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Britain Is Toast

 

Government is inherently wasteful and prone to stupidity and as such outsourcing to the private sector is often the conservative solution to solve that particular problem. But does it really work?

Serco is an international services company based in the UK that does everything from catering to running air traffic control. Last year it brought in revenues of £2.95B ($3.78B USD). Serco began life as a UK subsidiary of RCA and was spun off as its own company in 1985 when GE swallowed up its American parent.

In 2017 it was awarded the contract at University Hospital Southampton to provide catering for the NHS. That contract is worth about £125M. What are they getting in return? How about a two-page, eight-step instructional guide to teach the staff in the fine art of the “Production and Service of Toast.”

There is a very good possibility that there are a lot of rogue, untrained toast makers among us that represent a danger to themselves, their loved ones and to society at-large. So, with a tip of our Oxford Herringbone English Tweed Wool Baker Boy Cap to the UK Sun, here are the basics with the reminder (item 3 under Safety & Hygiene) “Do not use the toasters unless you have been trained on the safe use of this equipment.”

You will need the following items: Toaster, Plastic Tongs, Hair Net, Wipes, Plate or tray for collecting toast, Brown or white bread.

And as an additional safety reminder, “At NO point during operation of the toaster are you to leave the toaster unattended.

*Ensure you wash your hands and wearing a hairnet
*Collate all equipment required for use – as per above
*Place bread into slots
*Turn toaster dial to setting 2.5 and push lever down
*Wait beside toaster until completion of full cycle
*Remove toast from toaster with plastic tongs and place on receptical (sic) [Plate/tray]
*Place completed toast in either Beverage trolley toast compartment or suitable receptical (sic) for transporting to ward
*Offer to patient butter/margerine (sic) and appropriate conserves, knife and napkin

The “author” of this tome is listed as Billy Storrs and is to be reviewed again come next 24th of July. Perhaps by then young Billy can be taught to use spell check on his computer and see the error of his ways. I mean, where’s the instructions for the proper placement of the orange cones and use of the safety harness?

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There are 93 comments.

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  1. Thatcher

    Is there a manual for prepping/serving tea, as well? Oh, for the love of…

    • #1
    • December 6, 2018 at 8:30 am
    • 3 likes
  2. Member

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Is there a manual for prepping/serving tea, as well? Oh, for the love of…

    Well, since you asked…

    Wanna see a demonstration of how to make the international standard cup of tea?

    • #2
    • December 6, 2018 at 8:37 am
    • 5 likes
  3. Thatcher

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    receptical

    Uh, thanks, Mis…I think. (You’ve made my day.) :-D

    • #3
    • December 6, 2018 at 8:45 am
    • 2 likes
  4. Member

    When I bought the second toaster it came with a 32 step instruction manual. Step 1 was useful, it told me to dry cycle the machine before putting any toast in to burn off any contaminants. The remaining 31 steps were safety instructions.

    • #4
    • December 6, 2018 at 8:56 am
    • 9 likes
  5. Thatcher

     

    It is tougher than it looks.

    • #5
    • December 6, 2018 at 8:58 am
    • 14 likes
  6. Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    It is tougher than it looks.

    How can you get a fire when it is not even plugged in?

    • #6
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:13 am
    • 9 likes
  7. Thatcher

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    It is tougher than it looks.

    How can you get a fire when it is not even plugged in?

    Consummate skill.

    • #7
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:14 am
    • 10 likes
  8. Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    Consummate skill.

    LOL

    • #8
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:15 am
    • 4 likes
  9. Moderator
    She

    Toast is very important, if you’re a Brit. Not sure someone who can’t claim absolute moral authority in the matter can possibly understand.

    No people (and I do mean, no people) put more things on toast than do we. A short, non-comprehensive list of same will include: jam, marmalade, baked beans, mushrooms, bangers, tomatoes, cheese, brains, scrambled eggs, Marmite, Bovril, spaghetti, ground beef (I believe at least one of the branches of the armed services in the United states has this covered, too), lemon curd, black pudding and chocolate.

    For those of you inclined to look with suspicion upon the culinary pretensions of my countrymen, I hasten to point out that we don’t put all of the above on toast at once.

    The possibilities are limitless. You could write a book about it. And many have.

