Our daughter is working at Katzinger’s.

A deli is a great place to visit. It’s even a great place to work.

Of course, the employees get paid for their hard work.

Better yet, they also get to take home a sandwich every day. While eating the sandwich, it’s easy to think, "This, my friend, is pay enough."

So far, the family favorite (because I get to eat half on the way home) is #57 Franklin’s Kibbetz. That’s Katzinger’s homemade fresh mozzarella, homemade pesto, and tomato grilled on sourdough. Oh, baby.

It’s nice to work where you actually like eating the product.

The General Mills Tour in 1987
Back in business school, I tagged along with the Operations Management Club on a field trip to General Mills in Dover, Maryland. It was a calculated chance to get near a hot chick. (Really. Don’t laugh. We’ve been married for more than 20 years.)


I’ve always loved manufacturing plant tours. The machinery is so thoughtful and efficient. It’s like watching Rube Goldberg at work. It tickles the imagination to see such engineered processes.

But this plant tour was different. Not only was the machinery in full swing, it was producing food I love. Chips and chocolate morsels, as I recall.

The chocolate morsel machine was especially dear. Forty or so jets squirt out a row of tiny wet morsels of chocolate, in the familiar shape. (Shall we call that shape "conic with a tailed head"? Yes, let’s.)

The row of molten morsels advance and another row is squirted behind them. And again and again and again.

On a moving tray, the rows proceed into an oven, where they are cooked and hardened.

Then they pop out the other end, cool, and fall into a basket, headed for the packaging machine.

That’s Where The Fun Is
We started by watching the squirter and the March of the Morsels into the oven. How cute!

Then, our tour group walked to the other end of the machine, where we saw a woman sitting. She greeted the endless flow of morsels by putting her hands in falling stream and shoveling them in her mouth.

As many as possible.

We were aghast. She looked up at us, equally aghast. Caught red handed. Or brown mouthed. There was no possible defense. "I’m an inspector"? No way. You, my friend, are eating the inventory.

We turned to our tour guide. What gives?

"Oh," he said, nonplussed. "She’s new here."

Really? What do you mean? Do you know her?

"Oh, I don’t know her," he explained. "But I’m sure she’s new here. You see, we have a rule: you can eat whatever you want. And everyone with her job eats like that for the first three days. But, by the fourth day, they never — and I mean never — eat another morsel again."

Surely, the rules have changed. But I bet that lady is still not eating chocolate.