My friend Harvey Kay, president and general manager of Kay's Sandwich and Carryout Shop in my building, is watching the outcome of the Lockheed Aircraft government loan negotiations with interest. He feels if Lockheed can get the $250 million guraranteed loan, then he has a chance of the government bailing him out of a similar situation.
Harvey told me, "The Lockheed problems, particularly with their C-5A airplane, parallel, mine in every way, and I am certain if the government looks on the Lockheed loan favorably they will find a way to get me off the hook, too."
This is how Harvey tells his stroy: "About a year ago, a section of the Defense Department was having a farewell party for one of their employes who was leaving to join an aerospace company. They asked me to develop a new type of sandwich that would give the party a big boost. But they wanted me to bring it in for a reasonable price.
"I put my designers to work on it, and we came up with "The Goldfinger," which consisted of boneless all-white meat, deep-fried chicken fingers topped with cole slaw. Russian dressing and pickle slices on a double-twist seeded roll. We estimated we could make the sandwich for $1.25 each, which would include a reasonable profit of 10 percent.
The food committee giving the party approved the design and ordered 150 sandwiches to be delivered in 30 days on the afternoon of the party.
"I ordered the ingredients, but a few days later I got a call from a secretary. She said that while the Army liked the sandwich as it was, the Navy was wondering if, instead of a double-twist seeded roll, the sandwich could be made with rye bread.
"I explained that regular rye bread would not be able to support the weight of the chicken fingers, and I would have to add a heavier rye bread with a reinforced crust, which would add another 20 cents to the sandwich.
"She said it didn't matter because the Navy said they wouldn't come to the party if they had to eat double-twist seeded rolls.
"A week went by and the secretary called again. She said the Air Force had just got around to studying. 'Thr Goldfinger' sandwich, and they wanted something more sophisticated than just chicken fingers with cole slaw and dressing and nickle slices. Was it possible to add either a slice of ham or a slice of cheese to the sandwich to give it a better taste?
"I told her it was always possible, but if you're going to add to a sandwich you have to pay for it. It meant hiring an extra person to cut the ham or cheese, researching where the best place was to put it, testing it and retaining my employes in an entirely new sandwich concept. I couldn't see how I could bring 'The Goldfinger' in for less than $2.25.m the secretary. She told me the Army personnel in the department felt that 'The Goldfinger' should also have lettuce and tomato on it. I explained that if you added lettuce and tomato you would have to have larger slices of rye bread and heavier caraway seeds, which would bring the cost of the sandwich to $2.95.
"She approved it, but the next day I got a call saying that because of the overrun they wanted to cut back on the order of sandwiches from 150 to 50 and asked if I would eliminate the chicken altogether.
"I told them I was struck with $300 worth of merchandise and would have to lay off four employes because of the cancellation of 'The Goldfingers.' They would recommend a loan to tide me over, it was up to Congress to decide whether I would get it or not. But first they had to get the Lockheed problem out of the way."