    If the toast isn’t just right, disaster looms. I don’t wonder they need a manual. Because, face it, an awful lot of the folks making aren’t really British after all . . . (got there in the end).

    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    • #9
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:15 am
    • 10 likes
  10. Member

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    • #10
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:23 am
    • 11 likes
  11. Moderator
    She

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    Corroborative detail. Thanks!

    • #11
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:23 am
    • 6 likes
  12. Member

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):

    Is there a manual for prepping/serving tea, as well? Oh, for the love of…

    Many restaurants need a manual for prepping and serving tea, judging from the many awful efforts I encounter here in America (where I drink tea but not coffee). Even such rudimentary elements as “boil the water” seem beyond most, as they use water barely above room temperature. 

    • #12
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:24 am
    • 11 likes
  13. Member

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    Unbuttered and cold, of course.

    • #13
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:26 am
    • 4 likes
  14. Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):

    Is there a manual for prepping/serving tea, as well? Oh, for the love of…

    Many restaurants need a manual for prepping and serving tea, judging from the many awful efforts I encounter here in America (where I drink tea but not coffee). Even such rudimentary elements as “boil the water” seem beyond most, as they use water barely above room temperature.

    This song always comes to mind when someone mentions the tribulations of ordering hot tea in the USA.

    We went to the Philly Pizza Company and ordered some hot tea.
    The waitress said, “well no, we only have it iced.”
    So we jumped up on the table and shouted, “Anarchy!”

    • #14
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:29 am
    • 6 likes
  15. Moderator
    She

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    Unbuttered and cold, of course.

    It’s supposed to be cold. And crisp. That’s what the toast rack is for. You butter it yourself. Delicious.

    Good grief.

    • #15
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:32 am
    • 5 likes
  16. Member

    She (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    Unbuttered and cold, of course.

    It’s supposed to be cold. And crisp. That’s what the toast rack is for. You butter it yourself. Delicious.

    Good grief.

    If the toast is cold then the butter doesn’t melt into all the nooks and crannies!

    By Neptune’s beard!

    • #16
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:36 am
    • 13 likes
  17. Podcaster
    EJHill Post author

    She: …ground beef (I believe at least one of the branches of the armed services in the United states has this covered, too)

    That would be chipped beef (thin sliced, dried and heavily salted) that was “affectionately” referred to as “stuff” on a shingle by the United States Navy. During the war, swabbies weren’t going to drink milk, especially that God awful powdered stuff, so every meal came with something creamed: chipped beef on toast, peas, corn, etc. My father informed my mother on the occasion of their nuptials in 1946 that serving anything creamed at the dinner table could be considered legitimate grounds for divorce. 

    • #17
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:41 am
    • 18 likes
  18. Member

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    Unbuttered and cold, of course.

    It’s supposed to be cold. And crisp. That’s what the toast rack is for. You butter it yourself. Delicious.

    Good grief.

    If the toast is cold then the butter doesn’t melt into all the nooks and crannies!

    By Neptune’s beard!

    This is why they lost the empire.

    • #18
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:45 am
    • 12 likes
  19. Member

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    When I bought the second toaster it came with a 32 step instruction manual. Step 1 was useful, it told me to dry cycle the machine before putting any toast in to burn off any contaminants. The remaining 31 steps were safety instructions.

     

    Hold stick near centre of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion.

    —The instructions on a box of toothpicks that convinced Wonko The Sane that mankind in general was crazy.

    • #19
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:51 am
    • 6 likes
  20. Thatcher

    Anyone going back for seconds on Marmite and toast needs to be watched.

    • #20
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:52 am
    • 6 likes
  21. Moderator
    She

    EJHill (View Comment):

    She: …ground beef (I believe at least one of the branches of the armed services in the United states has this covered, too)

    That would be chipped beef (thin sliced, dried and heavily salted) that was “affectionately” referred to as “stuff” on a shingle by the United States Navy. During the war, swabbies weren’t going to drink milk, especially that God awful powdered stuff, so every meal came with something creamed: chipped beef on toast, peas, corn, etc. My father informed my mother on the occasion of their nuptials in 1946 that serving anything creamed at the dinner table could be considered legitimate grounds for divorce.

    I use these recipes (about 7/8 of the way down the page). I have had more than one USMC veteran tell me that my SOS is the best they’ve ever eaten. That may or may not be damning with faint praise; I’m not sure.

