Antics: Sandwich Shenanigans

The following post was penned by our very own Sherly Holmes. Please enjoy!

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I, Sherly, being the responsible, future-oriented INTJ that I am, thought it prudent to find part time work my senior year. After desperately looking into every source of income short of selling my hair to a wig shop, I eventually found employment at a local sub shop I’ll call “Sammy’s Speedy Subs.”

My mother had warned me that working one’s first job is an experience completely unlike anything the said teenager would have experienced prior to employment. In hindsight, I believe she was referring to how unpleasant the mélange of manual labor, paltry wages, and the immutable scent of grease can be. In regards to my time at Sammy’s, she was correct: it certainly has been a singular experience—but not for the reasons she implied it would be.

As an INTJ, I’m not a people person. Yick. However, I will confess that it’s the people that make working at Sammy’s a singular experience. I work with some proper characters. But more on them later. Suffice it to say that I likely spend more time at my job laughing than I do actually working.

Midway through the year (perhaps December), Finn expressed an interest in employment. After several months of attempting to get Finn in touch with the head manager (“Mickey,” a universally resented figure at Sammy’s), Finn finally passed our arduous “sandwich test” and was offered employment.

Since we both began working at Sammy’s, most of the unusual stories Finn and I share with the rest of the group seem to always claim Sammy’s Subs as their provenance. Yes, hard work does occur at our place of employment—quite often we and other employees find ourselves sweeping, mopping, and (shudder) cleaning the cold table—but much of what goes on could be described as merely shenanigans.

For your amusement, I’ll give you a little breakdown of some of the antics, shenanigans, and other chaos that goes on at my job. I’ve got quite a few stories—considering that I’m at Sammy’s practically every bloody day.

The Unstoppable Duo

The duo I refer to in the above is Finn and I. And by “unstoppable,” I mean entirely stoppable in every way. And generally fairly slow—although that’s not my fault.

Generally, Finn and I spend most of our time talking to each other. Although we’re both introverts, the normally outgoing (ish) and amiable Finn becomes a bit shy at Sammy’s; I’m one of the only people he talks to. I, on the other hand, am a bit more jocular and talkative than usual, a fact I attribute to the presence of quirky coworkers with whom I can easily fool around (I’m often bored enough to do this), and the fact that I’ve worked with many of the same individuals for nearly a year now. We typically discuss Apocalypse, Pls—our student movie—or talk about… whatever it is we talk about. (Recent conversation topics have been: shipping, my apparent physical resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch, college roommates, and social awkwardness)

For some reason (lack of sense on the managers’ parts, or perhaps their desire to watch our muted but amusing antics), Finn and I are often placed side by side on the line, I (typically) one spot head of him.

Our placing (much like orchestral seating) means that I am sort of technically in charge of him during these hours, a power I abuse frequently. Finn, being an artistic perfectionist, loves to take his time lovingly arranging the vegetables on each customer’s sandwich. I, being a logistical perfectionist, have little patience for this, although Finn insists, “Gosh, Sherly, it’s gotta be perfect.”

Driven by his unnecessary perfectionism, Finn plans on opening a sandwich restaurant in the style of Sammy’s, the main difference being that—instead of making everyone’s meal in thirty seconds—the workers treat it as a work of art, and spend two hours making it as perfect as possible. I am, as those of you who know me would expect, not on board with this idea. But I digress.

Finn and I have an immature rivalry in regards to most things, and our work is no exception. I pride myself on my efficiency in everything I do, so I find myself racing to finish my task before Finn’s equivalent one has been completed. We’re both fairly juvenile about the whole thing.

Me [upon mayo-ing the bread before Finn has the deli meat ready]: Hurry up, Finn.

Finn [upon beating me in a similar situation]: Sherly, I’m waiting; gosh! You’re so slow, hurry up!

One of Finn’s proudest moments was when he learned that he was coordinated enough to dole out both sauce (oil and vinegar) and oregano on a sandwich at once, while I was not. He spent the rest of our shift rubbing in that he could do something that I could not. I was unamused, until I figured out his secret.

And so our rivalry endures.

One-liners (or, amusing things my coworkers have said)

Note: there are literally hundreds of stories I could tell you about amusing incidents that have occurred at Sammy’s. Instead of doing so, however (I don’t have the patience, and I know you don’t either), I’ll just tell you the punchlines. In the words of my friend June, KTHXBAI.

