640 – White Smoke Mountain • 09

The Wednesday Video

This is for fans of the Guild, who might have wondered whatever happened in Jeff Lewis’ life to turn him into Vork.

And yes, this is a genuine Taco Bell training video.

45 Responses to 640 – White Smoke Mountain • 09

  1. “At Taco Bell, we provide the best food: any time, any place, any where.”

    Pretty sure if that was true, no other restaurants would be around. You know. Capitalistic competition and all that.

    Not to mention, if this is a training video (really? It doesn’t go over how to fold the thing, just says it’s important ad nauseum) why are they trying SO HARD to convince their EMPLOYEES that the food is good? The employees see how it’s made; no matter how many times you tell them this they won’t believe you.

    • This version of the vid edits out the “how to make” bit, because it’s long and boring. There is a link within the video to see the whole thing though.

      I only know (specifically) one guy who worked at Taco Bell, and he’d eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you let him. Similarly, I used to work at Pizza Hut and would have no issue eating there either. (If it were on my “diet”.) Conversely, I have known four or five people who have worked at McDonald’s and NONE of them will even entertain the thought of eating McFood.

      • Several of my friends worked at McD’s and they are generally happy to eat there…
        but it really does depend a lot on the store (deliberately avoiding using the term “restaurant”).

        I been to some where the floors and benches were clean enough to eat off, the food fresh, the staff keen to get quality food out the door simply because they had still had a sense of pride.
        Yet others where the staff member wiped some crap off the floor with a dish cloth, and then wiped down the service areas… and then the food assembly area. And not was that bad enough they didn’t even bother to even -rinse- the cloth that hole time (let alone get right gear)! And where a staff member wandered off to accompany her friend who was doing a local delivery… right in the middle of taking a customers order! And staff members when warned of fecal matter in the childs play area replied “well you’re too old to be using it anyway” (but my kids weren’t) and wouldn’t even notify a manager or put up a “closed for cleaning” sign.

        • It is hard to rely on anecdotal evidence, but one thing is ubiquitously true. Employers always tell their employees exactly how much to care about their jobs, in actual dollars and cents. For McDonald’s, that means the employees care about their jobs… and about you… as little as they can get away with.

          • It does depend on attitude as well.

            But taking McDonalds as a perfect example, if I borrow $2 mil, and plonk it into a McD’s franchise (and the extra costs associate with that). How much do you think I care about my employees? A -lot- because the workers make the place run… however how much can I afford to pay them? Certainly not $15/hr or even the $40/hour they are probably worth or what they are responsible for … unless you know a large number of folks who are really willing to pay $25 for a straight BigMac.

            Just I’m betting that no-one reading H.O.L.E. can actually afford to donate to your comic what they really would love to.

  2. Dear DM, should I re-post my questions or were they deemed too much GM questions since they had nothing to do with D&D?

    • Dear DM gasps in horror at having skipped someone!

      (You can either copy and paste them to Monday or just direct me to them from here. Whichever is easiest for you.)

      • Saw your response to the question itself, thank you very much in advance DM.
        And I really did mean it about that second part being bonus and optional, I would not insist on it since I do not want to be the cause of a preventable death.

  3. I once went to a Taco Bell and to my surprise they had no meat or cheese, this is at 4pm on a weekday, which basically eliminates everything on their menu – I do like their basic soft taco, their burritos are too much and make me feel ill. True thing about McD’s though I won’t eat there, makes me sick, but Wendy’s or TB or Chick Filla will not – odd?

    • If people learned to listen to their bodies and not eat what didn’t make them feel good, we’d not only all be a lot healthier, but also we’d have better food to choose from, because the McDonald’s of the world would either have to improve or take down their shingle.

      • That and all their lobbyists getting the government to subsidize meat and animal feed. Meat is really quite expensive, and it would not normally be feasible to sell it at fast food prices. I wouldn’t stop eating it even if I had to pay full price but paying taxes so other people can almost be total carnivores… and then get fat and die faster… that ticks me off.

