…He then showed me where they received, distributed, cleansed and shaped the potatoes and corn meal. We glanced at the huge potato chip making machines, as they had about 4 running in parallel to one other with women in those unflattering uniforms of white: sorting and discarding the good chips from the bad, the bad being directed to a whole different conveyor.
“We don’t waste a thing” he said
Wonderful I thought.
“Where do the discarded ones go” I asked
Silence. I guess it was a trade secret. I didn’t dare repeat myself though.
The whole scene was eerie. It was dark and cavernous in that large space. Bare bulb-ed, dim lights hung low from an obscured bare metal beamed ceiling. They were all aglow over the entire operating machines that had a cold water mist induced conveyor belts running off from a huge deep fat fryer that was connected to a massive cutting and peeling machine that was tied to an enormously high and deep hopper. I wouldn’t want to fall into there I thought. Just then the thought of those charcoal broiled burgers came into my mind for a moment thinking that I knew all of the trade secrets but I shook that thought off immediately. The finished product: those paper thin, curved smooth confectionery delights came down another conveyor flopping, turning and flipping as they made their way to a packing dock at the end of this line. The motion of those chips moving down that conveyor through a fine mist of salt and oil reminded me of fish gasping for oxygenated water, jumping and jerking in their final death throes.
He then took me back to the first large cavernous room.
“This is where you will be working” he offered. “This your machine John, your baby, so take good care of it and she will reward you a thousand fold”
“Hmmm,” I thought in shock and awe!
“George here will train you. Don’t worry about a thing. You’ll be up and at her in no time at all…”