[to Sherly] You’ve got alien legs. –Kirk [INTP]

[after miming shooting something with French Bread] Bread? More like DEAD? –Finn

She’s like Batman, except she’s Jazz-man! –Kirk

[about Fake Joshua] It’s a Messianic thing—we’re forever waiting for the Real Joshua –The Admiral

[about a rubber octopus] I thought I had killed that [redacted]! –Jazz-man [INFP]

[about Sherly] She’s wouldn’t be so quiet if she didn’t take “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” so literally. –Adam K [ESTP]

You have no idea how fired you are. –The Admiral

[to Kirk] Hate to burst your bubble, but I don’t think bald eagles can actually cry. –Sherly

[to a customer] Would you like some crunchy water circles on your sandwich? –Kirk

Not in MY AMERICA! –Jazz-man

[to Sherly] You’re like the lovechild of Benedict Cumberbatch and his female self. –Finn

[to Charlie, after handing over a delivery receipt] Delivery up for Candy Mountain… –Kirk

Cucumber Sniping

D&D Dave, a former employee obsessed with RPGs, was the original cuke sniper. (Thanks to him, I can tell you from experience that a sliced cucumber on the neck is not a pleasant sensation.) In his absence, however, the antics have continued. When there is a lull in sales, employees assigned to run the line (who, mind, possess direct access to an almost unlimited quantity of ammo) slice the cucumbers into deadly thin slices out of sheer boredom and ambush passerby. Finn and I do this to each other frequently. A manager of ours, whom I’ll call Kirk [INTP], came upon one of our little battles one day and decided to escalate it by nailing both of us. Repeatedly, and with deadly accuracy. The skirmish ended in our swift surrender and my desperate shouting of a famous Finn-ism: “NOT THE FACE! NOT THE FACE!” as I was pelted by cucumber slices.

I work with a bunch of savages.

Spotify vs. Sammy Sounds

Once upon a time, Sammy’s had the perfect background music—thanks to my best friend, Spotify. Each one of the managers had their own favorite playlist. Subsequently, each playlist was of varying quality, but overall pretty great. It gave the restaurant a pretty distinct personality, something I appreciated about where I worked. One day, an entity Kirk likes to refer to as “The fun police” decided to mandate our music via a corporate-created music software called “Sammy Sounds”—like Spotify, but with a limited selection of songs, seemingly (although I may be exaggerating) mostly Taylor Swift and homogenous house music.

It was, unsurprisingly, almost universally hated. We put up with it for months (the managers weren’t keen on losing their jobs in order to retain the integrity of their music tastes), but one day the GM (an operatically-trained karaoke enthusiast and acting aficionado known as the Admiral) finally cracked under the heavy-handed psychological torment exerted by overexposure to Swedish House Mafia, and—much to their employees’ delight, [redacted] Sammy Sounds and risk the consequences.

We’re all quite a bit happier, now that we can listen to the music we enjoy, and so far no one has been smote.

So each day at Sammy’s Speedy Subs, as we listen to the dulcet sounds of Daft Punk, the Flaming Lips, Muse, and Queen, I am reminded of the value of doing what you want—provided you’ve calculated the risk. 

Antics: “God bless these fat bears.”

The following story includes amateur ukulele playing, unusual selfies, face-palm moments and (originally) contrived tomfoolery.

Yesterday, Sherly, Finn, Marty and I were slated to film the fight scene from our (eternally unfinished) student film, “Apocalypse, Pls.” These filming sessions are notorious for being unproductive and amusing–so much so that Sherly suggested I bring my iPad to document the misadventures that would, undoubtedly, result from the NFPs’ inability to focus.

(If you’re curious, the fight scene involves an epic showdown between Finn’s character, Ivan Yuri, and Marty’s, Sozai. Ivan has the power to control electricity, while Sozai can stop hearts with his hands.)

Sherly was spot-on, as usual.

The first hour or so was spent with us getting lost on the internet, Finn playing the “Adventure Time” theme song on my ukulele, and someone somehow running across this beauty.

Yes, that is a seductive banana, in case you were wondering.

Marty made a few fashion statements, as well.

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We also took pictures for the cover of an album of Finn and Scout’s band, “God Bless These Fat Bears.” (I will not post said pictures due to Finn antics.)

Finally, Sherly, giving in and accepting the inevitable (that we would not be getting anything done), proposed we go outside and have a misadventure that I could blog about.

