Cynthia Stevens Alford http://www.timschips.com 4m 606
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
There was a time in my life when every day was a totally new and sometimes wonderful experience. I had come home from California to Seattle, because my grandmother was in ICU. My parents had brought a RV van over and we lived in the hospital’s parking lot for a month. I needed to be working to still pay my bills, but also available day to day depending on my grandmother’s health.
Such began my life as a temporary worker. I enjoyed it. I never knew where I would go or who I would be that next day. I could be an auction courier, a street survey taker, or a food seasonings file clerk.
One of the most memorable jobs was the day I was assigned a new potato chip making company called “Tim’s Cascade Chips.” The owner, Tim, was there to explain to everyone the process that went into making potato chips. He was very patient and as we toured the warehouse and machinery, Tim was closely observing us. He quickly decided who need to do what job. He assigned everyone to their positions. I was one of the last people to be given their assignments. He didn’t give me a title though, just my role.
I was going to be handling quality control….Yes, I was given the all important job of picking out the potato chips that had bunched together in an unusable potato wad or those that were too dark to eat. I worked diligently removing all those unacceptable potato chips, making sure to not get burnt by the hot oil I was working above.
During a break, Tim called us over to a different area in the warehouse. He explained the mystery of how the different seasonings were added to the chips. Contrary to my thought that chips were seasoned during the cooking process, maybe with different flavored oils, I learned that the seasoning was added after the chips had been cooked. Tim rewarded us each of us for our hard work. He hand us all one of the first Tim’s Cascade Chips bags of chips ever made. We all agreed the chips were delicious, probably even more so, since we all had a hand in making them.
Throughout the day, the other temp employees and I talked while we worked. We were enjoying ourselves. I liked my job, but I wanted that lacking special title. Not one to lament a situation, but to solve problems, I soon labeled myself as a “Potato Chip Sorter Outer.” As I stirred the potato chips flowing in the hot oil, looking for rejects, I was amazed at how few chips needed to be removed. If the machines and my fellow workers up the line did their jobs, then I didn’t have that much to do.
Soon my day at Tim’s Cascade Chips came to an end, but not the memories. Even now, over twenty years later, I still get a kick out of having once been an official “Potato Chip Sorter Outer.” It is a job I have yet to find anyone else ever holding.
And to this day, whenever I make it back to Seattle, I go hunting for my much needed bag of Tim’s Cascade Chips. As I open a bag and begin to munch, I enjoy not only the crunch and taste of each chip, but the memories of the day that I was a Potato Chip Sorter Outer.
P.S. If you love Wasabi. You’ll love Tim’s Wasabi chips. They are awesome!!!
Check out Tim’s Cascade Chips at www.timschips.com.