Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Good and bad report

The Girl works at Panera. She works hard, she works long hours, and she's paid very well. It's a great first job and she's learned a lot about how to be pleasant when you don't feel like it, how to deal with annoying customers and laugh about it, and how to keep to a schedule even when you just want to go to bed. I really think this job has been a great influence on her and I've seen her grow emotionally because of it.

One of the best bennies about working for Panera is that if you work the late shift, and are there at closing, you get to bring home anything left over in the store. Which means sandwiches, paninis, bread, pastries galore, and cookies. At first, this was an unbelievable bennie for our family, adding am amazing amount of stretching power to our food budget with a lot of bread and munchies. All good, too. Then we started getting a little bit picky. I didn't like this bread, and I thought those scones were a bit dry and tasteless. Because, you know, free food and all...

As the Girl worked more and more late hours, we started getting inundated with food. I know, what a terrible thing to complain over. Boo hoo hoo. But you can't believe the amount of food we have in our house right now. Loaves and loaves of bread. Muffins, pastries, scones. Several sandwiches languishing in the fridge. We have at least 5 baguettes just sitting on the counter. I'm going to grind up a couple of them for fresh bread crumbs, and I'm going to thin slice a couple more, brush them with melted butter and add some spices, then bake them to make melba toast crackers. You see, I'm having to make an effort just to use up the leftovers. I didn't sign up for this.

I'm just kidding. It's amazing having so much stuff in the house. When people come over I'm constantly pressing them to take home a loaf of bread. I can have great pastries to serve friends anytime. It's all good. Fattening, but delicious. We're very lucky to have such bounty.

However, it's kind of like having a job in a chocolate shop. After a while you get kinda sick of those delightful orange scones and bear claws. I mean, how many croissants can one person eat? (Answer: an amazing amount...way more than you thought.)

The freezer is packed to the gills with Panera castoffs. I eat paninis for lunch all the time. Every once in a while I just want a plain old turkey on whole wheat. Know what I mean? Panera is fancy schmancy, which is why it's so popular. The food is good. But every freaking day?

I think I'll go have a panini for lunch. There are about 6 of them in the fridge right now. Urp!

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Blogger bethany actually said...

I know exactly what you mean! My best friend in high school worked at Subway, and she brought home leftovers all the time. I used to love Subway, but for years I could barely touch it because I OD'd on it in high school.

Still...Panera! Could be worse. She could work at KFC. :-)

6/12/08 6:58 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

I hear you, loud and clear! I worked a summer at a local donut shop. They made wonderful donuts, but I didn't have an appetite for donuts or cinnamon rolls for a long time. I did, however, learn to love coffee.

6/12/08 8:21 PM  
Blogger Thumper said...

I hear you. When I worked at Domino's, my boss sent me home with a pizza every night. I was pregnant, he knew the Spouse Thingy was a student....we ate *a lot* of pizza.

To this day the Spouse Thingy can't stand Domino's...we ate it because it was free, but after a while even free doesn't taste very good.

6/12/08 9:44 PM  
Blogger Rhea said...

And a friend of mine worked at Pigs Fly. I got some of the castoffs and it was overwhelming!

6/12/08 11:10 PM  
Blogger Katarzyna said...

I used to work at a Panera in SE Mass. We were allowed to take home left-over brownies, cookies and paninis but most of the breads and deserts were put into donation boxes and given to local homeless shelters and pantries. Does your daughter's Panera not do that? That's strange

7/12/08 1:53 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

Panera does give to charity, but not through a donation box. The charities come at 10 pm and take what they want, but they're not consistant. They might come a couple of times a week, but that's it. The rest of the time, the spoils go to the workers, and it can be overwhelming!

7/12/08 3:01 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

My guess is that the charities can't afford, or don't have enough volunteers, to make pick-ups on a regular basis. Wouldn't it be cool if eateries within a couple block radius formed a volunteer core, which took it in turns, to drop the excess food off to the charities? I'm just sad that we keep hearing of increased lines at the food shelters and yet there is all this excess food. And such good food! Yes, I'm kinda jealous, but then my hips don't need more bread!

7/12/08 8:47 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

Anne, the problem is more likely that there aren't a lot of charities in the general area of this particular Panera. I work with the one local shelter and I know they get stuff from other bakeries in town. I just don't know what charities could use this Panera's food. Even our local food pantry gets breads from 2 bakeries that give leftovers. But not panera.

Worse yet, Panera does not recycle the bottles. They say they do, they separate them out, but they toss all that glass into the garbage because recycling is only collected once a week and there is no place to store it. That burns me up!

7/12/08 5:10 PM  

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