Scooping ice cream a simple proposition

Original Zeroll designMy first job was working at a Baskin Robbins until I learned I was earning only $1.25 per hour. The rate doesn’t make me 82, the pay was indeed well below a legal minimum, but what would higher schoolers know who didn’t dare ask? In my neighborhood, you asked for a job, the pay was supposed to be beside the point. In my neighborhood, Hollywood producers asked to use our quaint small town atmosphere for a film and our shopping district said no thank you.

Not only were we students paid $1.25 an hour, we were paid only for our scheduled shift, minus the time it took us to clean up after closing time. Hurry up, our supervisor told us, after the doors are closed, you’re on your own time.

We were also yelled at for giving our customers too much ice cream. From the other side of the counter, customers would express their frustration at our apparently personal stinginess. The day I started, I remember the boss’s wife was replacing our scoops with smaller models to produce smaller portions. Thus I caught the onslaught of customer complaints about the diminishing returns.

Zyliss makes the most comfortable ice cream scoopIn any event, I quickly learned that the kitchen variety ice cream scoop was a mere novelty like a not-better mousetrap. In the ice cream scooping profession, even if you were a high school professional who couldn’t dare ask what you were being paid, you had no need for mechanical gadgets. You rinse the spoon in water every couple of scoops. That resolves the ice cream stickiness which American households have determined to be the challenge. All sort of clever ejection devices obscure the real design criteria: an ergonomic axis that doesn’t wear out your wrist.

Likewise, a padded handle simply increases resistance. Like the front suspension on a bicycle, it’s comfortable, but a lot of your peddling effort is expended against it.

A proper ice cream scoop in the food service industry is a solid metal shovel basically, a heavy earth moving ice cream plow, rinsed between scoops. And at the Baskin Robbins in Birmingham Michigan, the smaller the better.

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