This New Zealand journalist ate a daily pizza for 222 days — 350,000 calories! — and has Pizza Hut to thank; plus, a Ford truck job seeker’s cautionary tale

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 11:56 a.m.


Richard Meadows‘ plan began simply enough: The Auckland journalist was feeling weak and out of shape, with nagging injuries that hobbled his amateur career in strength sports.

“What better way to restore myself to peak physical condition,” he writes in a first-person account in this morning’s Star-Times newspaper, “than to hit the gym hard while devouring an entire pizza every day? With a whopping 1,600 calories and a decent chunk of protein, the Domino’s $5 range represented absurdly good value for money.”

But then social media, plus a tad bit of Meadows’ oversharing, led to a betrayal by an unhappy Domino’s — throwing a wrench in his plan. “To commemorate my 100th pizza, I’d posted a photo to their Facebook page, reclining on the boxes I’d collected and sharing a few highlights from the journey to date: ‘Bowel movements now arrive every hour on the hour, and the cheese nightmares are becoming less frequent!'”

His post racked up several thousand “likes” that same night. But when he woke up the next morning, “my heartfelt tribute had been deleted without explanation,” he said. “The relationship was over.”

Pizza Hut boxThat’s when Meadows — who also documented his caloric journey on Instagram — turned to a Pizza Hut restaurant on Dominion Road in Auckland. Within days, he and the manager, identified only as Hriday, were on first-name terms. “Hriday never judged me for my gluttonous ways, and we soon built a rapport. He worked long hours, and Sunday was his only day off. If I went to a different branch during the week, he would worry.”

Meadows called the project done on Day 222, a number that had a nice symmetry to it, and he got a final blood test to mark the occasion. “After taking in over 350,000 calories of the stuff, my vital signs improved in almost every measurable way,” he says. “How can this be?”

Context is everything, according to Meadows. The calories in a large pizza would cover about 80% of the average person’s energy needs. “For me, due to my exercise regime, it was more like 40%,” he says. “Without the exercise component, the end result would not have been pretty.”

GE Appliances is delaying a planned outsourcing of warehouse operations at Appliance Park for 45 days, meaning about 200 union workers will keep their jobs until Aug. 21 (WDRB). About 6,000 people work in the park under new owner Haier of China.

Ford logoFORD: A truck driver’s dream of landing one of 2,000 new jobs at the Kentucky Truck Plant became a cautionary tale about miscommunication between an employer and some 250 job applicants. The $17-an-hour permanent job Bryan Reeves and other applicants thought they’d gotten turned out to pay just $15.78, and were in many cases only temporary (Courier-Journal). The Louisville truck factory employs more than 5,000 workers. Ford’s Vehicle Assembly Plant has another 4,800.

In other news, Spalding University’s plan to demolish the century-old Puritan Uniform Rental building at 206–208 West Breckinridge St. in SoBro to build another parking lot has some residents and preservationists unhappy. “I grew up in Old Louisville,” said Thomas Woodcock, president of Preservation Louisville’s board. “People were talking 20 years ago about the SoBro area and how many buildings had been demolished. We want to see the building saved, using adaptive reuse” (Broken Sidewalk).

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