Working at a sandwich shop is not for the faint of heart. Sandwich artists can determine a lot about your personality just by the toppings and the quantity of mayo you slap on your sandwich. Today I learned people like mayo on everything and that there are some unhealthy obsessions with olives.
The life of a sandwich artist. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Do You Forgive Me?
“Don’t work there anymore, but the one order that sticks in my mind above everything else was one time a guy came in on the phone to order two sandwiches and he explained one was for his 7 months pregnant wife so to please make it right, he has a list of exactly what she wants. So I made it exactly how it was written down, then made his and he paid and all was good in the world.
Then maybe ten minutes later the phone rings and I answer it and there is this woman on the phone just screaming at me telling me I made her sandwich wrong and how she wanted ranch instead of mayo and blah blah and that she would send her husband in to get it remade, ya know full Karen minus the ‘let me speak to the manager’ bit. So the guy comes back in and I immediately recognize him and he’s apologizing profusely explaining that his wife is pregnant and hormones and whatnot, and I assured him I’ve been yelled at for less it’s no big deal I’ll remake it at no charge, he has the offending sandwich, I remake it right and throw the old one away, and as I’m ringing up the order (even though it was free it still had to be rung up at $0 for bread count accuracy) the phone rings.
So I hand the man his sandwich and answer the phone and there is this woman on the phone hysterically crying on the other end and so I ask if she’s alright and she informs me that she called earlier and she felt horrible about yelling at me because she realized she wrote it down wrong and it wasn’t my fault and the whole time I’m just awkwardly telling her that it’s okay, no big deal we got it taken care of, you’re okay don’t worry about it, It’s no big deal. And then she, still sobbing, asks me straight up ‘do you forgive me?’ And I said ‘it’s all good no worries’ and she said ‘No. Do you forgive me?’ And I said ‘yeah don’t worry about it’ and she asked again ‘but do you forgive me?’ And I replied ‘yes, I forgive you. Have a great night ma’am.’ After which she hung up.
I still remember that even seven years later because it was the only time I’ve ever had a customer call back not only to apologize, but crying about it as well. Ironically for the question I don’t actually remember what the specific sandwich was, I wanna say it was an oven roasted chicken sandwich but I truly am just taking a shot in the dark.”
Black Pepper Is Good For Your Heart
“The weirdest or at least most disgusting one was this guy who would come in regularly and order a Tuna Pizza. We would literally take the tuna salad and just put a layer of it across the pizza then cover it with cheese and bake it for a few minutes. Holy moly the smell that would come off of that things was terrible.
Another was guy that ordered everything on a footlong. I mean every single kind of meat including like 3 or 4 different types of chicken, steak, meatballs, tuna, all the deli meat, all the cheese toasted, and then adding every single vegetable and condiment we owned. And we didn’t skimp on anything, he got exactly how much of each that should be on a footlong so as you can imagine it was literally impossible to fold so we basically just left it open faced and wrapped it in paper. Dude walked out after paying like $60 just for that 1 sandwich.
Last, I had a guy who would basically eat all the black pepper we had in stock. The first time I saw him and we got towards the end of me making his sandwich he was like ‘I want you to add a lot of black pepper, like just keep on going until you think wow there’s no way anyone would want this much black pepper on a sandwich, and then double that. I want you to add so much black pepper to the point that you think it’s going to be a health concern to actually serve this to me.’ And well, I’m not one to disappoint, so I kept on adding black pepper until he told me to stop and by then end of it I could no longer see any of the meat that he had on his sandwich, like honestly I had probably used like a quarter cup of black pepper by the time I finished. After he paid and took his sandwich he told me ‘you know black pepper is good for your heart?’ And to this day I have never looked that up to see if it’s true but this dude must be so convinced that I’m going to just believe him.”
“Worked at a BBQ place that mostly sold sandwiches. I worked the call ahead phones for a while and we had a customer call up and ask us if we could put the entire sandwich combo, sides and all, through a blender. Poor guy had jaw surgery and hadn’t eaten anything but fruit smoothies for almost a month. We didn’t even OWN a blender but this was one of those ‘never say no to the customer’ places and I could literally get written up for refusing a request. I got my manager on the line who tried his best to explain exactly how grotesque his order was but the guy wouldn’t budge.
Long story short, we bought a blender.”
“I worked at a small-town Subway for 5 years in High School and university. We had this guy come in that we called The Mountain. He was at least 300lbs and probably 6’5”. He always came in wearing full fleece camo outfit.