        I dunno what it is about McDonalds and Taco Bell but I can’t handle them either. For some reason Burger King is ok and In and Out is awesome, though it’s been a while since I’ve been to either.

        • Actually Eric it does depend on where the meat comes from.
          The stuff I’m growing is pretty low cost, and the land use is best for grass growing (the sub-soil structure is to stoney for cropping, to far from centers for popular housing, and too damp and fertile for truffles/wines) and tends to get to dry too early for cereal harvests.

          Having said that, many of the population do eat far too much meat especially for their daily activities. And that demand pushes up the prices so that some expensive operations can exist.

          With McD’s they deliberately process (read: pulp) the food. The theory being that it should “melt in the mouth” for maximum enjoyment (read: sensory stimulus). Sadly this means most people end up eating their food too fast (especially in todays rush-rush world) and even getting to lazy too chew properly. Both of these things are a bonus for shareholder profits (fast eating means people tend to buy more as it takes time for the stomach to signal it’s full, getting lazy means people are more likely to come back to the easy eat rather than go through a proper meal. Add in the salt-fat-sugar triple hook to your lower brains’ appetite and it’s easy to see why it works.)

    • I’ve eaten at McDonalds 3 times in my life. All 3 times I got food poisoning. I’m not sure if it was just incredibly bad luck or my body rejecting the plastic/sawdust/other non-food product that McDonalds was trying to pass off as food. Either way I’m not going back ever. I’ll eat pretty much anything else, but never McDonalds.

      • Their chicken sandwich makes my tongue tingle. Not in the “happy-yummy” way… more like in a “you just ate a strange, unpronounceable, and likely to be fatally toxic chemical” way.

    • I am SO glad McD went out of business here in Iceland. I tried eating their food once or twice, but couldn’t bring myself to like it, oddly enough. KFC and Taco Bell are here still though, but I haven’t tried those yet.

      My favourite fast food however is an Icelandic sandwich shop, similar to Subway, but I like their food better. Also, you can give them specific recipes of your own, and they will try to make them for you.

      • There are numerous studies that correlate a McDonald’s opening in a small town in Europe to a decline in general health in the immediate area. The simple answer is not to eat there, and it will go away, but McDonald’s target audience are the poor and undereducated who thing that low priced food is always a good deal and are unlikely to believe the health risks.

        I actually like Taco Bell, though I am careful about what I order there.

        • Well, the McD here in my hometown is closely watched.

          Not that the food is good in the way of nurishment or taste but at least you don’t fall ill (except if you ONLY live on McD diet, misnurishment does funny things to your health).
          But then, this is Germany and there is a bureaucrat under every stone you turn over, so it’s quite obvious you can’t put up a food store here and sell infectious dung – until you love to be shut/shot down by law.

          Also obvious fact around here – since McD opened business in Germany, there was a massive increase in people getting obese. How do you want your gluten today, Sir?

  4. Has anyone made an Urusei Yatsura campaign, maybe with GURPS (with all the cross genre stuff in that series, I dont think any other RPG could handle it..) The reason I’m wondering is, I was watching some of the episodes, and I think that the main character, Ataru Moroboshi, has to have more disadvantage points of any character I would ever think of putting on one character:


    He’s Unlucky, Lecherous, Jinxed, and on top of all that a weirdness magnet, and has a high point value phobia of commitment (Despite being lecherous, he has little romantic interest in the gorgeous girl who falls in love with him and wants to marry him at the start of the series…of course that mostly has to do with her ability to give him massive electric shocks every time he looks at another woman…)

  5. @TSED
    “why are they trying SO HARD to convince their EMPLOYEES that the food is good? The employees see how it’s made; no matter how many times you tell them this they won’t believe you.”

    That’s exactly why they’re trying to convince the employees about it. If an employee who’s selling something(could be anything, really: food, electronics, technical support etc.) feels like their product is shit they’ll almost certainly pass on that impression to the costumers unless they’re good liers. And remember- employees are people, and thus potential customers, too.

