Know when to fold 'em

This week: a tragic boss; a magic cost; a land of the lost; and tempest-tossed. 

The real tragedy is if you end up working the same shift as the surly owner-in-law

Seattle’s minimum wage workers saw their first wage increases this week…. and yes, there are still restaurants. The industry has responded in varied ways. Regional seafood institution Ivar’s went straight to $15/hour and replaced tipping with something like a commission system. Regional hamburger institution Dick’s said they would not adjust prices, benefits, or the content of their complaints about the law. And regional fusion-taco-empire-builders Marinationannounced they were opening a new restaurant, as did Ethan Stowell. Meanwhile a Subway owner called the law “a tragedy” — because it might mean her husband would have to work at one of the stores.

Scrubbed with Love

When you own 18 restaurants, you’re more of a performance artist than a chef, and Tom Douglassure played some kind of role this week. In a petulant fit prompted by the minimum wage increase, he added a 2% surcharge to bills, and posted a crazy ranting blog post about it, where he even threatened to take away free coffee from employees. Customers responded poorly.

Nobody spending $100 at Dahlia Lounge was going to sweat the 2%, but there’s just something about doing it as a snitty line-item surcharge — does he call out every 2% cost, or only when he wants to be on TV about it? And more important, did he get the idea of surcharges-for-everything from his work making airline meals? In any event, Douglas pulled the fee within a day, and even had his blog post scrubbed from the internet.

Please don’t itemize an emancipation surcharge next

The Associated Press published a horrifying investigation of slavery in the international seafood industry that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. And they’re not talking about slavery-as-an-inappropriate-metaphor-for-icky — they’re talking about kidnapping, forced labor, bars & cages, trade-in-humans slavery. The reporting here is incredible, and bracing: reporters visited the isolated island where many of the slaves are kept; followed the supply chain and found that fish caught by slaves ended up basically everywhere; and they even determined the going price: $1,000 a slave. Just to read the words “AP talked to 40 current & former slaves” is deeply disturbing, and important. 

When they least expect it

Using a puppy to predict the results of the NCAA tournament is more common than you thought, because the trick appeared on both the Jimmy Fallon show and Wikihow, where the procedure is explained with that site's unique lack of verve.

Goofily restrictive HR policies are even more common that we’ve learned from workplace sitcoms: a Texas State trooper was directed to attend mandatory counseling after posing for a photo with Snoop Dogg at McSXSW (whose caption includes more Emoji than you might expect).

And exploding head syndrome is more common than anyone thought: a recent survey found 1 in 4 subjects were awoken by imaginary noises. It’s unclear how the methodology accounted for reading Tom Douglas blogs