Lone Teen Rebels Against Mandatory-Nametag Policy

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Vol 35 Issue 28

Subject Of Phone Bill Delicately Broached

ATHENS, GA—The subject of a $174.76 phone bill was delicately broached Monday, when Jeff DeSilva, 21, casually asked roommate Chad Morris if he happened to know anyone in Holmdel, NJ. "Say, Neil, don't you have a buddy in New Jersey, like maybe in Holmdel, or some cool place with a 732 area code like that?" DeSilva asked. "Yeah, aren't you still friends with that guy with the goatee who visited here last year who plays guitar and likes to talk for 49 minutes beginning at 10:32 p.m. on July 29?" Morris, who has been negligent in paying his share of phone bills in the past, is believed to have made made five unclaimed phone calls in the past month, including a 71-minute, $13.47 call to Bremerton, WA, right in the middle of the day.

Area Man Purchases The Devil's Advocate On DVD For Some Reason

MILWAUKEE, W—For reasons unknown at press time, Milwaukee resident Keith Randall purchased the DVD of the 1997 Keanu Reeves-Al Pacino film The Devil's Advocate Monday. Randall, 31, reportedly entered a Blockbuster video store and handed a clerk $21.99 in exchange for the film. "I can't claim to know what he was thinking," said Blockbuster employee Gary Nathan, who sold Randall the DVD, which contains 22 minutes of bonus footage and an exclusive interview with Devil's Advocate director Taylor Hackford. "I'm baffled. I could see maybe watching it once on HBO, but this?"

Home-Schooled Student Opens Fire On Breakfast Nook

OCALA, FL—In the latest act of youth violence to shock the nation, 14-year-old home-schooler Jeffrey Kunz opened fire on the family breakfast nook Monday, killing three and injuring two. "We were just about to start Jeffrey's algebra lesson when I heard several loud pops," said Iris Kunz, 44, the assailant's mother/teacher and one of the injured. "But then I saw blood on Jeffrey's sister Melissa and realized someone was shooting." The gun-wielding teen, who was eventually subdued by SWAT-team agents, was said to be angry at his mother over a science grade.

Clinton 'Very Disappointed' In Missouri

WASHINGTON, DC—At a White House press conference Monday, President Clinton expressed "great disappointment" in Missouri after the state ranked 49th in a recent U.S. News & World Report poll of the best states in which to raise children. "I don't know, maybe it's my fault," Clinton said. "I guess for some reason I just expected something better from Missouri." While the full extent of Missouri's punishment has not been decided, Clinton said it can definitely forget about any federal drought-relief funding.

Great Strides Made By Pretty Women In The Past Year

PALM SPRINGS, CA—The last year of the century has been an outstanding one for America's pretty women, the president of the National Organization For Pretty Women said Monday during the group's annual convention and spa retreat in Palm Springs.

I'm Taking Cuddliness To A Whole New Level

You've played with other puppies, enjoyed scratching their little heads and rubbing their fuzzy-wuzzy tummies. Heck, you probably thought they were really cute. But what would you say to a cuddliness experience not 100, not 200, but 300 percent better? That's right, folks: I, Cleveland The Puppy, am taking cuddliness to a whole new level.

Giant Undersea Cephalopods Targeted By Pepsi

PURCHASE, NY—In what ad-industry insiders are calling the most ambitious marketing campaign in history, Pepsico launched a $2.8 billion deep-sea research initiative and media blitz Monday, targeting the elusive giant cephalopods believed to inhabit the oceans' farthest unexplored depths.
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Lone Teen Rebels Against Mandatory-Nametag Policy

SANDPOINT, ID—Despite repeated warnings from management, 17-year-old kitchen steward Matt Mullen continues to rebel against the Sandpointer Resort Hotel's mandatory-nametag policy, kitchen sources reported Tuesday.

Matt Mullen, who is refusing to be "a tool of the management" by wearing a nametag.

"I do not understand why I have to wear some absurd, oppressive nametag when I work way back in the kitchen the whole day," said Mullen, whose duties consist of salad prep work, dishwashing and general cleanup. "That may be fine for most people, but I am not most people."

"If I would have known they were going to expect me to fall in line like that, I never would have taken the job," Mullen continued. "I'm not going to be a good little sheep for management."

Besides stating his need to be "[his] own person," the insurgent teen denounced management for informing him of the policy a full two weeks after he was hired. Mullen said the subject first came up when the owner of the hotel toured the kitchen Aug. 1.

"He started freaking," Mullen said. "I thought it was my hair or something, but the next thing I knew, I had to fill out this form, and a nametag came to my house."

Since receiving the nametag, Mullen has employed many tactics to avoid wearing it. Refusing to give in to a job requirement he called "totally exploitative," Mullen first protested by pinning the nametag in such non-regulation locations as beneath his kitchen apron, on his Rage Against The Machine baseball cap and on his pants zipper. When management intervened, Mullen moved the nametag to the proper location, over his left breast, but covered his name with masking tape and wrote in "Kitchen Slave."

"At first, I thought he was just trying to be funny with all the protest stuff," said banquet waitress Donna Reese, a witness to several of Mullen's acts of rebellion. "But someone told me later that he wasn't joking at all. I was like, 'That's weird.'"

Last Friday, in a final act of defiance, Mullen "accidentally dropped" the plastic nametag down the dishroom In-Sink-erator. He was forced to fish the nametag out and put it back on.

"It was awesome," Mullen said. "I felt like the Sandinistas or Rambo or something. Authority exists to be questioned."

Despite the teen's ongoing protests, Sandpointer management has stood firm in its insistence that Mullen wear the nametag.

"First of all, it's restaurant policy, plain and simple," kitchen manager Earl Carby said. "And second, Matt's job sometimes requires him to go into banquet and back-bar areas, where he may be spotted by a guest. In the event a guest needs a glass of water or something, that guest should be able to address Matt by name, maintaining that friendly Sandpointer atmosphere."

When told of Carby's comments, Mullen remained defiant. "I don't care what Mr. Carby says. This policy is like something from that movie 1984, reducing all employees to a number. I mean, a name."

"Maybe I'll go get totally faced behind the bar and then quit," Mullen added. "But I guess I shouldn't, 'cause I need the reference, and it's my first job."

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