Thursday, July 7, 2011

Meat-mare on Elm Street ...

I'm pretty lousy at being an asshole, but I was doing my best impersonation of one at the very special sandwich shop I go to every g'damn day.

I was behind a clunky trio. Each customer seemed depressed by the amount of options browning and curdling behind the sneeze guard. This always puts me a little on edge, when the choreography is slowed by indecision. I have a limited amount of time and it's not like this place is rotating in mystery stock just to fuck with people.

"Would you like any bok choy or sunflower seeds on your sandwich?"
(Head explosion)

Although they did just add an ice cream scoop of avocado to the assembly line and I once saw a Super Type A customer go bonkers when she considered the way this particular vegetable could improve upon just plain bacon. And so she carefully orchestrated a specific amount of avocado that was not quite two scoops, but more than one.

There was a new kid working. He had a horseshit short-term memory, but he made up for it by being loud. Forgetting the type of meat as he sliced into the bread; forgetting the type of cheese as he slapped down the meat. All the while annunciation very clearly "What kind of sandwich was that?"

I imagined his interview with the store manager.

Store manager: "So, what qualities do you have that would make you a good sandwich artist."
Kid: "WELL. I'M ENTHUSIASTIC!"
Store manager: "Enthusiasm. ... That's great. This place needs enthusiasm. What else?"
Kid: "WELL. I'M ENTHUSIASTIC!"

I wanted a 6 inch ham and turkey on Italian Herb & Cheese. With cheddar.

"WAIT. WHAT KIND OF SUB?" he asked, eyeballing the half a loaf.
"Ham and turkey."
"HUH?"
"Ham and turkey."
"WHAT?"
"Ham and turkey. You know, today's special?"
(This is the part where I let some annoyance slip through the seams).

He piled four folded circles of ham on the sandwich.

"WAIT. WHAT KIND OF CHEESE AGAIN?"
"Cheddar," I said. "But you forgot the turkey."
"HUH?"
"You forgot the turkey," I said.
"A HAM AND CHEESE SUB DOESN'T HAVE TURKEY ON IT," he said.
"I ordered a HAM AND TURKEY SUB," I said.
"HUH?"
"I ordered a ham and turkey sub," I said more coolly.
So he added four slices of turkey to the sandwich, and then someone else took over with the fixins.

"You gotta lay off the Monster Energy Drinks," one of the employees ribbed the newbie sandwich artist. Gave him a buddy slap on the back.

And that's when I realized that this was all my fault.
"The special," I heard myself saying in my head. "The special. The special. The special."

But it was a Tuesday, reader(s). Monday's special is Ham & Turkey. Not Tuesday.

I thought about apologizing for the confusion, but mostly I was relieved that I didn't accidentally go apeshit on the cashier when she didn't charge me the special rate.

The window for a not awkward apology passed. It was still bothering me when I sat down to eat my sandwich. It bothered me right up until I realized the sandwich was super gross -- sweaty with four too many slices of meat -- unbalanced next to the lettuce, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos.

And also: Tuesday's special isn't Ham & Cheese, either.

2 comments:

Futbol said...

when i first got to the U.S., i'd always order that same bread, except i called it "italian HERBS (strong H) and cheese" because i thought that was how it was pronounced. like herbie hancock or herbert hoover.

then one day my friend chotchsky said he'd stop coming to subway with me if i kept doing that.

so i checked the internet, because i had no idea what he was talking about: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=herb

ultimately i decided to keep saying HERBS, to piss off chotchsky and the sandwich artists alike.

Sproactually said...

Apparently this whiz kid with the attention span of a gnat has a brother, he works at the subway in the Sunoco in Highland.

Reminds of Dorrie from finding Nemo, oh hi, hey, this is new...