Anywho, his order would always be the same, which is why I remember it so well. The guy would get a footlong with the BBQ rib patty (the most disgusting thing on the menu) AND the veggie patty (the second most disgusting thing on the menu). He would also get quadruple extra bacon (the same amount as a footlong BLT with double meat). IN ADDITION to all the meat, he would get regular amounts of every cheese. Just to recap, at this point he has enough meat for 4 footlongs, and enough cheese for 4. On one God-darn footlong.
Now, here’s where it gets good. This dude wouldn’t get any veggies. He would ask for just salt (not salt and pepper, just salt). And the cherry on top, he would say ‘Don’t bother cutting it in half. Just gonna start at one end and stop at the other.’
To be fair, the veggie patty isn’t really disgusting. Every meat there is processed anyway, so it probably wasn’t appropriate for me to labelled it as the ‘second most disgusting’. However, the BBQ probably is. The box it is delivered in is labelled: ‘Boneless BBQ Rib shaped pork burger’. I don’t remember the exact wording, but all of those words were included in the title.
I estimated the cost to the best of my knowledge and ended up in the $26-28 CAD range. This was 8-10 years ago.
Another Subway memory: We had a ‘family’ dinner special where you buy 3 foot longs for $20 or whatever. A guy comes in and orders 3 footlong chicken teriyakis. Me: ‘Would you like them in a bag?’, Him: ‘No thanks, they are for here.’, there was no one else with him.
We have the Cold Cut Combo, which has been identified in the comments below as the most disgusting meat available. One guy came in and ordered a ‘Footlong Dirty-meat’. Though I had never heard the term before, I knew exactly what he meant.”
“I worked at a Jimmy Johns and someone wanted a tuna sandwich with bbq on it. Sounded gross, and we didn’t have bbq anyway. Later we randomly tried adding bbq chips on top of tuna sub just to see what it was like… it was bomb! It’s now my go-to order. I still haven’t tried actual bbq sauce, but now I understand the flavor combo at least.”
Avocado Free Guacamole
“I worked at subway and had a customer ask me for guacamole. She insisted I give her the guac without avocados. I explained there’s no such thing, then she pulled a Karen and asked for the manager. The manager explained what we all already know. The lady got louder and pointed at a pic on her phone she took last time she ordered it. The picture was of Pico de Gallo.
That, ladies and gents, was her ‘Avocado free guacamole.’
I took great joy explaining guac and pico de Gallo to Karen of Subway and why they made two words to describe two different items.
Face palm level: Infinite”
Plenty Of Pickles
“A lady came in with her toddler grandchild and ordered a kid’s sandwich for them. She explained that they only wanted pickles on their sandwich, no meat, no cheese, just pickles.
Now, according to Subway standards, I was supposed to put two slices of pickles on it, but even I knew that was gonna be a skimpy skimpy sandwich so I put like 5 or 6 on it. Mind you, we make the sandwich in front of the customer, and I always asked “how does it look” before closing it and wrapping it up. She said it was fine, and I finished making her sandwich and rang her up and they went to sit down and eat.
As I’m helping another customer, the lady comes storming back up to the counter and interrupts me complaining about how there aren’t enough pickles on the sandwich. I told her I would gladly put more pickles on the sandwich but explained to her that I specifically asked her if it looked fine and she said yes before I finished wrapping it up.”
Tennis Shoes And Footlongs
“Current manager at Subway. By far, the strangest customer I’ve ever had was a man, who would come in once or twice a week, for a span of 3 months, about 2 years ago.
Every time he visited, he would enter the store and linger in the lobby for several minutes, looking at our menu, before leaving and returning quite some time later. I’m not sure why. He always got the same thing. He was a very particular fellow. He needed his cheese cut up and sprinkled across his meat. And his veggies were peculiar. He would ask that we place a single cucumber, tomato, and pickle at each end and the very center of his sandwich (as opposed to evenly distributed across the entire thing.) He then asked that a single dollop of mustard, honey mustard, and brown mustard be topped in each stack of veggies before cutting the sandwich in half. Then, as he would eat, he would somehow unlace and remove each tennis show with only his feet. We would always take guesses where he was at with his meal based on the state of his footwear.
Then he just stopped coming one day.”
Workaholics Love Mustard
“Worked at Jimmy John’s in college.
Since we were next door to a bar and stayed open late, the place got packed with people who have been overserved. I worked a lot of closing shifts so I got to deal with these people a lot, and I loved it. Every now and then, someone would just come up to the register and slur, ‘Just give me whatever you recommend, whatever your favorite sandwich is’ and it was up to me to decide what kind of sandwich they got. Mind you, Jimmy John’s doesn’t have the largest menu so I couldn’t get too creative, but I enjoyed making tipsy people tuna and salami/capacola sandwiches and they always told me it was really good lmao.