    • #21
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:53 am
    • 3 likes
  22. Moderator
    She

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    Unbuttered and cold, of course.

    It’s supposed to be cold. And crisp. That’s what the toast rack is for. You butter it yourself. Delicious.

    Good grief.

    If the toast is cold then the butter doesn’t melt into all the nooks and crannies!

    Butter melting into the nooks and crannies is for those soi-disant “English muffin” things. Or, even better, the Yorkshire teacake.

    Toast is for crispy, cold, slathered with a thick, discernible, layer of soft, but unmelted butter, and topped with Coopers Oxford Marmalade. Yum.

     

    • #22
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:55 am
    • 1 like
  23. Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Anyone going back for seconds on Marmite and toast needs to be watched.

    Marmite can be nice flavour-enhancer in recipes for things like soups, stews, chili, etc.

    • #23
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:59 am
    • 2 likes
  24. Member

    She (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    Unbuttered and cold, of course.

    It’s supposed to be cold. And crisp. That’s what the toast rack is for. You butter it yourself. Delicious.

    Good grief.

    If the toast is cold then the butter doesn’t melt into all the nooks and crannies!

    Butter melting into the nooks and crannies is for those soi-disant “English muffin” things. Or, even better, the Yorkshire teacake.

    Toast is for crispy, cold, slathered with a thick, discernible, layer of soft, but unmelted butter, and topped with Coopers Oxford Marmalade. Yum.

    And they wonder why they no longer have an empire.

    Ah, nuts!

    • #24
    • December 6, 2018 at 9:59 am
    • 7 likes
  25. Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    If the toast is cold then the butter doesn’t melt into all the nooks and crannies!

    By Neptune’s beard!

    This is why they lost the empire.

    The butter would be hard and cold as well, hard to spread.

    • #25
    • December 6, 2018 at 10:00 am
    • 2 likes
  26. Member

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    Unbuttered and cold, of course.

    It’s supposed to be cold. And crisp. That’s what the toast rack is for. You butter it yourself. Delicious.

    Good grief.

    If the toast is cold then the butter doesn’t melt into all the nooks and crannies!

    Butter melting into the nooks and crannies is for those soi-disant “English muffin” things. Or, even better, the Yorkshire teacake.

    Toast is for crispy, cold, slathered with a thick, discernible, layer of soft, but unmelted butter, and topped with Coopers Oxford Marmalade. Yum.

     

    And they wonder why they no longer have an empire.

    Drink!

    • #26
    • December 6, 2018 at 10:01 am
    • 3 likes
  27. Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    PS: Why is there no mention of the obligatory “toast rack?” These instructions are seriously flawed.

    I stayed in Bristol England for a whole month one time at a B & B in 1988. I would ask for 1 piece of toast every morning and always got a rack of toast, 4 pieces.

    Unbuttered and cold, of course.

    It’s supposed to be cold. And crisp. That’s what the toast rack is for. You butter it yourself. Delicious.

    Good grief.

    If the toast is cold then the butter doesn’t melt into all the nooks and crannies!

    Butter melting into the nooks and crannies is for those soi-disant “English muffin” things. Or, even better, the Yorkshire teacake.

    Toast is for crispy, cold, slathered with a thick, discernible, layer of soft, but unmelted butter, and topped with Coopers Oxford Marmalade. Yum.

     

    And they wonder why they no longer have an empire.

    Drink!

    Sucker.

    • #27
    • December 6, 2018 at 10:02 am
    • 3 likes
  28. Coolidge

    Stupid instructions.

    They don’t work.

    I followed the instructions exactly.

    The bread never even toasted.

    Mrs. Flicker suggested I plug it in.

    I dismissed her idea out of hand. “If they had wanted it plugged in.” I shouted, “they clearly would have included that in the instructions!”

    • #28
    • December 6, 2018 at 10:04 am
    • 20 likes
  29. Member

    Somewhere there is a product liability lawyer smiling as they peruse the Aston Martin website.

    • #29
    • December 6, 2018 at 10:06 am
    • 6 likes
  30. Coolidge

    Now. How does one thaw butter?

    • #30
    • December 6, 2018 at 10:06 am
    • 3 likes
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