Monday, September 26, 2016

A Tale of Two Subways

It was the best of sandwiches, it was the worst of sandwiches, it was the age of retirement, it was the age of first-jobbiness, it was the epoch of baby boomers, it was the epoch of millennials, it was the season of great expectations, it was the season of work-on-a-Monday, it was the lunch of hope, it was the lunch of get-out-of-here-I-was-gossiping-in-the-back, it was the beginning of autumn, it was the first day of the rest of your life; I had a sandwich.

Oh, dear. Kids these days just don't have the same work ethic as the oldsters. Sorry to break that news to you. I'm sure you hadn't noticed. Today's lunch just reminded me of this phenomenon.

I  ran to town (not for my 44 oz Diet Coke, that was just a happy side trip) to deposit the OU refund check for The Pony's first semester into his college savings credit union account. He's actually making money his first semester at an out-of-state university. Can't beat that with a stick! We don't expect it in future years, because housing is only paid for freshman year. But it's nice while you can get it. Anyhoo...I went in Walmart for a couple of crucial items I didn't get Friday when I did the shopping. Namely, Sno*Caps, which they were out of then, and my new favorite fast food: Great Value Salisbury Steak Frozen Dinner.

I am sure you all shudder at Val's dietary habits. But her choices over the past six months have led to significant shrinkage. And NOT the cold water frightened turtle kind. So I stopped by the in-store Subway after my shopping. It's not like I ordered the foot-long tuna salad, one of my favorites. I haven't enjoyed that repast in quite some time. Wise choices, people. (With the exception of picking up lunch from Subway.) I had the roasted chicken on wheat, with spicy mustard, tomato, pickles, and onion.

Is it just me, or does roasted mean something different to us than it does to Subway? Because I imagine a fowl fresh from the oven, perhaps with crackly skin, meat that is moist and tasty. Subway seems to think roasting involves soaking in a metal vat of water! Go figure! I order it not so much for the taste as for the good source of protein. They can't soak the protein out of my chicken, by cracky!

Anyhoo, I remembered why I don't frequent the on-premises Subway at Walmart today. Only two reasons, actually. The food, and the service. Which are kinda in the top two of why you would go to a certain food establishment. We have three Subways around here. The one I go to by Save A Lot and the one inside Walmart are owned by the same person. You could never tell that if you didn't have insider knowledge. The one in Walmart is the lesser Subway.

Oh, what's that? You want me to get on with it? Here's the scoop. I paid for my groceries and went into Subway. It was still early. Around 11:00. Only one guy was in there, already with his sammich, sitting at a table, eating. I saw two girls in uniform in the back, talking. This Subway is backwards. You go in, go all the way to the opposite end, then build your sandwich working your way back to the Walmart. I know they saw me come in. I stood a few minutes, looking at the reverse set-up that was different from the last time I was there, circa 2010. Nobody came to wait on me. So I dinged the bell like the one they have at the dead-mouse-smelling post office.

A gal in her late teens/early 20s came out. She was polite enough. Got right to the order. Asked all the right questions. BUT she mutilated my bread. At the OTHER Subway, I saw a lady throw away TWO LOAVES of bread. For my sandwich. She cut it in half, and it didn't lay like she expected, and she tossed it. I remember thinking at the time, "She could have used that bread. She must be causing them a lot of losses if she does this every time." Still, I got a good sandwich from her. Notice that she was a LADY, not a GAL.

This Gal sliced the wheat loaf in half just fine. But in opening it up, she tore the end. TORE IT! Like, two inches of the curvy end ripped across. It was a flap at the end of the sandwich. I was sure she was going to get me different bread. But she didn't. She went on building that sandwich. Here's the thing about the lesser Subway. They think they're hiding the fact that their roasted chicken sits in a metal vat of water. They're not. I saw Gal reach behind the counter and grab it with tongs. It still dripped. Just because it's not out front for me to see her lift the lid and go fishing for it does not change the facts.

One thing the lesser Subway has that the greater Subway doesn't is PRETZELS. Giant, doughy, bigger-than-a-human-head twisty pretzels! Plain. With salt. With cinnamon sugar. Oh, how I would have dearly loved a giant pretzel! But I made the wise choice not to partake. I paid a dollar extra for my lesser sandwich (I can't believe it costs more here) and headed for my soda and home. Once there, I sliced more dill pickle and a whole red onion and added them to my sandwich. Nom nom.

It was like some great stuffed overflowing taco that Jamie Oliver might pretend the public schools are funded to feed to their students. Cram-packed with chicken, tomatoes, dill pickles, red onion, and spicy mustard. Several times I looked down to see a sliver of onion resting upon my shirt. The inner paper that I had swaddled my sandwich in grew porous with juices. And spicy mustard. It quickly became as sodden as an overnight diaper. But that didn't stop me from enjoying it! Once I ate the plain crusty bread that broke off the end. You don't think I would throw it away, do you? Have you smelled Subway's bread?

Anyhoo...my point, back when I started, was that the younger generation does not seem to place importance on a job well done. A job done well-enough is fine with them. We aging baby boomers beg to differ.

So let me tell you, Little Miss Subway, just trying to get by: It was a far, far better sandwich that I made, than you will ever do; it is a far, far better work ethic that I have, than you will ever know.

12 comments:

  1. That must have been a Dickens of a sandwich!!

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    1. Heh, heh! Wish I'd thought of that!

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  2. I guess it's human nature to criticize young people when we get older. They just aren't perfect like we all were back in the day.

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    1. Young people? I'm an equal opportunity criticizer! Just wait until after my upcoming casino visit on Saturday. Not gonna be many millennials there. I'm usually one of the youngest money-thrower-awayers on the premises.

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  3. Is that a Dickens in your pocket, or are you just a clever writer?

    (Was there a woman sitting and knitting in Subway, to chronicle all the horrors?)

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    1. If he's in there, he's fighting for room with a white plastic toothpick with a brushy end, a Walmart store brand Pepcid (mint flavor, pink for store brand, not green for name brand), and a Bufferin.

      No knitting woman. Nor was there a raggedy urchin imploring the Gal, "Please, sir. I want some more."

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  4. A few years ago I went to a Subway with my yearly fly fishing buddies and everyone of us was sick from all ends for several days. I will never eat a Subway again.

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    1. Oh, dear. You were all in need of one of those new-fangled feces transplants! Remember? I shared it with you a while back...

      http://unbaggingthecats.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-we-have-here-is-success-to.html

      Obviously, you didn't have the gray wet roasted chicken sandwich. I was fine.

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  5. All that and Dickens too! And from a retired science teacher! Will wonders never cease? Well maybe they have at the Lesser Subway.

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    1. I count myself lucky that there was no hair on my sandwich (so I could have said, "You served me a hair with a sandwich around it"), and that the gray wet roasted chicken slab did not fight with the nearly-severed bread-end in my stomach, and make me break my no-vomit record of 14 years.

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  6. I stay away from Subway, but now you have me wondering about their tuna.

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    1. I find it quite delectable, with tomatoes, pickles, and onions, but it's more calories than I want to invest at the moment. If I'm going all out, it's not gonna be on a Subway sandwich! They always ask what kind of cheese I want. Seriously? Do people put cheese on tuna salad? Not this old Val, that's for sure.

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