Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jared Fogle, you son of a...

So I have a small problem with subway. Not so much a "problem" as a PROBlem. A problem resembling an addiction. I have an addictive personality, it’s true, and just when I was so proud of kicking my Diet Coke habit (totally carbonation free since November 07, fools!) and a subsequent affair with Vitamin Water, I find myself now a slave to a five dollar sandwich. It’s embarrassing.

But as long as I’m spending the money, I might as well take advantage of any perks they offer, right? So I have the card, and you’d better believe I use it. The reward is hardly what it could/should be. 75 points gets you a free footlong. And you get a point per dollar. Yes, that’s a seventy-five dollar sandwich. That’s $6.25/in. But every inch tastes so good.

So my confession is out there: I have a problem. Today, I discovered a new one. And it has less to do with my pocketbook than I’m comfortable with.

Yesterday, in a hurry, I stopped at the Subway across the street from the Orem Library. I hadn’t planned to get a sandwich, but the timing was such that my already crippled will was rendered totally lame. So I got my fix (and the gal that made my sub was THE FASTEST sandwich artist I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty quick on the draw, these days, when it comes to placing an order, but this lady blew past me and was practically tapping her toes by the time I caught up. I wanted to take her home, but I thought better of it, considering the conversation I’d be having with Jayne when we got there-- Hey, hon, this is Candace. She’s going to be making my sandwiches...) As I was paying, the nice lady told me I had 73 points on my card and that my next sandwich would be free. Great, I thought. I’m going to use this on a day when I really need it.

That day came today. I was already out and I thought, hey, it’s free (I don’t need a great excuse). So I went to my standard haunt (the one in the Riverwoods where the staff still doesn’t greet me like the old friend that I am) and started salivating early, imagining the special free sandwich I was going to get. You see, you can get any variety you like after having spent $75 to get there. So I made the whole thing in my mind before I got to the glass.

I arrived early enough to beat the rush so that when my sandwich was done, there was already a lady at the till ringing me up. And I could see that she had a total for me, and it was exorbitant-- twice the price of my regular. And my face got warm and my hands started to shake. Granted, I had a free sandwich coming and I knew it. But something about the vibe was wrong and I could tell it wasn’t going to end well.

“Would you like a meal with that?”

“Uh, nah.” I’m still playing it cool-- using words like “nah”.

“Your total is $9.79.”

Fumbling in my wallet-- where the hell is that blessed Subway card!? I’m starting to sweat and I can’t feel the fingertips at the end of my knuckles.

“I should be pretty close to the free...”


I look up from my wallet which has suddenly become a blurry, foreign object. She isn’t even looking at me. “I should be... free, I think... this card.” I find it and hand it over with the debit.

In a single flick of the wrist she had scanned my debit, charging me the $9.79, then she scanned the other.

“You have 87 points. Have a nice day.”

Blink. Blink. I walk away.

Now, what kind of a pansy does that make me? I’ve never been very bold in the buying situation because I usually trust that the lady with the huge calculator knows better than I do how much stuff costs. But in the face of FREE food? All I had to do was say, “Can I use those points now?” And she would have said, “Oh, sure.” And I wouldn’t have purchased a ten dollar sandwich. A ten dollar sandwich? That sucker should stand up and sing the national anthem for ten dollars.

So today I found out that I’m a wussy chicken with a debilitating sandwich addiction. If Jayne doesn’t read this post, she’ll find the receipt and she’ll curse the day we merged our bank accounts.

I’m sorry, Jayne. If it makes you feel any better, the sandwich wasn’t even that good. It tasted like shame.


  1. I read it. And I was planning to do the checkbook tonight. Good timing.

    Praise the heavens that you're not allowed to drink alcohol. And I was so pleased to be done with vitamin water!

  2. I went through a vitamin water thing a few months ago. I feel your pain, Jed.

    But you need to learn to assert yourself in face of the tyranny of the retail industry. Those people making minimum wage love to be shown how wrong they are, and why they should give you an extra sammich

  3. I'm a service employee confrontation wuss too. My wife has to handle all of the returns, complaints about an order at a restaurant, etc. My strength lies in negotiating for big purchases--like buying and selling a home, negotiating a salary, etc. My normally tough wife turns into silly putty and I have to be the strong one.

  4. woah! that's us too! i can't handle a sandwich, but i've proven myself pretty bold with higher stakes.

    thanks, rob.

  5. See, all those poker games are paying off when it comes time to buying a house.