Thursday, May 10, 2007

I Am Invisible

Lunch time.  I'm sick of my two regular lunch haunts so I go to Primo's, a tiny little cafe across the street.  There are three employees there, myself, and another customer.  Me and the other customer pretty much hit the door at the same time.  Being the polite individual I am, I stood back a minute looking at the menu, trying decide what I wanted to eat before stepping up to the register.  Other customer was not so polite.  She went right up to the register and then took, like, FIVE MINUTES to order, 'cause she didn't know what she wanted.  By this time, of course, I knew what I wanted.  I could've bought it, paid for it, brought it back up to my office and started chowing down by the time she finished ordering.

Partway through her ordering process, the cashier said, "Hello," to me.  I asked, "Are you ready for me yet?"  She replied, "No," and rolled her eyes, while the other customer was trying to decide between the brownie and the lemon bar. 

I mentioned two other employees.  Neither one was interested in helping me.  One was standing a bit behind the counter, attempting to make the sandwich the customer had just ordered.  "Attempting" is the key word in this sentence, as you'll see in a minute.  The third employee was also standing around back there.  At one point, she offered me and the other customer frozen yogurt samples.  Seriously.  Time's a-wasting, people.

So.  Customer finally finishes her order and I'm about to place my order (which, by the way, is for some pre-made food, which any one of these dolts could've just handed me) and the cashier says, "I'll be with you in a second."  This because she has to go back and help employee number two make Customer's sandwich.  I kid you not.  Girlfriend does not know how to make a sandwich.  I apparently arrived on training day, and I have to stand there while it takes two people to spread mustard on bread and place the lettuce leaves just so.

Where is employee number three during all this? you ask.  A good question.  Employee number three is just standing around in the general vicinity of the cash register.  Now, I'm standing in front of the register and I've been waiting to order for ten minutes.  Everyone knows this.  Hell, employee number one just said she'd be with me in a second (that was a sandwich ago).  But employee number three makes no effort to assist me.  So we stand there staring at each other.

Until a man walks in, and she asks him what she can get him.  And before I get a word in edgewise, she's taken his order and starts filling it.  Employee number one had to have heard this -- it's a one-room cafe and she was only a couple feet back from the register.  But she was deep in sandwich-instruction and apparently missed it.

I'm about to place my order with employee number three when another customer walks in, and number three asks her what she wants.  At this point, I've lost all politeness and say, "Could I possibly get some food here?"

Three things happen.  The customer who had just walked in immediately walks out.  I don't know if she thought I was going to pull a gun or something, but she wanted none of it.  Employee number three, rather than apologizing and taking my order, is too confused to do anything and instead turns toward Employee number one (clearly the brains of the unit) and looks for guidance.

Employee number one, who has, by now, still not completed instructing employee number two in the fine art of sandwich building, tells Employee number three the fairly obvious fact that, "yes, she's been waiting here."  Employee number three is still confused by ... what?  my sudden apparition in front of her?  ... and is clearly incapable of handing me "that box of fruit and one of them hard-boiled eggs."  Employee number one finally finishes demonstrating for employee number two how to make the first customer's sandwich, and takes my order.

I'm going back to my regular lunch places.

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