Also, Adam Devine (the guy from Workaholics) puts an insane amount of mustard on his sandwiches. Great guy but I was just drowning his sandwich with mustard and he kept asking for more.”
“Had a very stoned guy come in and order a steak sub. He wanted every extra that he could get for free on it. I ask him if he’s sure. He. Wants. Everything. It ended up being steak with ketchup, mustard, mayo, bbq, ranch, honey mustard, Thai chili sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, olives, jalepenos, banana peppers, melted butter, and a few other random things I don’t remember. He made me go through all the screens on the register to make sure I didn’t miss anything. This thing was an abomination. The bread was so mushy from all the sauce. He sat in the dining room and ate the whole thing.”
Would YOU Be Happy With That Amount Of Olives?
“I worked at subway for 2ish years and had some great experiences.
Firstly, this guy used to come in and he wanted his food HOT. He would ask me to microwave his chicken in the microwave for 120 seconds before double or triple toasting it. I hated serving this guy but he only liked me serving him. So, during peak periods he wouldn’t let us do the production line method (one person cutting bread, one person doing meat, one on salads) because he only wanted ME to serve him. Pain in the rear because the food was so hot it was painful to touch.
As for weirdest weirdest sub, it was this guy who came in and asked for Double Tuna, Double Seafood Sensation (which we don’t do anymore) on a single sub covered in thousand island sauce and mayo. Just gross.
Then, when I was very new I had these two people come in and they wanted triple meatballs. Already this is hard to fit on the sub as you can imagine. Then, they wanted chicken schnitzel on top (significantly harder) and at this point I say ‘hey if you want salads on this I’m not going to be able to fit that many on because it won’t close’. They nodded understandingly then proceed to ask for more of EVERY SINGLE SALAD. I get to the end and I was staring at this monstrosity in front of me and I try to close it and that kahuna would not close at all. I asked my supervisor to close it who pushed the salad down with his bodyweight and closed it. Then, when I ask ‘Is that okay?’ they start going off at me because they’re not happy with the presentation. Some people are just miserable.
Finally, the reason why I quit was because I’d been working there for two years and I had this lady who kept on coming in just to bully me? Like, if I put olives on her sub and asked her if she wanted any more salads she would go ‘Would YOU be happy with that amount of olives??!?!?’ rather than just saying she wanted more olives. She acted like an entitled terror literally every single time she came in for MONTHS. The final straw was when she goes “I know you’re new here but you’re supposed to toast the bread without the cheese on it’ and I said back ‘I’ve worked here for over two years and that is definitely not our policy’ and she said ‘oh golly! I hope you don’t spit in my food next time I come in!’. I went home and was just so upset with this specific customer I called my boss and gave him my two weeks notice.
I don’t work in hospitality anymore thank god.”
Your Ugly Jeep!
“I have a few.
The Everything. Young guy came in and asked if it was possible to get a sub with everything – all the meats, salads and sauces. We ended up using two subs opened up to be the top and bottom, somehow it held together. It was super expensive and old mate ended up throwing most of it out after eating what he could with a knife and fork.
Pickle Man. He would order two subs, one for him and one for his wife. His was pretty normal, but hers would be ham and a mound of pickles. Literally 1/2 of the small square tub.
Entitled Bank Manager’s Son. This was the strangest way of ordering. He would normally get a pizza or meatball sub, but would rattle off his salads as fast as he could possibly speak. I would stand and just stare at him until he repeated them slower. He thought he was so cool and smug, but we all hated him. Get bent, Morgan and your ugly lame Jeep.”
I’ll Be Back
“I worked at a Subway during high school. One day, I had a kid come in, probably 11 years old, with a $20 bill and a big smile on his face (which was a nice change, since our Subway was located right next to a PC netcafe, and we usually had very rude kids come in).
Anyway, I greet the smiling young lad as normal, and ask what I can get him. In what sounded like Arnold Schwarzenegger straight out of a Terminator flick, he says, ‘Get me a footlong pastrami if you want to live… DOUBLE MEAT, NYAAAANGH!’
I chuckled and started with his order, cooking up the pastrami and putting it on the bread (CHEDDAR JALAPEÑO, NYAAAANGH!). After putting) loading up his bread with the meat, he gets this glimmer in his eye and tilts his head down, staring into my soul like Pennywise, and says ‘Mayo…’
So, I grab the mayo bottle, and after applying a NORMAL human amount of mayo to the bread, I set down the bottle. He smiles, keeping his Pennywise smile, and says ‘MORE mayo…’ So, I obliged, putting again as much mayo on it as I already had. Before I could even set the bottle down as it sputtered out the last bit that was in it, he again demanded, ‘MOOOOORE MAYO!’
