The Butcher Knows AllDecember 25, 2007
So, I’m buying some Spencer rib eye at the local butcher, and the kid helping me hasn’t been working there very long. He takes the cut of meat over to his boss, who looks to be about sixty and is gruff. I can’t make out their conversation, until I hear the boss bark at the kid “okay, first of all, you need to settle down, because you’re about as nervous as a whore in church and you are going to get cut. Now, have you weighed the steak?” Nodding, the kid told him the price, and without blinking the boss handed him the steak back and said “measure again.” It turned out the kid grabbed the bone-in rib eye, one row to the right of the Spencer (boneless, and three dollars more per lb). The boss knew just by holding one steak what steak it was, how much that steak weighed, what that cut cost per pound and what that all figured out to be. When the kid mentioned a price four bucks higher than he was expecting, he knew immediately a mistake had been made. Now, I’m not sixty, and I guess my job isn’t really analogous to working in a butchers, but Christ it would be impressive to one day be as ass-kickingly good at what I do as this elderly butcher was at his job. I just hope I don’t get cut too often along the way.