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Timely commentary

March 2, 2020

Apologies to those readers who visit our blog solely for our insights into early music.  We typically avoid what may be viewed as political commentary, but must vent after witnessing an example of class warfare at work.

Last evening after a long day of recording, we decided we were both a bit too knackered to think about cooking at home.  The solution was to stop at a Chipotle restaurant on the way home for fairly simple and reasonably healthy food.  We have frequented this particular place and know the staff to be capable, friendly and courteous.  Sorry to say we could not say the same for the clientele, but we have even more disapproving commentary about the restaurant management.

Sadly, what we witnessed was a snapshot of how modern life has simply gone mad and is certainly unsustainable on so many levels.  There was a bit of a wait line, possibly a dozen people in front of us blithely ignoring one another and listlessly thumbing their phones for no apparent reason.  But clustered around the cash register, another dozen annoyed, irritated and outright angry people were grimacing at one another and at the world at large.  They were the tech-savvy people who had phoned in their order and paid in advance online, thinking they could waltz in and out to enjoy their meal without the bother of waiting in line.

It turns out that Chipotle has instituted a call-in and pickup scheme that very likely boosts sales by a large margin, but they seem to have forgotten to increase staffing commensurately to keep up with the increased workload.  In fact, you can see the workers piling up the call-in orders while at the same time facing a fairly significant line of hungry people, some of whom have very specific ideas of what they would like to ingest and how they would like to have it prepared.

The workers, all of whom were African-American and all of whom were aged 16-20, were pushed far beyond the limit and were doing their best in the face of adversity, but there was an air of desperation combined with resignation behind the counter.  They knew they would be unable to make their customers happy and they also knew that they would likely be admonished by management for the inevitable deluge of raging customer complaints that were surely streaming in at that very moment.

What we witnessed was class warfare at work: a customer base of primarily entitled white middle-class people using technology to instantly and painlessly fulfill their wishes, and demonstrating unbridled rage directed at another set of victims after having their dreams of fast food dashed by the inconvenience of waiting.  The villian in this situation is the corporate culture that set up an untenable situation to increase sales without providing staffing to meet increased demand.

We are not certain what sort of wage Chipotle pays, but it is most certainly not enough to survive.  We are not opposed to the idea of young people learning to advance in life by working hard, but the demands placed on this particular group of young people were exponentially over the limit.  We cannot consider young people to be expendable cogs in the machinery of technocracy, a “human resource” to be used up and replaced by someone less experienced and willing to take a pittance in wages.

Young people are the future, and, sadly, they will be burdened with cleaning up an absolute mess left behind by the insatiable corporate culture that bases an ever-increasing profit upon exploitation of workers.  It is our responsibility to offer young people opportunities to make the world a better place and to instill a sense of optimism in order to nudge them toward that goal.  You know what you must do.



  1. rosmast permalink

    Thanks for posting your experience/observation. Absolutely spot on.


  2. I don’t think that technology makes us worse, but it gives more concreteness and immediacy to our defects.

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