    I tried getting a job at tech-support for a cable company here in Israel and they bombarded us with propoganda from the start. To say I was displeased would be an understatement. They were right though about making the employee sound more reasurring etc if they actually believed the lies they were spewing to some extent, which is why I failed the course.
    Frankly, I’d have gone mad working there anyway, it’s not just strict tech-support, you’ve got to try selling stuff etc and lie like a rabid politician all the way through, something I can’t and won’t do- I have my standarts.
    In essence, it’s pure and simple brain-washing, just like you get in the army.

    P.S: I don’t own a TV set or watch it(you may commence gasping), so naturally I couldn’t give a damn about cable services even when they were offered much more cheaply to employees.

    • *gasp* – I find the internetz a much better place to get my brain washing anyways.

      We have a food place here called Chipotle, here they make the food directly in front of you, and it’s usually very fresh. I think all ‘fast’ food places should do it this way.

      • That’s funny Chris, I almost mentioned Chipotle earlier. I love their food, and they at least make some kind of effort to act responsibly towards what they feed you. They are by far my favorite restaurant of their type. (Similar to Qdoba/Moe’s/Sierra Grill.)

    • In many cases Orald it depends on how they see their job.

      If you believe you’re working for the customer… then I wouldn’t hire you. You go out and get them to pay you, and you chase around after them and the government rules.

      If you working for me, on my team, or taking my dollar/contract. Then you are working for me. OUR business comes from you being able to find the right solution out of what we have available. Your contract and usefullness in this exercise come _solely_ from that ability. Happy customers are nice for the business, but profitable customers is what keeps it around. Hopefully we can get the best product we can out to the people, but at the end of the day, we have to compete with others for the same business opportunities, we have to go with what stocks/training we have available and can afford. Ironically the better we can move cheap product and get profitable return the better position we are to get good product and expensive procedures….. whereas put in good quality (not cheap) procedures and equipment is the absolute fastest way for a business to run out of (a) money, (b) capital, (c) third party support.

      • Oh, I totally understand and wholeheartedly agree!
        I’m not blind, I know how this world works and I know capitalism etc is human nature(and animal- humans are in no way special about it, they’re “softer” on social issues as a matter of fact, there’s a reason they call it “law of the jungel” after all) and all that, it’s just that I’m fucked up in that way and I just don’t like. even despise, such lying, and I just can’t pull it off. I’m a terrible lier.It enrages me for some reason, I’m just not a salesperson.
        I wish I didn’t have this stupid notion of “truth” in my head, it’d have made life much easier, but I just do.

        I’m not necessarily a very nice person, as just about anyone who knows me could attest(and pay dearly for their insolence!*), but I do have this thing about lies. It’s not even a formal ideology, it seems to just be deeply imbedded. I blame my religeous upbrining. :'(

        *I’d be such an awsome evil wizard/lich…or better yet, a sorcerer lich. Xykon pwns.

        • Dude, don’t be sad, embrace yourself! Make your own damn food and be the best person you can! Spend some time thinking about the person you really want to be, and then do something to get yourself closer to that person. (You’d be amazed how many people never spend a single minute thinking about this.)

          That is the road to true Keviness.

        • Hard to tell if you’re yanking my chain (joking) or whether you have terrible self esteem, Orald.

          You’d be really surprised how many businesses fail by getting good equipment/systems. Or how many government places get carried away spending because they’re not reliant on their own resources. And as employees it is easy to see the hold ups and what the advantages of good things would do.

          Sadly through the next big fail point is business who spend to little, and since everything is on a shoestring it fails.

          But these things are the truth.
          You can’t afford to work for a customer. Customers only need you for a short time, and they can’t afford to pay your whole salary. So the cost must be spread, and also there are other overheads, which also must be spread over all the sales to the customers. I understand how basic it sounds, and I don’t assume everyone here is a moron or interested in economics but it is surprising just much that basic formula is ignored.

          In business, you want happy customers, customers = people who pay profitably; happy = willing to pay you for your services. In some cases, which are rarely than you’d be willing to believe, finding a working solution for a customers’ problems makes them happy, more often it is a bunch of other stuff not directly related to their needs anyway (or more accurately, what their perceived need is).

