“Gen-Z Workers Have Ruined the Culture At My Slaughterhouse,” by Michael Maiello

Apr 13th, 2022 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

I’m a proud slaughterhouse manager of thirty years. I’ve seen the industry change a lot. But this new generation just might bring the whole thing down. Like, at our weekly “team meating,” my man Gus was presenting about how to best stun a cow with a captive bolt gun and sensitive Sylvester raises his hand and says, “I just think we can get beyond meat.” You know what, Sylvester? I’m Gen-X. I grew up listening to Morrissey. I knew meat was murder before you were even born.

I’m all for new ideas and fresh blood (I’m very into fresh blood) but Sylvester and all his coddled friends need to understand that some of us chose the life of the abattoir because we like it. We like the sense of panic and fear in the air, the moos and squeals, that pungency of offal that just screams, “Daddy’s home!

In the old days, we had formed a community. A brotherhood and a sisterhood of like-minded folks out to feed America through grotesque savagery. Last week, I caught that new girl Clover naming the pigs. Like pets. We don’t name the food, Clover. “Pigs are as smart as humans,” she said. Sure, Clover. Pigs are Einstein. That’s why I leave work everyday in a Honda Accord and the pigs leave wrapped in cellophane.

It used to be that when the holidays rolled around we’d all work overtime, pitching in to get that meat on America’s tables. But this new generation wants to spend the holidays with their families.  I’d sooner spend the holidays surrounded by disgusting but delicious animals caged together for their last frightful hours on Earth than sit down to dinner with my wife’s parents.

These Gen-Z’s want to work from home 3 days a week. Working from home is not working, If you do our job from where you live, that’s just recreational animal cruelty. You come to work and kill like God intended.

In the old days we all used to get together after work, buy cheap rounds of beers and just talk for hours about new and better ways of slaughtering animals. I even have a patent for a device I called “The Lamb Puncher.” The new kids don’t want any part of that. And forget about trying to get any of them to blow you for 0.20 cent an hour raise.

When I went off to work my Daddy told me, “Remember, nobody owes you a living. You go to work and you eat what you kill.” Well, I can’t eat what I kill, exactly. That’d be theft. But I’ve got enough self respect not to be caught munching on garden burgers. These Gen-Zs? No better than the cud chewers we dispatch. If Sylvester doesn’t get with the program, he’s gonna find out just how far beyond meat a guy can get.


Michael Maiello is a journalist, essayist, playwright and author who held editorial positions at Forbes for 10 years and has also written for The New York Times, Esquire, Rolling Stone, McSweeney’s, Reuters, The Daily Beast, Weekly Humorist, Splitsider, The Awl and more. Free Substack at: https://middlebrowmusings.substack.com/



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