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At lunch in a nearby restraunt, I jokingly asked one of my students if there was a Zagat Survey for Nanhai, China. Of course, there isn’t, and I don’t believe they’re planning on there being one at all. She inquired as to what it was, and I went on to explain the survey (ie. ratings by quality of food, service, decor, and the total cost). She then asked,”You mean they don’t have research about the worker’s health?”

Too puzzled by this comment to utter anything but, “Huh?” I responded. I was then told that this was the most important rating of all! In a few sentences, she cleared it all up for me. I thanked her for the enlightenment and dashed off an e-mail to Zagat explaining why they should include this absolutely, positively necessary rating.


From: Blunt ; (

Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 13:38


Subject: IMPORTANT!!!!!!

I am writing to inform you of a glaring omission from your yearly publication. You need to add one more column to your ratings. This column should be named “worker health.” It is imperative that the health of the workers in each restaurant that you eat in be top notch! If this isn’t the case, you may get sick. For example:

Did you know that if a worker making your food has cancer, you will get it too? This is the same with AIDS. You must stay away from people with AIDS to make sure you don’t get it, and you shouldn’t touch or eat any food they any food they touch or you’ll get the disease! Cancer, too! Yes, even if it’s cooked! I am sure that there are many more communicable diseases that can be transported from worker to customer by way of cooked food, but these instances are surely enough reason to add this rating!

I don’t know how you are going to do this, and it might take a little bit more research on your part, but it needs to happen as soon as possible! If I were you guys, I would pull the 2002 edition off the shelf, and quick!

No need to thank me, the millions of lives saved by my advice will be thanks enough.



The ball’s in their court, I did my part.

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