After grabbing a soda or two and my ukulele, we wandered into the overgrown field around the church without looking back.

“All right, we need to have a goal,” Sherly insisted.

Marty, Finn and I pointed out that it was amusing that she was planning our misadventure.

“No, we need to have something we’re trying to do so that we can fail to do it.”

Hmm. Not a bad summary of what it means to have a misadventure, actually.

We decided that we wanted to get to the “river” that ran close by. Not a difficult goal; it wasn’t far away.

The problem was, about this time, Finn was struck with a startling revelation.

“We’re locked out of the church!”

Finn, who was the only one present who was a member of the church we’ve been using as a setting for our movie, was supposed to carry a key with him so that we could get inside when no one was there. Unfortunately, he had forgotten it in his haste to get outside and have an adventure.

“I thought to ask you, but I figured you would be offended that I was insinuating you were forgetting something that important,” Sherly remarked as he freaked out. His laughed response was, “No, I would’ve been all, “Oh shoot, I forgot the keys!”

The following hour was spent standing beside the river that was our set destination, playing tunes on the ukulele, writing country music (“Once upon a time I cared what people thought, but now my life is a Japanese pop song.“), hearing stories from Marty that we didn’t want to hear, casting celebrities to play our Apocalypse, Pls characters and listening as Finn tried to call someone to come unlock the church.

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Marty also escaped.

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We were swinging on the playground when a car pulled into the parking lot.

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Finn left Sherly and I to sit and have a conversation, a conversation that was, apparently, so enthralling that we didn’t notice him opening and slamming the door behind us for a solid minute.

Shortly after we were readmitted to the church, Sherly had to leave. We went outside to wait for her mother, who was completely, entirely on time. (This is a bit odd to NFPs such as Finn and I.) The last thing we heard from her was incoherent muttering as she crossed the parking lot.

Finn and I made “Lolwut?” faces at each other, then laughed and hurried back to make sure we hadn’t locked ourselves out again.

Antics summary #2: Always ask the question that shouldn’t need asking, because sometimes we NFPs overlook important things when we’re busy doing what we want! 

Antics: “I’m a vampire now, you guys.”

Two days ago, Finn sent out an email in an attempt to commission us to give blood for his scholarship drive. He cited his apparent vampirism as the reason that we should come out and allow ourselves to be stabbed in the arm with a thick needle. (“I’ve got a hankerin that only your blood will satisfy.”)

A few hours later, I was sitting across from his youth pastor, having a casual conversation about the fact that Finn’s roommate has all but been confirmed to be a panda serial killer. (What does that mean? Would it be a panda that killed people, a person that killed pandas, or a panda that killed pandas? I guess Finn’ll find out.)

It was after drinking a small can of apple juice and eating a fudge bar that Finn insisted I needed (wink-wink–well, it was free), already having overcome the slight dizziness that came with having a pint of blood removed, that antics began.

It started with being told a story that I could have gone my whole life without hearing, and steadily progressed until Eric was showing us pictures of pandas and other cute animals making rude gestures. Finn also managed to make the same rude gesture in a picture that Kitty ended up sending to a friend of hers. The whole time, I found myself shouting, half laughing, half crying, “We’re in a church, you guys! Respect pls pls pls…”

Our friend, Kitty, who is the original vegan of our group, showed up and attempted to give blood, but got turned down, not because of an iron deficiency, but because she recently took a cruise to Mexico. Finn gave her an “I Make a Difference” sticker; he had written with a Sharpie over the blank spot for a name, “Mexico wouldn’t let me.”

We decided that we needed to call Sherly in an attempt to get her up at the church. Although she (understandably, and wisely) was told she couldn’t come, we talked with her over the speaker of my cell phone for an unnecessarily long time.

During the call, Finn and I discovered how completely enthralling the concept of apple juice in a can was. Mesmerized, we took a picture of ourselves with the can and sent it to her. (We put the phone in the picture too, because phone-ception!)

Somewhere along the way, after Kitty left and Sherly patiently told us she had to get off of the phone, Finn counted up the number of people who had successfully given blood and decided we needed to take action. (Note: For Finn to be eligible for the scholarship, he had to have 25 people donate–at this point he had had 19.) With permission from the pastor (sort of), we raided the church’s costume closet.

