I quit my job at Alberto-Culver because I was eating too many Hostess Cupcakes.
That’s a true story.
I worked as a recruiter and hired everything from chemists to factory workers who supported and managed the research, development, production and distribution of iconinc brands such as Alberto V05, Mrs. Dash and Molly McButter. At the time, we also provided contract packaging to Bath & Body Works and Nexxus hair products.
Exciting days. You can see how I struggled to leave this all behind, right?
I worked for a very crazy and dysfunctional HR leadership team. Many of my former colleagues read this blog and will gut me like a fish if I tell stories about them. So I’ll save those stories for when I’m lawyered up and ready to publish a book.
I will tell you that the job was so stressful that I made two stops, every morning, before going to work. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a bagel. Then I stopped at a gas station on Montrose and Narraganset (for you Chicagoans) to grab the Suntimes and a pack of Hostess Cupcakes.
Really. I did this. For about a year.
One day, my boss was such a raging dick to me that I lost it. On my way home from work, I stopped at a Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet in River Grove and bought a 24-pack of cupcakes.
I went home and ate them for dinner. All of them. And then I had dinner. Then I thought, “I need to quit this job.”
Yes, I was crazy. I am lucky enough to be both self-aware and nuts. So I called the EAP and asked for help in dealing with my boss. I received excellent advice, by the way. Use your employee assistance program, people. Even if you work in HR. They can help.
Then I found a new job at Kemper Insurance shortly after that breakdown. That job sucked, too, but in a different way.
So what’s the point? I believe there are three reasons people eat Hostess-brand foods.
- They are depressed.
- They are poor.
- They are addicted to the chemical combination of refined sugar and fat.
I was all three, which is why I don’t cry for the demise of Hostess. That company was awful. There were corrupt venture capital tactics tied into a strategy of shoving cheap food into the mouths of Americans.
Now listen, I am sorry people lost their jobs. That is very sad. I only wonder what would have happened to the workers and their pensions — along with my waistline — had the unions stood up sooner and said, “Enough is enough.”
We don’t need companies like Hostess in our economy. In fact, there are probably 1000 other companies that are “too big to fail” that should die a faster death. Instead, we continue to prop up companies and industries with tax incentives and subsidies.
In this case, the market has finally spoken. And I’m ready to get my cupcakes from a local business. They are better, anyway.