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