. I heard a distorted scream of pain as I left the cafeteria.
Cut to this morning. I’m wandering around the same cafeteria, with the same (or reasonably the same) toaster. There’s a nicely printed and laminated sign hung next to the toaster. This sign reads:
“Please do not butter item before placing in toaster”