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.