          And yeap. I used to be in Marketing, and then later in Sales. (and many other places). Used to get shit from the boss for selling customers Clone PC’s and not the IBM’s (although why any reseller would by an advance shipment of genuwine PS/2. Yeah I’m old) . However we had many happy customers, who would come back for more stuff. Also got in shit doing marketing, when in a meeting I said “BS” out loud when one of the engineers claimed electric elements were 100% efficient. Apparantly I’m not a team player 🙂 I thought it was darn nice of them to say so 🙂

          But that’s why the crusade… Capitalism = good, despite the problems with greed and inflation. Just takes a bit of thought and self-control on the part of each person. And if “each person” can’t be bothered with a little self-interest then well, to the cleaners with them (for they makes their choice, I’ll hold you hand, but I won’t carry your ass.)

          • Anyway. Smartest thing I’ll say yet: Register my protest for all future anti-capitalist comments. (mist42nz hotm..l.com if anyone feels like discussing it.

            For I/we are here for the comic and the cool chat. So I’m going to STFU now (re: economics etc). ‘K?

          • Just need to add: The stuff above is for owning a business.
            For employees and managers it’s useful to know that technical angle, but dealing with many bosses/managers it’s about image and ego ( so it’s got to look great, sound great …. but to work it’s got to be cheap under the hood).

  6. How is it that no one has mentioned the fact that Enkidu is playing with his boobies. He’s still a he in my mind, even if he’s been a her for a while now, and I don’t think I ever wanted to see his boobies. Though apparently he did.

    I like Taco Bell just fine, always have. But I don’t think I’d want one of those grande burritos. I can see why Vork is who is is now though, after having Taco Bell ruin his life/career. Poor guy. They should mention that in an episode of the Guild.

    “Hey Vork, you wanna grab something to eat? I’m thinking Taco Bell.”


  7. LOLZ Kev that’s some awesome one-two comedic timing. Dunno if I like the hot chick gets u to put it back on or the DM so disgusted he gives up more. I used to work at McD. I can still eat there, but not that much. IMHO the ad should just show the car blow up then say “DO YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS LARRY?”. That would be awesome. But I submit this: Fast Food. Continuing the fine American tradition of paying immigrants chump change to do a desperately good job so their family won’t die. To all you bigots who say “I could do a better job!” I ask you this: Why are they able to take yours?

    • I did a better job. Then I grew up. We need to get teens to be less lazy and replace them :P. J/k. I’m fine with the less fortunate working there be they immigrants or otherwise, as long as they’re legal and able to contribute taxes that match the benefits they get from the U.S.

      • Teens might be more prone to being less lazy about working at fast food dispensaries the moment those places stop being pits filled with grease fumes that give them skin problems just by standing in the kitchen for five minutes, which are more hazardous and less well paying than being a general labourer on a construction site.
        If people see the hazards and costs of working at a place outweighing the wages and benefits then they won’t sign up without some kind of physical or metaphorical gun to their head. Nor should they.

        • I agree they should have every right to starve.

          Or start their own business (which is the way I finally went) and then you really get the metaphoric gun/monkey on your back. No free rides on this one.

  8. ….Seriously, the fact that the product explodes in your face is probably the least bad thing about fast food. At least then you might not be able to eat it. No point spending your health on justifying bad money wasted on fast food.

    • C’Mon fast food is fine when used as directed. Occasionally. Very Occasionally.

      Number of computer techs I know with bad guts from to much fast food (usually eaten in a hurry and/or cold) with the truly evil beverages Cola drinks (acids, pure sucrose, stimulants, chilled and CO2 to help disguise the sugar levels) or MDew or Fanta (same but with extra artifical colouring & flava chemicals).

      IIRC McD’s work on the “theoretical” level of once/twice a month.

      And around here they do offer healthy dishes on their menu; however why go to a fastfood place? Most people are in there -because- they’re hanging out for that grease, sugar, salt, stimulant easy-now hit.