October 6, 2001
8:30 AM   Subscribe

Burger King employees have been burned in a firewalking exercise to build team spirit. More than 100 staff walked barefoot over white hot coals during the "corporate bonding" trip to Florida ... One employee who suffered burns says she has no regrets and the pain was just a case of mind over matter. - Who in their right mind would walk on hot coals for Burger King?
posted by hotdoughnutsnow (30 comments total)
Perhaps this is "Empathy therapy" which teaches the workers how the burgers feel when they get put on the coals.
posted by Postroad at 8:31 AM on October 6, 2001

"Flame Broiled."
Well someone had to say it
posted by plinth at 8:37 AM on October 6, 2001

Only fair and rational that employees experience what their products do.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:40 AM on October 6, 2001

What's next? Is Burger King going to put their employees in Microwaves like the burgers?
posted by Bag Man at 8:47 AM on October 6, 2001

Yeah - bolt-guns to the head, and dismemberment while semi-conscious...oh, I see what you mean. Whoops.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:47 AM on October 6, 2001

Anyone who intentionally walks on hot coals does not have the sense of a goose.
posted by bjgeiger at 8:49 AM on October 6, 2001

Sorry, synaptic misfires aplenty tonight : I wasn't just being arbitrarily icky above... despite the fact that I've pushed a many a big greasy BK hamburger down my throat, it was always with an awareness of this nastiness.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:12 AM on October 6, 2001

Why not just paint grill stripes on the soles of their feet, like they do with the burger patties?
posted by gimonca at 9:21 AM on October 6, 2001

New ad campaign -- come to Burger King, where our hamburgers aren't the only thing we charbroil!
posted by MAYORBOB at 9:32 AM on October 6, 2001

The bonding experience in Key Largo was meant to show how staff can reach beyond their limits and achieve things they never thought possible.

Like quitting their jobs as minimum-wage fry monkeys?
posted by Optamystic at 10:15 AM on October 6, 2001

I also enjoyed the comment from the guy who coordinated the "experience" -- "some people just have such sensitive feet".

Obviously, some people also have a very deft sense of how to put the proper spin on things.
posted by MAYORBOB at 10:26 AM on October 6, 2001

bjgeiger: does not have the sense of a goose.

That line made me laugh -- something about the word "goose" just tickles me. And the even try to comprehend what "sense" a goose has...well, it's just plain funny.

Back on topic...mmmmmmmmm...burgers...hey, at least BK burgers actually taste like MEAT, unlike whatever the hell McD uses. Wendy's used to have the best overall burgers in the fast-food arena, but lately they have really seen a dropoff in quality. Wendy's burgers are more often than not (anymore) thin, burned, and flavorless. BK now has the best overall burgers in the FF world.
posted by davidmsc at 11:15 AM on October 6, 2001

for those of you still eating burgers, spend a couple of minutes here. Mmmmm, double Whopper with cheese...
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 11:24 AM on October 6, 2001

posted by jcterminal at 11:33 AM on October 6, 2001

BK now has the best overall burgers in the FF world.

Bah! Nonsense! Fatburger serves real food! And In N Out beats BK.

BK is way better than the rest, though. Not that I eat any of them (except Fatburger).
posted by rushmc at 11:35 AM on October 6, 2001

i hate peta.

but the 'murder king' reminded me of my absolute all-time favorite burger place of all (with real meat, really cooked!): Murder Burger. unfortunately, this name was objected to by the peta-freaks in the area, and it is now Redrum Burger.. but it just doesn't have that same ring to it.

anyway. < /offtopic >
posted by po at 1:16 PM on October 6, 2001

That line made me laugh -- something about the word "goose" just tickles me. And the even try to comprehend what "sense" a goose has...well, it's just plain funny.

