Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Just A Tuna Fish Sandwich...

I was stationed last night at work at our satellite office at the county/state hospital. This office has NO ventilation, is about as big as an over-sized closet, and is located just above the morgue...not exactly "prime" real estate by any means! LOL

Anyway, one of the FEW amenities about this location is the fact I am most often working there alone, being triaged out from the office to any and all emergency rooms in my county...the hospital where I am stationed is generally the busiest ER, so it works out well to have a "closet" there to throw my stuff into and have a place to sit to write my work.

The "other" amenity I have enjoyed over the past 7 years has been the deli bar in the cafeteria. Being a person of SERIOUS routine and habit (because I fear change!), I have consistently ALWAYS gone to the deli bar for my evening meal if I am still at this location when suppertime falls. The first few years of this routine were fabulous.

There used to be a heavily pierced, highly tattooed, 20ish female who worked the deli bar in the evening...she could make a killer tuna fish sandwich, one of my favorite deli sandwiches of all time and she was always pleasant and KIND. This sandwich became my "routine", along with a bag of Baked Lay's potato chips and a chocolate milk...heaven I say, purely heaven. LOL

Well, about 8 months ago, young tattoo lady disappeared...perhaps she finished her PhD in physics or something, but whatever the case, she no longer was showing up for work. She was replaced by this 50-something, woman of size, who I call "Surly Sue".

Surly Sue is...well...just that. Surly and unpleasant. But not only is she most difficult to deal with, she also RUINS MY TUNA FISH SANDWICH EVERY TIME!

Now, you are probably wondering, how could "anyone" ruin a sandwich every time it's ordered? Perhaps you are thinking I jest? But I am not...Surly Sue can take a simple order and turn it into a most unpleasant eating experience! LOL

For instance...yesterday, I ordered THE EXACT SAME SANDWICH I HAVE ASKED SURLY SUE TO MAKE FOR ME AT LEAST 20 TIMES IN THE PAST EIGHT MONTHS. It is a simple process. There are pre-printed forms where all one has to do is CIRCLE exactly what kind of bread they want, meat, cheese, veggies, etc. It's a CIRCLING process...not hard to follow and not rocket science.

Surly Sue was also in rare "critical mental state" yesterday...she was snapping at another young coworker telling the long line waiting that she "works faster than he does" (which did not and never has appeared to be the case)...I grew increasingly nervous Surly Sue was not focused enough on her work to complete each of the sandwich orders in the basket...mine was the 4th such order.

I considered simply heading into the main cafeteria and ordering a plate of "cardiac arrest"...the "regular" hospital food they serve the poor captive audience patients (I call it "cardiac arrest" food because it is so nasty it ensures the patients will return for that triple bypass procedure if they eat enough of the hospital food!)...but I couldn't do it. I decided I would take my chances with Surly Sue.

Surly Sue did NOT disappoint me once again...or maybe I should rephrase that to say, "As usual, Surly Sue could not make my sandwich as ordered". She snapped at those of us hovering around the counter and told us to "go pay" while she slaved over our orders. I did as I was told, detouring to pick up my chocolate milk...the one redeeming treat of my night.

Then, like a blow to my abdomen, I remembered DOWNSIZE ME, and begrudgingly passed the chocolate milk container and settled on a "Sprite"...curses! While I stood in line to pay (kicking myself), I imagined what HELL Surly Sue was creating on my sandwich. I also looked around for any web cams and considered the notion NONE OF YOU would be the wiser if I treated myself to that chocolate milk!!! But alas...I didn't.

I sulked my way back to the deli to hear Surly Sue chastising a few other unsuspecting patrons about how to "fill out their order sheet right". And there set my sandwich in all it's glory, resting on a plate on top of the counter. From a distance, it looked harmless enough...maybe, just maybe THIS time Surly Sue had gotten it right?

I zoomed in on my meal with hope in my heart...she'd even added the dill pickle (standard issue for any sandwich order, which she often forgets)! I could live without the chocolate milk if Surly Sue had finally, after eight months, made my simple sandwich order correctly. And by the way, all it consists of is wheat bread, tuna, Swiss cheese, and onions...nothing more, nothing less.

I casually and gleefully picked up my sandwich and chips and began my long march back through the bowels of the hospital basement toward my office...and that's when I noticed it. A yellowish "tinge" surrounded the outer rim of my bread. It was MUSTARD!!!!!!! Surly Sue had once again managed to screw up my sandwich order...I was destined for a long and arduous evening.

Now, you may be asking...why would I NOT simply return to Surly Sue and complain about this? Why would I not ask to speak to one of her superiors? Why after eight months do I continue to subject myself to this woman's rude behavior?

Well, I HAVE complained directly to Surly Sue, but this has usually resulted in a long litany of HER complaints about her job, her arthritis, etc. I gave up after about the 5th was apparent after watching OTHER hospital staff complain also, that Surly Sue was neither going to change her ways, nor was her supervisor going to "try" to change Surly Sue...she's become an icon of sorts for the deli.

The other reason I continue to go back to Surly Sue is out of sheer boredom and the fact I fear change...I figure if I can outlast her, one day soon "someone" else will take her place, and I will be back to fine dining on my tuna fish sandwich. Yes, I dare to dream...LOL...


Steve said...

LOL... that's a hilarious story. I want desperately to say something witty and clever... but I got nothin'. :)



Unfortunately, MOST of the time, "I got nothin'" witty to say either,'re in good company. LOL


Miss Chris said...

I think "Surly Sue" needs an attitude adjustment and PDQ at that! Anyway, who ever heard of mustard on tuna?! Blech! (I love's the tuna I hate).

Have myelin? said...

Wait till she puts peanut butter on your tuna!!!

Yes I know someone who does that. Not to others, just to herself. I think she's crazee.

Tell Surly, one tuna sandwich, hold the mustard please. And duck!



Damn straight...whoever heard of a SANDWICH LADY who can't make a sandwich?!?




That's the can't TELL Surly Sue anything! Even if you write it's the damnedest thing...LOL