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Karma Cleanser

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Dear Karma Cleanser:
I spent the last year-and-a-half employed at a restaurant that serves everything from burgers to spaghetti. I fear that in my time that I was employed, I have ruined my own personal karma by following the boss's orders.

I was told to serve meat that was left in a refrigerator overnight while there was no power (thanks to those pesky hurricanes). That in itself is bad enough, but when you add that the meat was actually thrown away by a fellow co-worker, then picked out of the trash and placed back into the now-functioning walk-in freezer by the powers that be, it makes me wonder if this is not a lifetime of bad karma on my part for knowingly serving it.

We also called certain items on the menu "vegetarian," and trained new cooks to prepare the veggie burgers and vegetables on a grill that was consistently full of meat.

I will give myself some credit on that one: I'm a vegetarian and did opt to make some changes and take some things into my own hands. I made efforts to create separate cooking methods for such items only to be told that it was "a pain in the ass to do it your way, it takes too long, and adds more work for the dishwasher." Boo hoo, I say. Kudos to me for changing that (at least during the shifts I worked).

There are more incidents I could list, however, I'll spare the gory details. I'm torn between deciding if my karma is unaffected by doing small things to correct such incidents, or if my choice of staying with it for as long as I did has sent me into the depths of bad karma for life. Now I'm unemployed, and financially suffering for it, so let's hope that in itself is repaying my karma debt.

Please help. Good advice may help me to sleep better at night.-- (No Longer) Cookin' with Bad Karma

Most of us function in a state of willful naivety when it comes to the kitchens of our favorite restaurants: We'd frankly rather not know what twisted paths our entrees take before making it to the table. You've had a peek behind the curtain and emerged, as many are, scathed by the experience. We say your karma's going to be fine, helped no doubt by your efforts (however small) to undermine an obviously barbaric management team. Don't lose sleep over spoiled meat, but don't let your friends and loved ones patronize that particular restaurant, either.

Been bad? karma@creativeloafing.com.

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