Monday, June 22, 2009

miracles of moderate motion

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it's coming. new things are happening. the same things, but different. i have acquired a new job. it does not involve the slightest bit of grease and actually takes advantage of my intelligence, techknowledge, teaching ability and people skills. i will soon be working as a tier one tech support rep subcontracted to at&t through several other companies. i would like to take a moment to say

HOLY SHIT THANK THE GODS I'VE BEEN PRAYING FOR A JOB LIKE THIS ALL MY FUCKING LIFE I'M LEAVING THE GREASEPIT BEHIND THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

of course, there are a few things that could go wrong. but i know they wont. i wont let that happen.

..........

huh. i usually have a lot more to say. maybe i'm not drunk enough yet.

several peoples chapters are ending, new ones beginning. i guess its some sort of late spring for peoples lives. my brother is finally trying to get a job, my old boss finally got promoted out of the store after 20 years in the company. my neighbor and good friend finally got her own car. things are shaking up for more people that i dont even know, i'm sure.

i write this as the final few pages of the arby's chapter of my existence. i've got about two weeks left until i start training for my new job. i'll probably linger on there for a shift or two to help out in my spare time (what spare time?) until they get their shit together after my absence. then i can close the book on that filthy, confused, disgusting hole of a restaurant for good.

the 5 for 5 is back for the last two weeks of my employment there. yes, in a desperate hail mary attempt to get people to remember arby's when they get a craving for grease, arbys restaurant group has brought back the only thing it is famous for, the loftily catchy 5 fer 5! whoo hoo gimme 50 of the motherfuckers! i dont even care whats on em! uhh what is on em anyway? i dont want no cheese er nuthin. and gimme plenty uh that sauce! what's it called, uh, ponys, uh, larvaes, uh yeah thats it that thur arbys and horsey sauce! 500 of em!

this ought to be a fucking blast. this special will run for two weeks, and we will see a massive outpouring of roast beef lovers come to get their greasy mystery meat fix. the problem is, the 545 never gets out of peoples heads. if you said "five fer five" somewhere in a tribal region of papua new guinea, the savages would all immediately crave bargain basement priced beef and begin a tribe-wide nomadic movement, following the stars to the nearest arbys. its that ingrained in the collective consciousness of humanity.

the problem with this, as i have said before, is that once the special is over, people never get over it. they either ask for it by name every time they come to the store, cringing and becoming incensed when they are told that it's more like five for seven, PLUS TAX, or they just order a bunch of shit and then when they get their total they just look at you like you're cheating them and exclaim "but i thought it was FIVE BUCKS!"

the special ends and these people trickle in for another week or so, mostly driving away when there are no more bargains of biblical proportion, maybe sticking around for a roastburger, and then heading back off to wendy's or mcdonalds where they were going before the promo started; thus defeating arbys' attempt to drive more permanent traffic to its locations. another kicker is the way they have been shuffling the menu around lately. we have something like 10,000+ sandwiches that we can make, that all look and sound exactly the same, containing ingredients that vary only slightly from food item to food item, yet varying enough to create huge amounts of obsolete inventory when recipes are changed and new products are added or revised. we recently stepped up to a 21 combo menu, listing most of the stuff we have as combos and almost pushing everything off the edges of the menu boards. our biggest thing is, of course, the roast beef sandwiches. next up are the market fresh sandwiches and then the subs. oh god, the subs.

basically, last year i think, arbys decided to bring back subs. some places have always kept them, but some regions (mine included) got rid of them for god knows what devil inspired reason, prompting people to constantly ask "didnt y'all have that uh french toast dipper er whatever?"

yes, yes, yes. we used to.

but then suddenly we did again, miracle of miracles. only this time the french dip was served up along with 3 other excitingly bland subs which all required their own special ingredients and preparation techniques. the really baffling thing to me was that instead of bringing the subs back on a soft, inviting white roll like they used to be served on, we apparently needed to spice it up to the tune of probably several hundred thousand dollars by ordering special unitasking toasters which are designed to toast the terror of fast food craving mouths everywhere, the loved by focus groups but hated by actual customers and crews, the granite-like, concrete-esque ciabatta roll.