Finn put me in the donkey costume. Our friend Marty, who gave red blood cells instead of whole blood (which involved being hooked up to a cool machine and sitting for an hour), was a Roman warrior. Eric, as recompense for distasteful (and somewhat hilarious) jokes made earlier and an unwillingness to dress up, was forced to be a mustard bottle. A sort of dented mustard bottle. Waving American flags.

We gathered signs, put the finishing touches on our costumes, and insisted that we would not exploit Jesus to get people to give blood (although Finn thought someone wearing a Jesus costume would be effective). Finn marched us down the hall and unveiled us to the world.

Fantastic.

Thrilled

We were shown to our posts (me to a solitary spot on one side of the road, facing the quickly-moving traffic, and Marty and Eric to the other side, facing the slow-moving traffic–did I mention it was five o’clock?), told to bring ’em in, and then left to fend for ourselves.

The heat was a bit… uncomfortable. Especially in a thick donkey suit. One man driving by rolled down his window and asked, “Have you no shame?”

We quickly, and honestly, replied, “No, not really.”

Finn showed up again with two young girls, Pinky Hooper (Finn and Eric’s younger sister) and her friend. One was in a ketchup bottle costume that complemented Eric’s, and the other was a fairy.

The two girls were stationed facing the slow traffic, meaning that Marty (and eventually Eric) came to join me. A girl who was coming for the fellowship dinner pulled her car up into the grass and blasted music for us to dance to.

Eric jokingly shouted contradictions just to be… well, contrary. Marty danced the only way he knew how–seductively. I awkwardly shuffled about and waved.

It wasn’t until Gangnam Style came on, when Finn had returned with a, “Gee, I sure feel like saving lives today,” sign of his own creation, that I started to feel dizzy.

The younger girls and I went inside, and I was promptly ushered into a chair and given water by a woman working the blood drive. The rest of the advertising committee soon followed.

Activity lulled as the last stragglers trickled in. The girl who had let us borrow her car told us about her college/carrer plans, and we fist-bumped in agreement when we discovered that we both write our passwords in foreign languages. Finn gave blood, since he had been put off until the end of the day. Churchgoers got free ice cream, I tried to call my parents, who were at our church and, thus, not answering, and mini bundt cakes were distributed.

Around evening, after I had confirmed that my family was sending someone to come get me, I wandered outside and watched as Finn borrowed carts that were sitting in front of the Red Cross truck and surfed them across the parking lot. A few almost-collisions with a dumpster aside, nobody was harmed.

Not a bad day, all in all.

Antics summary number 1, otherwise to be interpreted as the moral of the story: If you see teenagers dancing on the side of the road in costume in order to advertise a blood drive, stop, because there will undoubtedly be amusing misadventures to take part in (or at least observe).

After all, as impulsive, slightly insane teenagers,

We (apparently) do what we want. 

Current Goal: Go All the Places!

A few weeks ago, entirely on a whim (as the likes of -NFPs operate), I decided to see how long it would take to drive to Toronto from my and my friend’s university.

Several emails and a planner detour to Oklahoma City (to pick up a friend [Sherly] bound for college there) later, we were taking a biking trip that was to take a little over a week solid. A playlist of overwhelmingly awesome quality was created, and it was decided that anyone who argued with the music selection was to be punished with a wheel of their bike being confiscated and their hands being chopped off.

Cruel and unusual punishment? We’re not the American judicial system, you gais. [shakes head]

Although a voice of reason, a very introverted companion of ours (Scout) who pointed out that it would be more cost effective to take a train to New York, or, you know, drive, talked us mostly out of our taxing escapade, the desire to take spontaneous road trips still burns brightly in the  -NFPs’ passionate hearts.

[cue dramatic clutching of chest, victorious music, and an American flag flapping in the background.]

Needless to say, the flames of enthusiasm that smolder within us cannot be extinguished with paltry attempts to point out how completely ludicrous our travel plans are. We are the dreamers of tomorrow, the very spirit of the United States of America, and we shall not be silenced! 

[ahem] No more caffeine for me.

So, yes. We shall travel. We shall see the world (or at least the North American continent, since you can’t drive across oceans yet). We shall do all these things when we like and how we like, because we’re Americans, and Americans are free, man!

[pauses, reads the Nutrition Facts on drink]

What? You’re worried we’ll end up stranded in Winnipeg? Stopped by border control? Arrested for driving over the speed limit or doing any number of other idiotic things that, in general, a person should have the sense not to do in the first place?

Whatever. In the eternal words of our friend Sherly,

We do what we want!