I have to take a small break from my Christmas stories past for a moment to lodge my very first old lady rant. I didn't realize I was an old lady until I started telling this story to people, but now I realize it's official...I'm old, I'm cranky, and I'm not taking it anymore!
Last week I was closing up my office for the weekend. I had a headache and I needed to get something fast and easy for dinner because I was hosting a Party lite party at my house and didn't want to cook (Okay, I never want to cook.) or mess up the kitchen before my guests arrived.
There is a national chain sub shop near my office. I won't mention the name, let's just say they pride themselves in being "FREAKY FAST." I go there easily once or twice a week for lunch. I love their veggie sub. Since the shop is between my office and home, I thought it would be great to pick up subs for dinner. But since I had a headache, I didn't feel like standing in the shop because, well, the music is always, always always BLARING. Normally that doesn't bother me that much, but like I said, I had a headache.
So I called ahead to place an order by phone. The woman answered the phone and I said, "I'd like to place an order for pick up, please."
She: "Is the order for more than 5 sandwiches?"
I: No, it's for four.
She: I can't take a phone order for anything that's not more than five sandwiches.
I: What? You can't take my order? I'm a three minute drive from your shop.
She: Well, it takes us less than a minute per sandwich so we can't take a phone order for four sandwiches. Phone orders have to be for more than five sandwiches.
I: (Wondering why she doesn't just say SIX) so you're refusing to take my order?
She: I can't take a phone order unless it's for more than five sandwiches.
So I hung up and drove the three minutes to the shop. I entered the store at 4:06. I walked up to the counter. There were five employees visible. Two were cutting plastic wrap on the counter to my left. One was on the phone, I can only assume NOT taking phone orders, one was in the back, washing something, and one was standing behind the cash register looking at me.
The music was blaring.
I walked up to the cash register and looked up to the menu board. The guy looking at me didn't welcome me to the shop. Didn't say anything. I looked at him. He was looking at me. I looked at him, then looked at the menu board, then looked at him again. He kept looking at me, saying nothing. Everyone else was busy, and not looking up because they didn't hear me because the MUSIC WAS BLARING.
Finally, Staring Guy says, "I don't know what to do."
I gotta be honest. I've NEVER been told that at a restaurant. And I've certainly never said it at a job. "I don't know what to do?" hey, Ding Ding, how about poking one of your coworkers with something pointy and waking them up to the fact that a PAYING CUSTOMER just walked through the door?
At this point I have a mental clock ticking in my head. That might have just been my head pounding I don't know.
So after staring at me for a few more ticks, he walks back to the guy in the back. I hear nothing (Except for the music) but I can read body language. There's a lot of pointing and shrugging. I guess when the music is so loud, employees have to resort to a sort of primitive sign language to communicate. But the good news is that everyone in the surrounding area can hear the music.
(Plastic cutting guys still haven't looked up and Phone chick is still on the phone...probably refusing to take orders.) Guy in the back strolls up to the cash register like I haven't been standing there for an eon. He takes my order.
Then it gets interesting. See, normally there's a line of people assembling sandwiches because, you know, they are FREAKY FAST. Not on this day. On this day NO ONE is assembling anything. Guys are cutting plastic wrap, girl is on the phone, Staring guy is Staring and cash guy starts working on my four sandwiches. Phone girl gets off the phone and joins cash guy. (On a side note: Neither washed their hands or put on gloves before handling my food.)
Staring guy kept staring. Cutting guys kept cutting. Music kept blaring.
They finally bag up my order and I leave. The time: 4:16.
I spent 10 solid minutes in the store. And all because they refused to take my order over the phone. Had they taken the order over the phone, the entire transaction would have taken six minutes, including ordering time. Instead, if you count the phone call, my order time took 14 minutes.
Oh, and my headache didn't get BETTER standing in the shop with the music pounding.
But at least I can rest assured that plenty of PLASTIC WRAP was cut. (Although why they needed that much, I don't know. They wrap their sandwiches in paper.)
Yes, I did send a sternly worded email to the corporate office. And now I'm waiting for something from them...free coupons, free sandwiches for life, something like that. Maybe Staring guy will get trained before he's unleashed on the unsuspecting public. Anything.
Meanwhile, in telling this story one thing has become abundantly clear to me. I'm going to make a MOST EXCELLENT ANGRY OLD WOMAN!
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