You may recall a post I did several weeks back titled, "Just A Tuna Fish Sandwich"...if you don't recall it (or have tried desperately to FORGET it), here's the link: http://brain-cheese.blogspot.com/2007/05/just-tuna-fish-sandwich.html . It was about my not-so-favorite deli/lunch lady at the County Hospital cafeteria, who I have lovingly dubbed, SURLY SUE. Here is an addendum to that silly story...
Yes, I WAS scheduled at the County Hospital again today and reported for duty with great trepidation...you see, I did NOT pack a lunch. This meant I would be subjected to either the hospital cafeteria OR I would have to forage for food somewhere out in the "big" world, which I mostly loathe doing. And then, there would still be the cafeteria deli where SURLY SUE might be lying in wait to once again F^<$ up my simple sandwich order...I knew when I left the house without packing sustenance, I was destined for possible disappointment.
I traveled immediately out to another emergency room as my first assignment and completed my task there just before regular meal time. I hesitated in driving back to the County Hospital without first searching for something to eat, but I simply wasn't quite hungry yet...I had a grand scheme at that hour thinking I might not GET hungry and, therefore, would not require said sustenance...but I was hopelessly wrong in judging my own ability to go without food for more than a few hours. LOL
After fighting over a half hour of city traffic just to travel 5 miles, I returned to my office/closet at the main hospital a bit frazzled and noticing a tinge of hunger panging away in my gut...this was NOT a good sign.
Still determined to override my innate need to feed, I sat down to begin my reams of paper work required to put the finishing touches on my previous assignment. By the time I had dotted my last "i", my stomach was in full swing, yelling at me, "Feed me, Seymour!" (A reference from "Little Shop Of Horrors" if that line was too subtle...LOL). The cafeteria would be closing in 15 minutes and I was already assigned my next case to remain on site...it was too late to roam and forage out in the "big" world.
I decided to try to bargain with my screaming digestive system, letting it know I would at least CHECK the cafeteria food line...if there was anything at all remotely edible in the main line, I would settle for an artery-clogging plate of hospital food. BUT, if nothing seemed flavorful, I would only order my tuna fish sandwich if SURLY SUE was NOT present...otherwise, I would simply have to go hungry for the night. This plan lasted all of about 10 minutes. LOL
I slipped into the cafeteria quietly and unseen, dodging the deli area, and headed for the main slop line...I wasn't disappointed...in the "slop", that is. Nothing appeared short of rendering me with a triple bypass, so I slunk around to the deli, holding my breath and praying SURLY SUE had a well-deserved day off. I peered over the counter and...there she was...the SS grump in all her glorious grumpiness! SURLY SUE never gets a day off.
By this time, my stomach was begging me to just accept whatever SS had to offer me, so I sheepishly got in line for my order...I carefully circled my FOUR items darkly and with intent: Wheat bread, tuna salad, Swiss cheese, and onion...nothing more, nothing less. I cautiously slipped my order into the bin to wait.
SS was gabbing with customers about cutting down her work hours to babysit her new grandchild..."There is a God!" I exclaimed to no one, but myself. SS seemed off kilter somehow...she was actually "jovial". Perhaps after weeks of getting my sandwich order WRONG, the gods were working in my favor, and SS would finally...I say finally...complete my simple sandwich order without flaw.
She picked up my order, still yakking at no one in particular, and headed for the sandwich counter to begin the complicated task of taking two slices of wheat bread out of a bag, dumping a handful of onions on it, slapping a slice of Swiss cheese on that, and adding a glop of tuna salad...and that is when it happened.
SURLY SUE suddenly looked upward toward the small stereo playing quietly above her head and bellowed, "SOMEONE has been messing with my music again and changed my CD!" All thoughts of a flawless tuna sandwich vanished...SS was now focused on who the culprit was who changed her tunes without permission!
She began rambling rapidly about "that boy" (who also works in the deli sometimes) and how bad he was and how he was WORSE than so-and-so...she was completely distracted and I was watching her every move. She took out the correct bread and violently cut it in half...then came the correct cheese, onions, and tuna salad. She passed over putting mustard on my sandwich (which is her typical move, in spite of me NEVER ordering mustard!), slapped the sandwich on a paper plate, and whirled around to call out my number...fully knowing I was the ONLY one waiting for a sandwich at this point.
"Here," she said, thrusting the sandwich in my general direction. "We ran out of pickles so this will have to do. Do you want chips or fruit?" (I had also clearly circled potato chips on my order.)
"Ruffles, please," I announced, but she had already returned to her stereo and was poking several buttons in an attempt to "turn off that God-awful music"...frankly, I hadn't found the music offensive, but SS would NOT be having a selection playing that was not her choice.
She immediately became engrossed in complaining to another customer how "that boy" is no help at all and how "he's so sneaky", all the while ignoring the fact she had yet to hand me my tiny bag of potato chips.
Knowing better than to distract her in full bitch mode, I stealthfully reached around the counter and, with a bit of a stretch, fished out my own bag of Ruffles...she never noticed.
I returned to the safety of my office/closet and sat down to admire my perfectly made tuna fish sandwich...it was flawless. So what if it hadn't exactly been made with the hands of love? I didn't really care and neither did my stomach...my perfect sandwich was back.
I wondered if I could PAY "that boy" to switch CD's again next week when I came down to the cafeteria to order my sandwich? It seemed to have distracted SURLY SUE enough to complete my order AS ordered! It was worth a try.
I made a mental note to self: Remember to tip "that boy" next time you see him...