Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Day 6-7 Corporate America

I was flying back up to NYC over the weekend and was starving from being stuck on the runway for 3 hours and not being able to accept one of their crappy snacks because of all the packaging. By the time I got to Laguardia, the Wendy's in the American Airlines terminal was the only restaurant open, so I gave it a shot and went into my pre-order spiel. And they wouldn't serve me! The manager came out and said that if my plate was dirty, it might get on the hamburger, and I may sue him! I could not believe it. He was so cold - like they even have a guideline for using someone else's plate. Put the motherf**kin hamburger in the motherf**kin plate! Even my piercing thoughts didn't sway him.

By contrast, I love going to small New York mom-and-pop bodega's and deli's often run by Hispanic and foreign workers. The reaction to my project is always so spirited. My new pal Tony at the LA cafe at Madison Park has the whole staff trained to serve my breakfast with no trash or else I will "fine" them. Everyone behind the counter (10 or so) now knows who I am, and all have some fun reaction to my project. It is either laughter, questions, a look of complete weirdness, but it is always warmth and a smile.

This project has reinforced my opinion of the overly processed world of corporations, which are rife with guidelines corporate processes and governed by the economics of being sued. Getting back to the point of this project, even if all those guidelines and rules cut off the human element, they could be used for waste efficiency to be part of the "process".



Linda said...

Way to go Max! I followed Ashley doing the second 2-week stint here in Seattle. I was just checking on the third person's blog today (Brandon is in Seoul), and saw your post about taking on the challenge. I've forwarded your blog to Ashley. I'm sure she'll be thrilled. I was laughing reading about your experiences - all so familiar. Great job! I hope someone takes up your blog after you. Maybe we've started something here.....

Max said...

Hi Linda. Thanks for the support. I was very excited to hear that you are reading it and passing it to the others. So far it has only been a few friends and family who are reading it. I really hope you guys didnt mind me taking the idea but I figured that it is a good thing.

I am finding Brandon's Asian edition very interesting too. I am following it and envious of all of the photo's he is attaching.

Keep in touch!

ashley said...

Hi Max- this is great! I can't believe you are carrying your own plate around. That is genius. The project can be a fairly isolating/ personal experience, so it is cool to read from other people who have 'gone through it' and have a laugh at all the weird things we did to get by.

Everyone's blog entries keep getting better & better. I wish i could do mine over again & be as clever!

Debra from the New York office begins blogging on sunday, so Max if you see a crazy woman handing over her own plate in the LA cafe, you'll know what's up.

Max said...

Hey Ashley - So glad that you are reading my blog!

Great to hear that Debra in New York is picking it up and will blaze a no trash path through the city also. Feel free to have her reach out to me if she wants city pointers.

I got my sister now to pick it up from me so there are now at least two tracks going throughout the US. Hopefully we can get more.

Take care,