--> divine angst: lunch

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Dear National Deli Restaurant Chain,

Look, I know you guys at the To-Go counter were in the weeds when I walked in at 1:20. I tried to be respectful of that, and ordered clearly and quickly. And then I stood back because I was in no big rush. I knew I'd just end up eating my sandwich at my desk.

But somehow, my order must have had "Rush" written on it in invisible-only-to-me ink. I know this because the girl who packed up my bag was throwing things in it so fast that she tipped the container of au jus—just enough to dampen the bottom of the bag. And then she shoved my sandwich and chips on top of the container—crushing my chips, by the way—compounding the problem, and what happened then? Poof! went the bottom of the bag and Splash! went the au jus all over my pants. Glad I'm wearing black, machine washable pants today!

I can't complain too much; after all she was very apologetic and gave me lots of extra napkins and a sturdier, albeit ginormously large, new bag with handles. No, the big problem was the sandwich itself. And for this, I have to look at the sandwich assembly line guys.

Guys. I know, I know, how much it sucks to be swamped with the lunch crowd. All those people, grumbling because they're hungry. The phone ringing off the hook. Cashier girl screeching about waiting To-Go orders. I know you were probably flustered when you made my food, and that's how you managed to stack all the lettuce on one side of my bun and all of the roast beef on the other. And I know you were stressed when you flopped the tomato on top of it all so it would stick halfway out of the lettuce side of the sandwich. I sense that you were probably pissed off at someone, too, maybe your ex-girlfriend, because you wrapped my round sandwich into a baguette shape. I feel ya, man. I do. But for the love, please don't take it out on the food! Oh, my poor sandwich, reduced to a soggy, mushy, couldn't-dip-you-in-the-jus-if-I-wanted-to heap of sadness!

For my sake, and for the sake of the poor, innocent sandwiches, take a few deep breaths, relax your shoulders, and chill. We'll all be a lot happier, with you and with our sandwiches.