Overly friendly sandwich shop employees

Maybe I’m still an East Coaster at heart. Or maybe I’m getting old and crabby.

Me at a popular sandwich spot. Bubbly hipster employee. All of her delivery using HRT.

BHE: “Hi! Welcome to ____! Can I help you choose a sandwich? We have-”

Me: “I’ll have the ________.”

BHE: “Oh, yeah! That is one of my favorites! I really like the hummus that’s in it. Good choice! Y’know, I think some crispy cucumber slices really, like, add something to this sandwich, and they’re only like 30 cents more. Would you like to give them a shot?”

Me: “Sure.”

BHE: “Awesome! Now, like, what kind of bread would you like? We have, like, sourdough, Dutch crunch, whole wheat-”

Me: “Sourdough.”

BHE: “Awesome! And what cheese would you like with that? I personally like-”

Me: “Provolone.”

BHE: (Looks like she’s about to tell me I have terminal cancer) “Ohhhh, I am SO sorry. We don’t have provolone. I totally understand you wanting provolone because it is like SO great-”

Me: “Cheddar is fine.”

BHE: “Oh, OK. Cheddddaarrr [types it into the terminal]. Is there anything else you’d like? We have a lot of really awesome drinks, like chocolate-”

Me: “Just water, thanks.”

BHE: “OK. A bottle of water. Really a great choice because you can get like TOTALLY thirsty eating one of our sandwiches! That’ll be $13.91 [yes, that expensive].”

Me: [hands over card]

BHE: [looks at card] “Thank you, J___! Now that will just take a couple of seconds here. [5 seconds later] I am SO sorry this is taking SO long. Sorry, J___! It should only take like a FEW more seconds.”

Me: [looks at her incredulously]

BHE: “Awesome. Could you sign here? Now you get to choose a bag of chips. Do you like barbecue-flavored chips, J____?”

Me: “Um, I don’t know. Whatever.”

BHE: “I REALLY like the Funky Fusion chips. They are like this melange of barbecue, cheese, vinegar, pepper and all these other great flavors. They’re really great! [laughs] Thanks, J____! Your sandwich should be out in just, like, 5-10 minutes, J____!”


We should have nipped the “Would you like fries with that?” stuff in the bud when we had the chance…


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  1. You don’t like this? I think it’s great when you can have conversations with your service providers that go beyond direct orders. Makes it feel like a more human interaction you know? I know our friend Ryan Hupfer would agree.

    Comment by Jason — July 25, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

  2. To me it feels utterly inauthentic. A service provider should be polite, but brief. I’m not going to have any truly meaningful interaction with someone who’s taking my sandwich order (and it’s not meaningful to her, either). I’d rather get my sandwich quick and save some time to have meaningful interactions outside the sandwich shop. 🙂

    Comment by JM — July 27, 2011 @ 9:21 am

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