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June 20, 2008



Another great installment to BTALF; I've been wondering when one would come forth. I'll try be sure that MA heeds your caution about economy fish fingers.


"one of my first experiences of worker exploitation, comrades"
"... I had to curtail socialising"

Gosh Jack, I looked up the Auschwitz reference *before* I read the next paragraph. You sent chills up and down my spine!

While I've always thought that the work I used to do, aside from military training, was pretty bad, there were still plenty of bright spots. That just sounds extremely hellish (and NO, it's not because of any fear of muscle-pumping manual labor on my part! Okay, maybe partially). I'm not the type of person to be naive about the source of my food and its processing, but "bat heads, bisected rodents etc" did me in (for now). Really?! (No, wait, don't answer that. Let's hope the blanching did its job.)

I can't wait for the next part, Jack! (By the way, are those your pictures?)


Damn. And I thought I had some bad summer jobs.

"Economy fish fingers" sounds like the frozen equivalent of "discount sushi." (Which has to be one of the most alarming phrases in the culinary lexicon, right next to "Spam casserole.")


I loved this one! Especially the image of your friend almost getting smothered by peas.
What a hellish summer job.


I promise I will never EVER complain again about the crap jobs I had to do. Mine pale in comparison...like picking burnt crisps off a burning conveyer belt (yucky finger blisters) and washing hair in a beauty salon (in the days of bea hives with a gazillion bobby pins to fish out of ugly dirty hair. All this in the name of money. Three cheers for education.


Paul - yes, I've been a bit slow getting this episode out, for a variety of reasons (only a few of which are very good ones!) The next one should arrive after a much smaller interval. Glad you're still enjoying them!

Manggy - oh yes, comrade, I've long been something of a socialite :-).

I'm afraid the stuff about finding pieces of small animal in the freshly-vined produce was not exaggerated but honestly, the processing did seem to do a very good job of getting all the foreign bodies out. It's still pretty rare to find something that "got through" in your packet of frozen peas.

Adele - I've never seen "discount sushi". If I ever do I certainly won't be buying it! The very thought...

Sophie - it was pretty hellish at times. But character-building!

giz - there were times when it was all I could do to drag myself in for the next shift, especially when I hadn't had a day off for a couple of weeks, but this is one of those things I'm really glad I did. I think even at the time I knew it was an oddly formative experience. Everyone should do a really crappy job at least once in their lives :-).


What an experience! Seeing someone buried in peas up to his chin can be somewhat traumatizing. haha. That would make a great horror flick scene. Thanks to you Jack, I will never look at frozen peas the same way ever again. :-)


great reminiscences! makes me feel a little wary of buying frozen peas which I love! I thought my experience in a cardboard factory on kibbutz in Israel were bad until I read your stories of unloading the trucks!

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