so now that we have these blazing hot toasters, which upon firing up raise the temperature in the entire restaurant by about 5 degrees (sadly i am not exaggerating. they are like mini pizza ovens), and have changed the original recipes of the subs to exclude most of the extra ingredients which made them different in the first place, lo and behold, arby's is asking each franchisee to decide which two subs they would eliminate from the menu! considering the fact that people pretty much only order the french dip unless there is some freaky moon cycle going on and everyone and their stepmom orders an italian, you could eliminate all subs but the french dip and no one would notice! i can imagine the motherfuckers in the arbys test labs silently flagellating themselves in front of some roast beef altar, begging forgiveness for their grave mistake of creating monstrosities of sandwiches that failed to enamor the populace enough to justify the HUGE cost of putting a hellfire powered toaster in every arbys across the FUCKING WORLD only to realize that they should have stuck with what worked and just brought back the french dip on a bun that can be toasted in a standard manner and does not break the teeth of all but the mightiest herbivores.

to top all of this off (you shouldnt be surprised that there's more), arbys is considering doing away with its moderately successful (much more so than subs or chicken, i will admit) market fresh line. there is a big hubbub going down about this because not only are these the most popular items next to the "classic" roast beef, but most arbys franchisees across the country have just invested a not insubstantial amount of money on another desperate "hail mary", the MARKET FRESH catering program. i emphasize that because many of these stores have drafted up catering menus (i proofread the one for our franchise) based solely on the market fresh line, i suppose because it is the most portable. so now that we have invested all this money and time into a fairly popular line of sandwiches and a somewhat unconventional means of getting them out the door for a price, arbys is thinking about

okay i'm going to let you take a guess, who wants to be a millionaire style:

REGIS: is the answer: A)genghis khan, B)genghis khan, C)genghis khan, or D)genghis khan.

YOU: it's definitely C, genghis khan.

REGIS: final answer?

YOU: um i dont know should i use a lifeline oh what the hell how can i honestly get this one wrong YES FINAL ANSWER GENGHIS FUCKING KHAN

REGIS: oooooooooooohhh i'm so sorry but the answer was D, genghis khan.

YOU: FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!

yes! they are thinking about getting rid of the market fresh line altogether, or at the very least, dropping two of the most popular sandwiches we sell, the turkey ranch and bacon and the chicken salad sandwich.

leave it to fucking arbys to shoot themselves in the foot trying to take out the competition. i can understand that you want to get an edge, but come on! all you've been doing is taking the focus off of what you do well, wasting money on unnecessary product and equipment, and discounting while talking about bringing in everyday affordability while simultaneously raising your prices! who the hell is coming up with this shit? this reminds me of what starbucks is doing: start out selling something. figure out that people like it, begin raising prices while adding value. ride high on the hog for a few years then

FUCKING PANIC BECAUSE NOW EVERYONE HAS FIGURED OUT THEY HAVE BEEN BROKE ALL ALONG AND GAS IS SEVEN INFANTS PER GALLON PLUS TAX and they cant fucking afford to drink your goddamn overpriced coffee (or eat your "beef") all fucking week. begin scrambling with "bold" new products, procedures, policies, and advertising designed to bring in new customers while making the current ones come back for more, more often.

FUCKING PANIC BECAUSE NONE OF THAT IS WORKING. IMMEDIATELY SHIT PANTS WHILE SKETCHING OUT NEW PRODUCTS AND ADVERTISEMENTS

you get the picture. this is what companies look like when they are desperate. here's a tip: do what you did to become successful, continue doing it well, get rid of the frills, charge a low price and make sure your crews are giving great service. million dollar equation right there. hey, why dont i run this joint?

but what the fuck do i know about arbys? i just work at one.

thanks to gekkeikan sake for lubricating my tongue a bit.

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