Michael A. Sisti

Author, Lecturer, Consultant

Hello

Who Moved My Salami?

I read this book a while back that was all the rage. It was called Who Moved My Cheese? It was about this mouse that got his whiskers bunched up because someone moved his cheese to another spot. When the mouse couldn’t find his cheese in the usual place, he became confused, paranoid and angry. He just couldn’t adjust to the fact that he would have to look elsewhere to find his cheese. As I read the book, I concluded that this mouse was dumber than dirt. When I finished the book, I yawned and threw the book in the trash, feeling that I had been taken in by all the hype about this breakthrough approach to dealing with change.

Being a lover of food, the book gave me pause when I thought about what would occur if something like this were to happen to people. Say, for instance you went into a supermarket and the robbies were now in the pet food section. (For those of you unfamiliar with “robbies”, it is broccoli rabe, a somewhat bitter cousin to broccoli.) Although I enjoy broccoli rabe often, I had never heard it called “robbies” before moving to Rhode Island. I guess it’s part of the local vernacular. It’s in the same category as cabinets and stuffies, two other words that I would never have expected to find on a restaurant menu.

How would you react if you ordered a pepperoni pizza from Domino’s and the pepperoni came thin sliced in a little plastic tube, just like Pringle’s potato chips? And speaking of that, did you ever wonder where they find enough potatoes the exact same size to make those chips?

Where would you be if they moved all the Dunkin’ Donuts shops? You drive to your favorite shop and find it’s been moved to the top floor of a six-story walk-up. And what’s with all the donut shops in Rhode Island anyway? With Dunkin’ Donuts, Honey Dew, Bess Eaton, Allie’s and now Krispy Kremes, we have more donut shops per capita than any other state in the country. I heard the new governor is going to add that fact to the sign down on I 95 when you cross the border from Connecticut.  It will read something like this, “Rhode Island, where you’re never more than 100 feet from a donut shop.” And it’s being sponsored by Ocean State Cardiology Associates.

To me the most traumatic move would be if they took all the garlic out of the food stores and sold it only in Benny’s Appliances. Fortunately, this would never happen, because it would be a logistical nightmare to move that much stuff. Ever since I moved to Rhode Island, I was convinced that the largest company in the state was the garlic distributor in Providence.

Next time you go to Federal Hill and pick up a dry salami off the counter in Venda Ravioli, think about how easy it was, and how you didn’t have to get all stressed out finding a dry cleaner that sold it.

There, now you don’t have to read the book.