Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Quiznos, aka The Sandwich Nazis

Too lazy to make a real choice as to what to have for lunch today, I found my feet wandering over the Quiznos, figuring that it would be a decent, and cheap, option. I had no idea what I was in for.

I got in and stood in a relatively short line -- and I soon came to find out why it was so short. Everyone -- and I mean everyone -- behind the counter was Speedy Gonzalez on crack. Everyone before me placed their orders quickly, seemingly afraid that if they didn't act in time their sandwiches would be snatched from them. It was often difficult to get a word in edgewise that wasn't a direct response to a question, even if it was relevant.

Counter lady: Can I take your order?
Customer: Roast beef sandwich please?
Counter lady: Size?
Customer: Oh, uh, small please.
Counter lady: Lettuce tomato?
Customer: Sure. Oh, could I...
Counter lady: NEXT!

Okay, so that customer was me. I had wanted to specify wheat bread, but apparently when you're ordering a small sandwich, you have no choice in the matter. Either that, or she just didn't care to give me a choice.

Counter lady, as it turns out, was in charge of the first half of sandwich construction only. She passed the sandwich to the guy next to her, whose job it was to add the meats and run the item through the "toasty" machine. So he diligently weighed my roast beef and put my sandwich on the grill... all before I could open my mouth to blurt out "CouldIGetCheeseOnThat?"

He didn't seem to hear me, and indeed, he had already turned his attention to the next sandwich waiting to be made in front of him. The woman in line behind me was nice enough to try to help. "I don't think he heard you," she said, and piped up on my behalf: "EXCUSE ME SIR, COULD HE GET CHEESE ON HIS ROAST BEEF?"

This broke the flow of traffic rather abruptly for the well-oiled Quiznos machine. Both Counter Lady and Counter Guy stopped and consulted with each other for a second before reaching their almost Dolby-stereo conclusion: "that doesn't come with cheese."

Never mind that I would have been willing to pay for it, but oh well. I just sighed and said, "Never mind." I turned to the woman behind me and said, "Really, I'm just not in the mindframe to fight for it." She agreed: "You gotta pick your battles."

We got to the other side of the toast machine where yet another employee was standing there waiting. "Lettuce," he said as he slapped some lettuce on my sandwich, "Here or to go?" he added. The two phrases blended together in one smooth breath.

"To go please," I said. Looking down at the assortment of sandwich add-ons he had in front of him, I noticed some extra stuff ("They got a pepper bar!") and before I opened my mouth say "Could you toss some pickles on there too?" my sandwich was already wrapped up and halfway down the counter.

The woman behind me noticed what happened and chuckled. "Quite efficient here, aren't they?" I asked rhetorically. She smiled.

For some reason I found the entire situation insanely funny, so that by the time I got to the cashier, I couldn't even tell the guy what I had. I had burst out into laughter at how comical the whole event had come.

"What?" Cashier Man asked. "What's so funny?"

But I couldn't stop laughing. I was literally shaking.

Eventually I let it out. "Small roast beef." And I kept laughing.

"Everything okay? If anything's wrong, I need to know," he tried to help. I imagine he saw at least some of my aborted attempts to add stuff to my sandwich.

"It's all good," I responded. "It's all good."

It was a small sandwich, and not terribly filling, but at least it was cheap.


Dr. Sparky said...

At least you didn't spend your whole lunch hour in line. I do that at my Quiznos.

Cincy Diva said...

I think Q's is horribly overpriced and ours are so slow it is ridiculous. Maybe we need a sandwich Nazi invasion!

Dop said...

You and I clearly handle things different. Things would have come to a grinding halt back at the cheese man had I been there. I'm a stickler for good (or any) customer service. But glad you enjoyed yourself!