Much A-Gluten About Nothing

, , , , , , | Working | December 18, 2012

(I have celiac disease, which is a severe intolerance to wheat gluten, but I’m rather timid about it. However, my university’s food court has recently undergone massive training for food handling with regard to cross-contamination, so I decide to take advantage.)

Me: “Hi, can I get a tuna sandwich on gluten-free bread?”

Employee: *annoyed* “Are you really allergic?”

Me: “Yes, I’m extremely sensitive. Thank you for checking.”

Employee: *sighs* “Okay… well, it’s going to take a while.”

(The employee makes a big show out of gathering the ingredients for my sandwich, which are in special containers so as to prevent contamination with normal bread. She is sighing and rolling her eyes all the while. When another customer walks up, she yells to her coworker.)

Coworker: “What’s the big deal?”

Employee: *loudly* “I’ve gotta make this lady a gluten-free sandwich, and it’s going to take forever!”

Coworker: “Ugh, that’s so annoying!”

Employee: “And it’s such a waste of food.”

Another Customer: “What’s the problem?”

Coworker:She has to make a gluten-free sandwich, which is really annoying and takes forever because we have to go in the back and get special ingredients and make sure nothing touches anything. Then, the ingredients go bad because nobody eats them. I don’t understand why people have to be such picky eaters, you know?”

Employee: *to me, sarcastically* “Here’s your sandwich. Have a great day.”

Me: “Thanks. And I’m so terribly sorry for making you have to do your job correctly!”

(I later called the manager to complain, who was very apologetic. He called me back to let me know he fired both employees after the incident. It turns out it wasn’t the first complaint that they’d gotten regarding the very same issue. The worst part of the story? I still got incredibly sick from the sandwich.)


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