Someone’s Feeling Octopushy

, , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

I am a university freshman and I’ve just moved out of my home to study in a prestigious university. I get most of my after-lesson meals at a small Apulian sandwich shop. I usually order either a calzone and a beer or a sandwich with bologna, chard, and chickpea mousse, plus some tonic water if I felt in a healthier mood. One day, after several months, I notice that they also have an octopus, dried tomato, and olive puree sandwich. Curious, I set out to order it.

Me: “Hello. I would like a Monopoli-style sandwich and a tonic water.” 

Cashier: *Snapping around to face me* “No, we don’t have that. We haven’t had any octopus for months. Do [University] students talk to each other, or is being annoying know-it-alls toward us common mortals all they do?”

I’m taken aback and, obviously, offended. After some confused sputtering, I collect myself enough to speak up again.

Me: “Get me your manager, please.”

The cashier turns around and claps a couple of times, and the manager, a woman looking very much like the cashier, arrives.

Manager: *Blithely* “Yo, what’s going on?”

Cashier: “This guy over here wants to talk to you.”

Me: *Annoyed* “Yeah, I’d like to complain about your cashier; she’s being rude to me over a question.”

Cashier: “He asked me if we had anything with octopus! Again! It’s not my fault students from [University] keep thinking it’s like back at Daddy’s home and want everything right now.”

Me: *Bellowing somewhat* “I just asked for a sandwich, politely at that, and you blew to me—”

Manager: “Yeah, yeah. What counts as polite in your mansion isn’t polite in the real world. Now get out.”

Me: “Gladly.”

I stormed out and went out to try out the university canteen, which did prove to be pretty decent, actually. As it turned out, the university I went to had a reputation as a “gentrification machine” of unheard-before proportions, and the owners of the shop were two activist sisters doing activism against it, but, even so, was it really necessary to insult somebody for a simple question?

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