I Took Production and Efficiency out to Breakfast
At the Ban Jaidee Guest House, the rooms are simple and clean. The two women who run the guest house are pleasant and helpful, and the menu caters to foreign tastes. I’m checked into room #1 with a fan, a window, and spotless white sheets and towels. The bathroom is clean enough that I shower barefoot. The main foyer doubles as a living area and restaurant with comfortable seating, tables, a hammock, television and small tree.
The cheese omelet arrived with a cleverly disguised processed cheese design. Entertained by the fancy lattice, I overlooked the flaw. Sometimes I’m like a fish attracted to shiny lures.
About halfway through the omelet, my head starts to pound with my former boss’s voice. In her unmistakably raspy baritone of vocal gruffness, I hear, “Look at those ladies relaxing in the hammock, reading books, laughing at the television, and making the cats purr!!! Pure laziness!!!!!!!!!”
I put the fork down, don’t even take the time to finish chewing, swallow and start to analyze. My observations at a quick glance: There are two keys on the front desk. This represents two vacant rooms. Why isn’t one the women at the bus station harassing road weary travelers? Second, dining tables are not filled to capacity, why doesn’t one of the them go to the stationery store next to the guest house, purchase some construction paper and make a large sign to display in the window that reads, “Every omelet comes with pretty processed cheese design.”
I used to be able to relax and enjoy a clean, friendly environment with delicious food, but the voices in my head started after I became the Revenue Audit Supervisor at UPS. I was trained to recognize ways to increase production and efficiency. With the incentives of bonuses, yearly pay raises, and job insecurity so ingrained into my being, I took production and efficiency home with me, and now I unsuspectingly take it to breakfast.
I suppose it’s like the Iraqi soldier on leave who comes back to Boise, Idaho, USA and has grown nervous around trash from his experience with IED’s in Baghdad. After kissing his or her family hello, the first thing the soldier wants to do is spend that fat war check on an omelet at Goldie’s Breakfast Bistro. Driving through the neighborhood, the soldier notices a pile of trash strewn along the sidewalk. The soldier’s heartbeat grows faster. Logically, the soldier knows on Monday mornings the trash is put out in front of the house for the garbage person. Logically, the soldier knows a dog probably went through the trash looking for scraps of food. Logically, the soldier knows in the USA statistically you are more likely to be struck by lighting than killed by a terrorist. The soldier’s heart beat grows faster faster faster faster faster faster faster faster faster.
When it comes to work, many people believe the means justify the end. This omelet has confirmed my suspicion that work that causes a dulling of the mind, disregard for people or creates physical pain is not worth the paycheck and the brainwashing. Maybe a person can walk away from a job, but it might be harder to outrun the years of training. My advice is to pick your job wisely, because it might affect your omelet experiences for the rest of your life.