This Story Gets Darker And Darker

, , , , | Right | September 10, 2020

I’ve worked at this particular sandwich shop for over five years and have yet to have a customer complaint called in on me, which is no easy feat.

A middle-aged woman steps up to order. It’s important to note that I tend to explain things to customers if they seem like they need it so maybe next time they will order correctly.

Me: “Hi, how are y—”

Customer: “Give me some of that dark bread!”

I pause; there are two types of bread that could be considered dark.

Me: “We have [bread #1] and [bread #2]. Which one would yo—”

Customer: “I ain’t got time for this. Gimme that dark bread!”

I make a guess and pick [bread #1] and place it on the counter to cut it.

Customer: “Is that bread soft?”

Me: “I baked all of these breads less than two hours ago.”

I offer the bread to her to feel; we are allowed to do this as long as, if they don’t want the bread, we credit it and don’t use it. She shakes her head and waves me off.

Customer: “I ain’t got time for this. Put some of that dark turkey on it!”

I look at the meat options and nothing there could be construed as dark turkey; our turkey meat is made from turkey breast. She starts pointing at what she wants, but the way our unit is set up, it’s nearly impossible to accurately tell what a customer is pointing at, so I start pointing for her. I point at the turkey, no, ham, no, then…

Customer: “That! That dark turkey!”

Me: “Okay, so this is what you want on your sandwich? No problem! Just so you know, this is roast beef.”

Customer: “I ain’t got time for this. I want some of that turkey on it, too.”

I pause; we don’t have a sandwich made up of turkey and roast beef. I try to figure if I should just do a double-meat sandwich or a [sandwich type]. 

Me: “Okay, we don’t have a sandwich that’s just turkey and roast beef, but we do have a [sandwich type], but it also has ham. I could leave the ham off, if you want?”

Customer: “I ain’t got time for this.”

I decide to do the [sandwich type] minus the ham and put the standard amount of meat on it and slide the sandwich down.

Customer: “Is that all the meat I get?”

Me: “That’s the standard amount; if you like, I could add double meat but it’s an extr—”

Customer: “I ain’t got time for this. I want some extra meat.”

I slide the sandwich back down, redistribute and add to the meat, and slide it to the previous position. Corporate has just mandated that we aren’t supposed to ask about cheese anymore since cheese doesn’t fit with the nutritional brand profile — and yes, I know it is stupid.

Me: “Would you like this toasted?”

Customer: “I ain’t got time for this.”

Okay, not toasted, then. I go to move down to the veggies.

Customer: “What, I ain’t get cheese on it?”

I pause and give a hopefully chagrined smile.

Me: “You can absolutely have cheese! We just aren’t allowed t—”

Customer: “I ain’t got time for this. Gimme that white cheese.”

I look down at the four varieties of cheese we offer, all white. Rather than asking, I just grab the most commonly used cheese and put it on the sandwich.

Customer: “Is that all the cheese I get?”

Me: “It’s the standard amount. If you’d like extra—”

Customer: “I ain’t got time for this. Gimme more cheese.”

I put extra on and move to the veggies.

Customer: “What, you ain’t going to toast it?”

Me: “No problem!”

I turn and grab the necessary items and put the sandwich on the tray.

Customer: “What, I ain’t get no veggies on it?”

I smile slightly, again.

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry! We don’t typically put veggies on before something’s toasted because it wilts the veggies, but we can absolutely—”

Customer: “I ain’t got time for this. Put some tomatoes on there.”

I pull the sandwich, still on the paddle for toasting, back to the veggies and add the requested tomatoes. As I go to put the sandwich in the toaster, my eagle-eyed manager sees me shake my head an inch — something that would be very believable as part of the motion to put the sandwich in the toaster if you were looking from behind like the customer. The next thing I know, my coworker, who was washing dishes, comes from the back.

Coworker: “Hey, [Manager] wants to see you in the back. You go on, and I’ll finish.”

I nod and head towards the back, but not before plugging in what the sandwich and its extras are on the register. When I walk into the back, [Coworker #2] bursts out laughing.

Coworker #2: “How did you keep your cool for so long while eight months pregnant?!”

And that’s how I kept my customer-complaint-free streak going until I left after the baby was born.

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