Friday, April 09, 2010

"Fried Fridays: Shaken AND Stirred..."


James Bond.

That's how the iconic secret agent did NOT like his stirring allowed. We can all be creatures of habit, and when we have something we want and expect 'just so', we bristle at the slightest infringement upon said stone tablet.

I'm sitting here with my thermos pot of coffee, pre-mixed with Splenda and half and half. Take any of those out of the equation and I'm Mr. Grumpy out of the gate. Don't mess with my brew.


It's not that I find this story so much 'fried' as in bizarre behavior and/or decision-making...but contrasted with life in the U.S., I can't even conceive of this particular situation to begin with. If something is not a part of our culture, whatever it is, anything outside the 'norm' can seem really, really strange.

Look, a Pennsylvania dad left 4 ounces of marijuana hidden in his kid's Elmo backpack, which was discovered by the kindergarten teacher the other day. That's fried. Two British women were arrested for trying to smuggle a corpse aboard a commercial airline flight. That's fried. (I wonder if they're going to face 'stiff' penalties...). But my story of choice isn't 'fried' at all; rather, it's fermented.

And so I read and mused over a worker's strike this week at the famed Carlsburg Brewery across the Big Pond. Seems as though management made a recent decision that they'd be, uh, mulling over for some time. Suffice it to say it did not sit well with the employees, not in the slightest.

As I understand it, Copenhagen is a rather progressive city, recognized by several sources as having the best quality of life anywhere. They're also highlighted for being one of the most environmentally-conscious and clean cities around, too. You can swim in the inner harbor, it's so clean...and 36% of residents commute to work on bicycles. Impressive on many levels.

So what's the brouhaha...or shall I quip brewhaha? Effective April 1, Carlsburg workers are now limited to drinking beer only during their lunch break.


(crickets unable to chirp due to temporary paralysis)

The old order of business was that these proud Carlsburg workers had free access to beer coolers placed all around the workplace, which they could partake of anytime they wish. The only rule was you couldn't be officially 'drunk' on the job. Now the only place you'll find the beer coolers is in the canteen, with drinking limited to the lunch break, only.

800 workers went on strike Wednesday, halting critical beer deliveries and production, and even yesterday some 250 were still striking, halting more deliveries of Denmark's 'water'. The labor union is trying to work with the groups involved to get Carlsburg up and running at capacity once again, so only time will tell.

Seems unfair that if your job is that of a delivery truck driver, that you get the short end of the stick in the imbibing category. Not so, Grasshopper. Truck drivers are allowed to take with them 3 beers from the canteen before they head out on their rounds...but before you get too worried, the trucks have alcohol locks so any driver 'over the limit' disconnects the iginition.

(cricket paralysis ends....chirping slowly ramps up...)


Bill said...

So does this mean that now they only have one hour to do eight hours worth of drinking? In my younger days I'd be up to that challenge, but not anymore. I'd be mad too.

Bob Child said...

Amen, Bill. If I had ONE beer at lunch, I'd be worthless for the rest of the afternoon! Can't you just hear it in a Copenhagen home before the new rule took effect...spouse comes in from Carlsburg shift, and their partner says, "Would you like a beer?"

Suzy said...

Fermented indeed! Let’s see, these employees were not only drinking and driving, but operating a significant amount of automated production and packaging equipment --- sounds like a recipe for accidents of all shapes and sizes! And they’re striking because they have to “change their ways”??!! Gosh, I know people who are scary enough drivers while sober --- heaven-forbid should they be driving a beer-delivery truck even though they’re UNDER a so-called “limit”!! (Wonder if the beer-delivery trucks in Copenhagen are the same types of large 18-wheeler beverage trucks with roll-up sides that we see here in the States??!!)

Once upon a time, when one of my brothers lived in Fort Collins CO, we toured the Anheuser-Busch brewery on one of my visits out there. Fascinating process to watch how the ingredients come together to form the finished product. At the end of the tour, if you’re over 21, you get ONE free beer on-tap to drink onsite, and you can then purchase bottles to-go at a substantial discount. But there really is SO MUCH automated equipment, and SO MANY things that can go wrong on any given day in an industrial plant such as a brewery! And to think that the employees in the Copenhagen brewery could help themselves throughout the day is just mind-boggling!!

Suzy :)