“When the Cub came of age.”   3 comments



"Cub at the outset"

“Cub at the outset”

A cub from the stables of a leading hospitality institutes was placed in a prominent fast food restaurant chain recently. His employers, who had humble origins in Kentucky, went onto conquer the world guided partly by their expertise in offering delicacies in fried chickens and partly by the unstoppable globalisation juggernaut. The cub, our protagonist, decided to enter the den considering the stint as a learning curve after weighing in the paucity of recruiters and the prevailing global pessimism. He took the plunge convinced that the restaurant was the place to be till the hospitality industry bounced back.

The Cub’s early days saw him getting introduced to the team members and acquainting himself to the busy kitchen environment which prevailed throughout the day. Even though the team leader was a hard taskmaster, the cub considered himself fortunate to have found the right place to see off the recession days. Bent upon giving his best the cub put his heart into the tasks assigned to him. Lessons in customer care, crowd management, shift rotation and multitasking followed which the cub thought could stand him in good stead. The back breaking work in the restaurant kept him occupied and hours passed like minutes. Every passing day saw him master a trick in trade ranging from enticing the taste buds of customers to winning unflinching loyalties. The Cub was an avid learner and a curious observer too. Within a short span he improved his skill sets tremendously and was juggling many tasks with ease already. This, inevitably, saw him walk into the good books of the Manager earning him many adversaries and admirers as well.

Beneath the visage which gleefully accepted all the praises which came his way, the cub portrayed a disturbed guy. The colleagues, according to him, seemed to hold many secrets.  His inquisitive mind was full of unanswered questions. Unlike the pleasant atmosphere and camaraderie on display amidst the customers, a veil of secrecy hung over their private space. The length of the shadow extended from the plastered smiles on his colleagues’ faces to the miserly conversations among them. The cub tried eavesdropping into their hush-hush conversations which always seemed to hold back secrets. He even tried peeping into Manager’s desk without success. Nothing seemed to work and the dark clouds gathered with renewed vigour as days went past him. He felt as if stuck in a mental asylum full of disturbed souls holding back secrets and his suspicion grew stronger by the day when he discovered standard patterns in their peculiar behaviour.

Despite being employed in a renowned food chain, not even a single soul ate anything from the restaurant. They always attempted to slip out and reach for the nearest hotel or brought homemade food. Despite many innovations, they all desisted testing them. The reason for refrain ranged from being a vegan to revolting stomachs. In case if they encountered surplus or unsold food, team members readily fed them to stray dogs or the beggars who spent the nights by the pavement. No one seemed drawn to the menu which otherwise was enjoyed by the whole city. The cub initially mistook this for dedication and good practise but soon realised that there is more to it than what meets the eye. These questions constantly popped up in his mind and the cub wanted to put them to rest forever.

One fine day he plucked enough courage and met his Boss in his cabin. The cub blurted out, without any manner of preamble, his lingering doubts. The senior’s reaction came as a surprise. His face turned purple and the moustache bristled in anger. He thundered at him saying nothing was abnormal and the cub should stop acting like a fool. Unable to stand his ire, the cub tiptoed his way out of the line of fire. Letting the matter go made ways for more dilemmas cropping up in his head. After a few months, abiding by his friends’ advice, he accosted his boss in a different but shrewd manner. The cub, learning that his senior’s went weak at the knees at the sight of alcohol, got him sloshed to the core one evening. Having attained enlightenment, the Boss started spilling the beans.

When skeletons tumbled out of the closet, the cub could only arch his brows in utter disbelief. Turns out that every single item on offer, in the menu, had an unmentioned item being added beyond its desirable proportions. The intruder was “AGINOMOTO”.  Every day they got on the wrong side of the law. Passing out of the culinary stable the men behind the menu were aware of these transgressions. Instead of raising their voices in protest they had kept mum and colluded silently. They knew the hazards of adding AGINOMOTO beyond the prescribed limit and hence kept the items at arms length. The secret never slipped out their mouths despite trying circumstances and provocations and had become the norm overtime.

The cub, now faced with overwhelming evidences of gross violations, was caught in a moral dilemma. Whether to stand up and question the violations and set things right or to meekly surrender and save his job became his new obsession. As if on cue, one of cub’s neighbours hosted a youngster who had come down to his city for treating a strange case which baffled the doctors year in year out. Finally they deciphered the cryptic code and realized that the youngster’s blood had unusual levels of Monosodium Glutamate or AGINOMOTO.  The youngster had skipped healthy food and became a regular at one of the branches of the food chain major.  Alarmed, the cub decided to put an end to the whole issue.

One defining moment came along offering a way out. The next day the cub confronted his senior and requested him to refrain from the prevailing practises. The day which followed saw pink slip coming the cub’s way followed by a barrage of abuses. The conditions were simple: “You either play by the rules or just get out”. The cub now was out of job and walked into oblivion. When his career showed signs of taking off and flying high, the senior had clipped his wings. The next day, just when the scheming senior reclined on his chair mocking the cub’s wild and immature ways, heard a decisive knock on the door!!

When the senior was pleading with the Food Inspectors to spare them for one last time, the Cub was already on his way to the airport, all set to fly to Dubai. After responding in the affirmative to the job offer from a leading luxury hotel in Dubai, the cub had set the cat amongst the pigeons by revealing the closely guarded secrets of the restaurant among the mall rats and other store owners. Absolute pandemonium ensued. The last nail on the coffin was struck by the cub when he dialled the authorities alerting them before flying.

Uncertainty remains as to whether the authorities may collude or collide with the perpetrators. But what is certain is this: HE WAS NOT A CUB ANYMORE!! He didn’t play by the rule but changed the game!!

His Baptism by fire turned the Cub into a roaring Lion!!

His Baptism by fire turned the Cub into a roaring Lion!!


Image Courtesy: http://pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.in/2014/07/like-roaring-lion-seeking-whom-he-may.html (Lion)

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/photos/big-cat-cubs/ (Cub)


Posted November 8, 2013 by Aneesh in INDIA, The Motley Crew

Tagged with , , , , ,

3 responses to ““When the Cub came of age.”

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  1. Let there be more such game changers.


  2. Pingback: “Deus Ex Machina” | Gangs Of Edathua !

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