Needing to replenish the mayo at this point, I went to the fridge to grab a large mayo bag and refill the bottle. While I was refilling the bottle, the kid’s eyes light up again, watching the half-inch hole in the gallon-size bag of mayo, and I know what he wants even before he says it. ‘Can… can you use the bag?’
Now, about this time I figured the kid was messing with me, so I stopped and asked him if he really intended to eat it, or if this was all just for show. He assured me, with dire seriousness, that he fully intended to eat the sandwich, and that mayo was his favorite thing in the world. With renewed confidence, I proceeded to indulge the little fella.
Sirens wailed and strobe lights flashed as the torrent of mayonnaise began to overwhelm the levees, washing over the poor, defenseless citizens of Pastramitown in a tsunami of suffocating creamy horror. As the tides subsided and the tiniest bits of pastrami barely protruded from the colossal mountain of mayonnaise on top. It was finally, at this moment, that the kid nodded in affirmation. The epic flood of biblical proportions on display before him, he was satisfied at last.
As I closed up the bread and mayonnaise oozed out the sides, making a huge mess inside the wrapping paper, he smiled and clapped his hands in ecstasy, jumping up and down in excitement. He paid for his sandwich (around $14) and tipped the rest of the $20. On his way out, he turned around and smiled at me, saying, ‘I’LL BE BACK’.
Sure enough, next week, he returned, ordered the exact same thing.”
I Saw Some Dark Stuff
“I worked at Subway for about four years and saw some dark stuff.
-A regular would get a flatbread footlong with just marinara, cheese, and yellow mustard. No meat or veggies ever.
-A coworker of mine was once asked to toast just the cheese. JUST A SLICE OF CHEESE. She was brand new and didn’t know how to say no to customers yet so I came out on line to her scraping a single piece of melted cheese off of a piece of paper and onto a sub.
-Lots of people eat meatball subs with copious amounts of mayo. Y’all are freaky.
-In the middle of a huge rush a smart talkin’ kid who had been loud since he entered the store trying to impress his friends asked me to put cookies on his sub. I just said no and moved onto the next customer and he was so surprised at how curt I was he stopped being obnoxious.
-If you order the tuna. Stop. Seek professional help.”
Bulk Chili And Alice Cooper Cookies
” I worked at Quiznos, mostly working with teens.
This one kid brings in a bunch of tupperwares at the beginning of his shift. Weird, but I don’t care.
End of his shift and his mom shows up to give him a lift. He starts filling the tupperwares with chili.
Turns out his mom tried it one day and loved it. Whole family tried: they all love it.
They’d made a deal with our boss to buy bulk chili every week.
I forgot all about Alice Cooper! Came in near closing. Went straight for the cookies.
This is a mall food court. He was actually looking for a Starbucks. Since we were about the only place still open near 10pm, he came to ask us.
Except I don’t drink Starbucks. My boss don’t drink Starbucks. And the cashier who does know can’t speak because she’s frozen up in the face of Alice frickin Cooper.
I knew at least which exit to take to the Starbucks down the street. Cashier managed to nod along with my directions.
Then Alice Cooper bought about 10 Quiznos cookies and left, looking for a Starbucks.”
Whelp. I Did It
“Not a worker, but a Grubhub driver.
Someone ordered a meatball sub from Subway that had nothing on it but meatballs, the sauce, and about four times as much mayonnaise as would go on a regular sandwich. That was it.
He made two orders for the same thing within two hours, and I delivered them both.
He wasn’t high and it wasn’t a mistake. He said his sister tried it and liked it so much that they split it and had to order another one. According to the Subway worker, he would order the same thing two or three times a week.
Whelp I did it.
Went in to Subway and told the lady working there that this was an experiment to satisfy my curiosity, and got a toasted Meatball sub with nothing on it but the meatballs, some marinara, and double mayo.
It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t that good either. I was surprised a bit that it wasn’t instantly abhorrent. The worst part by far was the texture – just slime on slime on slime and the bread fell apart from it almost instantly.
I will say that when the marinara and the mayo were mixed, it created something kind of similar in taste to a Thousand Island dressing but not as tart. Not bad, but then you would get a glop of mayo by itself…and that was a bad time. There was just…way too much of it. I did manage to soldier through the entire thing.
Conclusions: If the mayo and marinara were properly mixed together, it would actually be a fairly tasty sauce. Maybe brushing mayo on the bread before toasting it to sear it into the bun would work. But it was good enough to where I think the next time I get a meatball sub (and I do get it with spinach, onions, bell peppers, etc) I might ask them to throw a light line of mayonnaise in there.
As described and pictured though, no. That was not a pleasant experience.
Edit 4: Several hours later and it is not sitting very well.”