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Today, Chipotle, Tomorrow…

After years of sticking it to the man, prominently upthrusting my middle finger in the general direction of the man, breaking the man’s balls for the sheer momentary enjoyment of it, and just generally and noisily expressing contempt and making life difficult for the man, I am now — you guessed it — the man.

Permit me please to presciently pre-address your baffled questions. You? How could you be the man? You are a target of the man and a thorn in the man’s side. The man has devoted considerable time and resources to tamping down your enthusiasm. You and your ilk are in large part responsible for the man’s existence, in fact. Pull the other one, why don’t you.

Well, I’ll tell you. The man extended his broad and rapacious hand and pulled me out of the muck, placing me on the introductory rung of the Chipotle corporate ladder. Never mind that most people in this job are legally unable to purchase or enjoy spirituous beverages and I am a scant few years from compulsory retirement; forget my proud history as and lineage of felonious riffraff. I am now MANagement, with all the responsibility and swagger that entails. I will henceforth be collared in my work attire, because nothing says boss like a black polo in a sea of black tees. I will be responsible for the training of the fledglings and the quality of the food that goes out to you, the burrito-buying masses, and in the interest of effectively achieving those ends I feel I shall have to institute some fairly sweeping reforms.

I have never been much of a believer in corporal punishment for the training of children, but I do find it to be an excellent motivator in the workplace. As long as it is administered fairly and consistently, I see no reason why the lash cannot be as valuable and useful a tool in our operation as tongs and ladles. Repeated instruction and demonstration is all well and good but unless a person is willing to learn, often insufficient and let’s face it, these aren’t people, they’re teenagers. You can direct and instruct until you’re blue in the face and they’ll still do exactly what they want to do, which is to gabble incomprehensibly at one another and fiddle with their phones. But a good beating, and consequently the threat of one, really locks those lessons in and creates permanently obedient neural pathways I can exploit in my managering. I foresee a future in which I need only raise my hand menacingly to have those little shirkers scuttling around like scared rodents, eager to please and desperate to avoid another trip to the back.

Another crucial element in the effective operation of any large organization is esprit d’corps, which is currently nonexistent among the rank and file. I think we can start with tattoos depicting the Chipotle coat of arms, which I shall design, adorning every employee. We will begin every shift in formation and, to the strains of a stirring martial anthem, recite in unison a loyalty oath pledging not only our time, but our very lives to the success of the operation and the satisfaction of our customers. Eventually the crew will develop such allegiance that the shame of having displeased a patron will lead them to seek an honorable death, which I will not discourage. Plenty more where they came from, especially in about six months when the economy collapses and these jobs start to look pretty damn good. Trump’s little pyramid scheme can’t last forever and I will soon have a large pool from which I can choose the best and brightest, encouraging fraternization between the sexes to the furtherance of a future optimal generation, a master race, if you will, of Chipotle employees. You’ve got to look at the big picture and develop some vision to be effective in the corporate world.

I’ve done some thinking about employee attire and while the black motif and sternly utilitarian, almost Bauhausian logo connote seriousness, athletic footwear and t-shirts, especially with the frivolous art on the back, do not — they tacitly condone a culture of foolishness, which I will not tolerate. I suggest black long-sleeved shirts buttoned to the neck, tucked into black trousers bloused over black Dr. Martens fitted with taps which will rap smartly on the tiles as the troops go briskly about their business.

Smiling and chitchat with customers is currently encouraged but I feel a more Soup Nazi-ish model will effectively maximize throughput and discourage lingering. We’re in the business of making burritos and money, not friends. Thinking of customers as cattle rather than people might be helpful, and in that spirit an employee wielding some type of electrified goad would cultivate an atmosphere of efficiency and obedience among the customers.

The corporate honchos have done a fine job in expanding the brand and increasing its reach but I see no reason why individual stores cannot show the initiative to engage in a little creative expansion to discourage competition and increase market share. 

Once I have my staff trained and battle-ready, we’ll move on the Subway next door and, having conquered and subsumed their staff and equipment, plant the Chipotle flag and use our increased power to attack the McDonald’s across the street, thereby establishing hegemony on the whole Perkins-Orchard corner.

From there we’ll have an indomitable base with which to further extend our dominance, and Denny’s, Super Taco, Stars, and all the rest will fall like dominoes until you can get anything you want to eat in the region as long as it’s a big fat burrito.

My plan may seem radical but I believe history will remember me as a visionary and innovator the likes of which has been unseen since around 1945. It is only my fierce loyalty to the company and its continued success that guide my decisions, and my devotion to them lies not only in my belief in their superior product but in their fine and well-developed sense of humor which allows them to good-naturedly take any sort of joke, no matter how tasteless and insensitive.


  1. Me October 24, 2018

    Good day. I don’t know why news outlets such as yourself, aren’t writing about what’s important! I read about the cannabis “industry ” every day, and yet I haven’t seen anything about what’s really going on in the legalization of cannabis, especially in Northern California, where licensed cultivation farms are getting robbed!

    • Mark Scaramella October 24, 2018

      Dear Me. If you haven’t seen it, that means you haven’t looked very far. The AVA and its contributors (Futcher, Shields, et al) have written about the unworkability of Mendo’s pot permit program at length.

  2. flynn washburne October 24, 2018

    Hey, “Me”. If you want to read about marijuana or whatever else, that’s fine, but in voicing your opinion about what is and isn’t important after MY piece, I get the feeling you’re saying that what I wrote isn’t (important). I demand satisfaction! Pistols at dawn!

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