Personal confession time. Outside of meetings with free food, every single work lunch I have had in 2020 has been at one place – the Jersey Mike’s next to my office. There are three main reasons.
- Jersey Mike’s rules. It combines my 3 favorite things in the world – New Jersey, sandwiches, and things less than a 4 minute walk from my office. They also have a good rewards program.
- There is a comfort in getting lunch from the same place every day. I have to make a lot of decisions during the course of work day, most regarding whether or not I should humiliate colleagues on email threads for generally petty reasons. It’s nice to know that for lunch, I will be having the #13 Regular on Rosemary, Mike’s Way (hold the tomatoes) every single day until I die. (Yes I order the same sandwich as well.)
- All of my close work friends have left my company. And the employees of Jersey Mike’s are the closest things to work friends I have left.
With over 25 visits already under my belt this year, I finally feel like I’ve really gotten to know the staff at Jersey Mike’s. I am ready to change one of their live’s forever, and make them my new work best friend. Here are the candidates.
6. Guy who puts condiments on the sandwich
I despise this man. I really do. There are many things I dislike about him but I’ll settle on two.
#1 – He banters with the other workers loud enough that he clearly wants the customer to listen and play along. But this ‘banter’ is mainly inside jokes about Jersey Mike’s and is just not funny. I would argue that I am the customer who is most open to Jersey Mike’s humor. I know how slow the register is, I get that it’s busy from 12 – 12:15, and I know everyone loves to order the #7 but boy does that tuna stink! I am your audience and I still find it painful. Hit the road and don’t involve me in your little line worker games.
#2 – He dances and sings along to the music, but not in a fun way. He is genuinely trying his hardest and hitting notes that are admittedly impressive. But am I supposed to compliment you in between asking for a little more oregano seasoning? I’m not here for a performance. I’m here for my Italian Special and to make you my new work friend. Next!
5. Girl Who Smiles At Me
She seems very nice. From what I can tell she is being trained as either order taker or cashier. One week, she was meat slicer, but I don’t think she could really hang. However, this training program is now going on 6 weeks and I haven’t heard her speak. I would like my next work friend to be more outspoken and take a little more initiative. Hopefully she opens up once she is a full time hire but for now, you’re not enough for me sweetheart.
4. Guy Who Smiles At Me
His job is pretty unclear. He is sometimes a meat slicer for the lunch rush and sometimes a cleaner-upper (janitor.) The one thing that is clear is that he makes eye contact for a little too long. To the point where you’re wondering if you went to baseball camp together and actually know him. Regardless, he’s honestly kind of lazy. I’d rather he spend less time smiling at me and more time making sandwiches. Feels mean, but my next work friend needs to be a driven go-getter.
3. ORder-Taker Girl
She is the perfect order-taker – no nonsense, keeps the line moving, but also engaging and honestly hilarious. Fun thing about me is that in public, I put my Air Pods in but don’t play any music so I can eavesdrop on people and hear if they are talking shit about me. When I’m in line at JM (Jersey Mike’s) I do this trick and get to hear her quips to the sandwich makers, including the one time she called this short fat guy in a suit ‘Mr. Penguin lookin’ ass.’
My one concern is that she is too driven and engaging and seems fast-tracked for management. I can’t be friends with someone who cares about their job. I just can’t.
2. Cashier Who Calls Me ‘Boss’
This guy is really really cool and I’ll be honest, I am desperate for him to like me. For most of January, I thought he was a sure fire lock for the #1 spot. We had a fun little game we’d play where he would ask me if I want a bag of chips with my sandwich. I’d say – “are they free?” and he’d reply “haha no, I wish boss.” Then I’d say “Nah, I’m good,” to which he’d say, “Ok, you’re total is $9.78.” It was classic us.
Then one day, after another heartwarming register interaction, I hung back to grab a few napkins and heard something that shattered me…He called the customer behind me “boss.” That was my pet name. What’s next, are you also going to sometimes call him ‘brother’ and tell him his card isn’t working because he removed the chip too early? You’re fake as fuck, dude.
I turned around to confront him, to see this betrayal with my own eyes. I shouldn’t have looked. What I saw broke my heart even further. He dapped the customer up and gave him…a free bag of chips. Pain.
1. Meat Slicer Guy
He’s my new friend. I’m over the cashier. Meat slicer is more rugged and can crank out a pound of turkey, ham, and capicola faster than you can say gabbagoul. He doesn’t wear gloves sometimes, which pretty hardcore but also a health risk. He hasn’t made eye contact with me yet, but it’s only a matter of time.