I am old, so I know a bunch of old sayings. But I bet a goose would not walk on hot coals.
posted by bjgeiger at 1:27 PM on October 6, 2001

Nobody can walk over "white hot" coals without burning their feet. The proper fire walk is simple heat transfer theory, and dictates coals that have burned down a LOT and have a layer of ash on them. IMHO, it sounds like someone screwed up in preparing the meat... er, I mean "feet."
posted by Fat Elvis at 1:29 PM on October 6, 2001

so Burger King is going to offer "Burger chicken feet" too :) thought thats only in chinatown the case..
posted by delpino at 2:23 PM on October 6, 2001

I'll give Burger King one thing. At least they were relatively honest about their intentions here. To me, there's always been something oddly tribal about the whole notion of corporate bonding. Rather than an individual doing something as basic as, oh say, introducing himself to a fellow co-worker of his own volition and forming a bond that may very well extend past the term of employ (making for a happier work experience), for a company of substantial size, it always boils down to stepping in and providing a weekend warrior gathering in an attempt to prod humans about into the illusion of "excitement" like inanimate objects. Haven't the people who plan these sorts of things seen Westworld? It certainly didn't help Richard Benjamin and James Brolin.

Whether it involves holding hands and singing "Kumbaya" or engaging in a outre team chant, corporate bonding in its own way involves a religious fervor. That it would be taken to the nth degree ("If you love your company, you will do anything for it.") fascinates me to no end. What next? Corporate executives hauled off to boot camp? Corporate executives stranded on a desert island? The line between corporate bonding and reality television seems to become thinner as the days past by. If only Yul Brynner were still around to step in on short notice with a cowboy hat and a six-shooter.
posted by ed at 3:01 PM on October 6, 2001

According to my Bronx-native parents, "murder burgers" are the name given to those little White Castle squares of beefy grease. So tasty. So lethal.
posted by MonkeyMeat at 3:44 PM on October 6, 2001

"Hold the pickles, Hold the lettuce," Now get on the giant bun!!

Now seriously people, when can we all admit that Ananova is only a half step more credible than the National Enquirer when it comes to these stories of the weird? Can anybody find any mention of this story anywhere else online?

Nope? Didn't think so.
posted by ilsa at 4:06 PM on October 6, 2001

Yes, ilsa, it's in the freakin' story, already: An article in The Miami Herald. The only difference is only one of the 12 was actually "hospitalized," via an ER visit. The others were seen by a doctor the next morning with exactly the type of burns the article indicated. Otherwise, you have the same article.

Open mouth, insert foot about 4/5ths to 7/8ths of the way.
posted by raysmj at 5:08 PM on October 6, 2001

reminds me of the cult like activities at lenscrafters, more information at ban lenscrafters
posted by jasonspaceman at 5:27 PM on October 6, 2001

Actually, considering how often companies hire those "burning hot coals" organizations for confidence-building, I'm surprised blistered feet don't happen more often. Maybe it's an inspiring idea for some. If you can walk over hot coals you can do anything. Something like that.

Think we'll see a 48 Hours or Dateline special report about this? Or is this really the old news I think it is, and it's just that a hamburger company's employees got hot feet this time which is a new twist and somehow makes this newsworthy?
posted by ZachsMind at 6:32 PM on October 6, 2001

My apologies raysmj. The last half-dozen times I have seen a weird/gross story on Ananova it has been completely unsubstantiatable. And I make my living by finding information online.
posted by ilsa at 8:54 PM on October 6, 2001

Walking on coals is safe as long as the coals are prepared properly. You can walk on broken glass too if the glass is prepared properly. These acts are only amazing to people who don't understand the scientific principles involved.
posted by fleener at 9:16 PM on October 6, 2001

Wait... You wanted onions? I thought you said bunions!
posted by shinybeast at 10:16 PM on October 6, 2001

those little White Castle squares of beefy grease

mmmm... I'd walk over hot coals for a White Castle burger any day... Those are what fast food should be (hot, tasty, cheap).
posted by lnicole at 11:43 PM on October 6, 2001

maybe they're training their employees to become ninjas.
posted by lotsofno at 8:49 AM on October 7, 2001

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