American Meat Deli Guy

One time, I went to a convenience store and I ordered my normal hoagie - american & provolone cheese, mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, lettuce. They took the order on a check-style sheet, so they check off what you want, you go shop, pay, then pick up. I got iced tea, paid, returned to counter. The tough guy 19-year-old kid Ray handed me a sandwich - sometimes you have to pick them up, sitting there (usually) with the yellow copy of your sheet taped on, to verify it’s yours. But he saw me, handed it to me. I went home, unwrapped...meat.

So, I took it back, walked to the head of the line, and in a nice way said, “Hi. You gave me the wrong sandwich.” I could have said, and considered saying, “I think you gave me the wrong sandwich” but decided on the way that was needlesssly wimpy and might cause confusion.

His response? “You probably took the wrong sandwich.”

Me, less nice: “No, you handed it to me. You put it right in my hand.”

Him: “Hold on.”

He made two sandwiches, I was watching him, because I figured if he made mine he’d spit in it. He was eyeing me, the line was very long now. He was whispering things to his co-sandwich-maker, then they’d smile.

So he gets to me, opens the sandwich, and says, “What did you get?”. I repeat everything. He’s verifying it in the sandwich, trying to prove me wrong.

“Oh, yeah that’s the confusing part. I thought you meant American MEAT and provolone. That’s what I thought you said.”

I said, “no meat. Just cheese.”

“What kind of cheese?” he asked.

“American and provolone.” I replied.

“Oh, yeah that’s the confusing part. I thought you meant (pretending he remembered this event, though it happened five minutes before, literally, he couldn’t even remember me when I walked in...but he now remembered his thoughts in making the sandwich) American MEAT and provolone. That’s what I thought you said.”

Now I was pissed off, talking louder while about fifteen people in line were listening, probably not happy I cut to the front.

“Really? I don’t think so, because I said, “American and Provolone” and you asked, ‘Both?’ And you checked off two boxes in the ‘cheese’ section, nothing in ‘meat’. Also, I’ve never heard of anything called ‘American Meat’, and you put tomatoes on that hoagie, too, which I didn’t ask for.”

He was really glaring at me now. He just said, “Okay. I’ll make it now.” So I watched very closely as he remade my sandwich, thanked him, cut to the front of the counter line and said to the cashier, “I already paid for this - they had to re-make it because they made it wrong.” He said, “wait a second.” Rung up the next guy, and either wanted me to keep waiting or forgot about me, though I was in front of him.

So I walked out, he called to me, said he wanted me to wait. People were looking at me as if I was a sandwich thief now, though one who foolishly pointed out he was stealing a sandwich to the cashier and waited before running.

I kept walking out, he said, “I just have to make sure you paid already.” I called behind me, still walking, “Ask Ray then.” And left. He started to walk out from behind the counter, but because he was the only one there, stopped, and was asking Ray something as I left. That’s it.

I have needless problems with people in customer service positions these days.