Editor, the Gauntlet,
So, the other day I’m at Pastels in Mac Hall, ordering a baguette, as they’re one of the only things you can buy in MSC that doesn’t taste like a deep-fried scab. Anyway, I order the sub and the guy behind the counter stares at the girl wrapping sandwiches for no less than a full minute before swiping my card through the machine.
Okay. Cool. Whatever.
So then he calls a girl from the back to come and make the sandwich, and she runs around for another minute or so before finding some gloves to make it with. Then she looks around for a knife for a little while. When she realizes that it was in front of her on the table, she methodically slices open the loaf, and starts building the sandwich.
“Uh, sorry, no mayo. Could I get some cheese and get it toasted though?” I ask.
She smiles and nods empathetically. I give her a double thumbs-up and wait for my sandwich to be toasted. Once it’s out of the oven, she again begins to build it without consultation. This could just be me, but I was under the distinct impression that the point of ordering a sandwich fresh is so it’s built to spec.
“Uh, hey, sorry. Could I maybe get some salsa and ranch on that before anything else?”
Another empathetic nod. To her credit, she follows my instructions before she starts making the sandwich the way she figures it should be made.
“Hey, sorry again, but no cucumbers please,”
She frowns, and reluctantly replaces the cucumbers in their tray.
“Just lettuce, onions and tomatoes please,”
She puts tomatoes and onions on it.
“You want some lettuce?”
She finishes making the sandwich, and hands it to me with a charming smile. I smile back and mutter a parting greeting, feeling as if I’d bonded with my sandwich maker during our 15 minutes together.
That’s when I recognized the genius behind Pastel’s plan. By taking so long in the simple construction of a sandwich, forgoing the efficiency of The Bake Chef’s ‘checklist’ system, Pastels is able to forge lasting relationships between its sandwich making employees and their customers.
Thank you, Pastels, for teaching me the value of friendship.
Editor, the Gauntlet,