I decided to stop at subway on my way home from last night's workout. I was feeling lazy, and a nice Steak and Cheese wrap sounded much better than cooking dinner. I parked the car, walked in, and was surprised to see a 12 year old boy standing behind the counter (okay, so he was probably 14 or 15 or whatever the legal age for working in Australia is - but he LOOKED 12). This kid was obviously brand-spanking-new to the world of Sandwich Artistry, and, well, to be frank, I've never seen anyone do a worse job of putting together a subway.
But I didn't care. At all. Because this kid was just so darn cute! Seriously, melt your heart cute. And he was trying so hard. It started when I ask for a steak and cheese wrap, and he reached into the cupboard to pull out the package of wraps and grabbed the closed end by mistake. This resulted in every wrap in the packet flying out through the open end and landing Frisbee-like all over the floor.
He was clearly mortified, but he also seemed to be working on the 'maybe if I don't make a big deal no one will notice' thing, as he put them all in the bin and started looking ('subtly') in every cupboard for another packet. Which he couldn't find. So once I realized he was going to silently continue to look for wraps until I stepped in, I decided to put him out of his misery by saying (also playing along with the 'let's pretend that never happened thing') "Actually, instead of a wrap, could I maybe change my mind and have a 6 inch Pizza sub instead?"
He looked grateful and relieved. And was quick with a 'of course ma'm' (which is another reason the kid was melting my heart. He kept ma'm-ing me).
He forgot to wipe off the knife before he cut open my sandwich (which put avocado all through it. Luckily I like avocado). He had trouble spreading the avocado when I then asked for it. He didn't seem to remember which cheese was the Swiss cheese and after a bit of silent back and forwarding he settled on the cheddar cheese - which he ever so carefully laid out all down the sub. He was making such a mess of all the salads (spilling everything into every bucket) in his attempt to serve me quickly - which resulted in me pretty much having every salad on the sub, rather than just the handful I'd asked for. When I said 'no salt and pepper please' he must have only heard the 'salt and pepper please' part, because after another round of 'of course, ma'm' I got a very generous serve of both. My 'double olives please' resulted in double olives all over the bench, since he couldn't seem to master the art of putting them on top of my sub's salad mountain without them all rolling off again (I watched him try about 4 times before he gave up and asked hopefully "is that enough olives ma'm?")
Oh, and instead of a 6 inch, he made me a foot-long. But by the time I'd noticed he wasn't going to cut it in half, he'd already put all the meats on, and I didn't have the heart to tell him it was supposed to be a 6 inch - it was a little too soon after the 'wraps on the floor' incident! And the entire time, in between all of the "of course ma'm's", he kept apologizing under his breath - even in the rare moments when he didn't actually have something to apologise for. It was all kind of hilarious.
By the time he'd wrapped it up (and I use the term 'wrapped' loosely, because if I hadn't been so careful about how I carried it to the car, my sub would have suffered the same fate as the wraps) and went to the checkout, he seemed to be a little worked up - despite my best efforts to exude calm customer contentment and gratitude - and he forgot to take his gloves off. So that resulted in southwest sauce all over the cash register keyboard (which was fortuitously covered with a plastic keyboard cover) and all over my EPTOS card when he handed it back to me.
Poor kid. I'm not sure he'll last there very long. He was trying so hard, but the harder he tried the worse he seemed to do. But I seem to have a soft spot for these cute little teenager boys and their sincere desire to get things right (I have a few of them in my seminary class). And this awkward stage won't last forever. One day he'll grow up and figure things out. He'll learn how to make a perfect sub and will get that trendy, cheerful, zippy, subway-teenager thing down.
In the meantime though, I think I'll glad-wrap my EPTOS cards before visiting again...