Friday, August 12, 2016


For my brother's birthday last year, I  bought new Chef Mats for his use in the kitchen as the old ones were rather worn and frayed.  They are such a comfort when standing on one's feet for lengthy periods.  

Rather than wrapping them, I put bows on the mats and placed them on the floor in front of the sink and another on the floor close to the refrigerator.  When working together in the kitchen, he usually stands by the sink and I work at the other counter.  

That morning, Gerald was awake before my brother and I learned later that he thought that the bows were trash and without asking me about the bows, tossed them in the trash can.  A short time later, Gerald was outside feeding the cats;  I was in the kitchen again and saw that the bows were gone.  I put two new bows on the mats.  Einstein, one of the cats, got in the house, was in the kitchen, and displaced the bows. I retrieved the bows from underneath a table and put them back on the mats. When Gerald came back in, he asked, "Why are those bows there?"

It was like a Comedy Of Errors with Gerald, the cat, and me in a farce.   

When my brother arose, he did not even notice the new mats, although the new ones were black and the old ones were red.  I finally asked, "Do you like the new mats?"  He said, "WTH are those chewed-up bows doing on there?"

So much for my "clever" packaging. 

See an old Sue's News article about fatigue mats titled Pampered Pieceworkers:

                                                  PAMPERED PIECE WORKERS

A friend died recently and I went to pay respect.

As I came in the door, a man approached me and said, "Sue, it's so good to see you." I said, "Kyle, I haven't seen you since 2002."

I asked how he knew the deceased woman and he told me that she was his son's grandmother.  I said, "Oh, that makes me feel old!  I remember when your son was born." Kyle said, "Let me go find my son; I'd like for you to meet him." When Kyle introduced me he said to his son, "This is the best boss I ever had." I said, "Thank you; that means so much to me." He told his son, "I was about your age when I started to work for Sue." I said, "I swear I have NEVER seen a son look as much like his father." Kyle laughed and said, "Mini-me!"

Kyle told his son, "She even got fatigue mats for all of us and it pissed off the guys on day shift." I said, "Oh, yeah, my counterpart on first shift even went over my head and complained to the Superintendent because I told him I wouldn't make you guys share." Kyle laughed and said, "Yeah, every night we would roll 'em up and put them in our lockers!"

When that happened, the first shift counterpart confronted me by saying, "You have the most pampered piece workers in the Company." I told him I didn't know what he meant. He said he couldn't believe that I had spent "all that money"on fatigue mats. I asked, "How's my productivity?" He didn't answer because he knew that mine was better than his. I continued, "How's my quality? How's the attendance? How's the grievance rate? How's ..." I didn't complete my litany because he put up his hand to gesture for me to stop talking.

He said, "Your guys are going to have to share the mats." I said, "In the interest of harmonious relations, I think it would be better if you supplied separate ones for your guys." He said that he didn't have the budget to buy them. I told him that I was under-budget. He said, in a smart aleck tone, "Well, lah, di, dah!, then you should pay for mine!" I said, with equal sarcasm, "Turn in an employee suggestion--mention health and safety--and you can quote how much better our statistics are than yours as reasons for needing them." He said that would take too long, because the guys were bitching "NOW!" and we needed to share.

I told him that there would be constant fighting about the mats. I asked, "For instance, what if one of your guys is absent--you have a higher absentee rate than I do--then my guy would be without his mat." He countered with, "They can turn them in to the Crib at the end of the shift." I answered, "So, you're going to make the Crib attendants responsible?" He said, "No, the guys will be responsible for turning in the mats." I answered, "But that won't work--you know that your Crib attendant leaves a half hour earlier--because he has to be here a half-hour early, just as my Crib guy is here a half-hour early and leaves a half hour early; they do that to accommodate the workers."

Since I refused to share, he complained to our mutual boss, the Superintendent. The Superintendent called me to come in early for a conference. When he asked me why we were "hiding" the mats, I gave him the same reasons that I had given to my counterpart. I ended by saying, "It's not my fault that he doesn't have budget remaining."

The Superintendent decided that my counterpart needed to find a way to acquire mats for his people. I never asked how, but shortly thereafter,  the first shift people had mats and they guarded theirs with the same tenacity that my guys did theirs.

I was glad that Kyle had remembered that incident. I told him about being at Big Lots several years ago and I saw black, brown, and red fatigue mats for sale and I'd chuckled to myself recalling what I had named the great FATIGUE MAT FOOFARAW.

The fatigue mats at Big Lots were labeled "Chef's Mats". When I saw the price of $14.99, I was taken aback because I remembered that I had spent more than that amount 20 years ago on the ones for my department.

I bought two RED ones to use in our kitchen. Les and I can be "pampered kitchen workers"!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I admit you got me on FOOFARAW! ML