This morning’s experience at Cafe Metro, a sub-par bagel/sandwich shop below my office in Midtown:
Me: Can I have an everything bagel with veggie tofu cream cheese?
Employee: Everything bagel with scallion cream cheese?
Me: No, everything bagel with veggie tofu cream cheese.
Employee: Everything bagel lightly toasted?
Me: No, not toasted. Ev-ery-thing ba-gel with veg-gie to-fu cream cheese.
Employee: Okay. [begins to prepare bagel for the next 20 seconds] Sir, we do not have veggie tofu cream cheese today.
Me: Fine, I’ll have regular veggie cream cheese instead.
Employee: Regular cream cheese?
Me: No, regular veggie cream cheese. Instead of veggie tofu.
Employee: We do not have veggie tofu.
Me: I know, I said that veggie cream cheese [pointing to veggie cream cheese in cooler] is fine.
Employee makes bagel. He toasts the bagel, despite the fact that I specifically asked him not to. I step away for a moment to get juice, but as he finishes wrapping my bagel to give to me, I notice that it’s not an everything bagel. Employee hands me my bagel, wrapped in foil. I unwrap it before going to cashier.
Me: Excuse me, sir, I ordered an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese.
Employee: Yes, that is an everything bagel.
Me: Uh, no, it isn’t. This is a cinnamon raisin bagel with… uh… veggie cream cheese.
Other Customer: That was probably my bagel, but I ordered a cinnamon raisin bagel with regular cream cheese.
Employee: [rolls eyes, takes bagel back] You had everything bagel with scallion cream cheese?
Me: Veggie cream cheese.
Employee makes bagel again, this time with Me watching him very carefully. The end result is actually exactly what I ordered – an everything bagel, untoasted, with veggie cream cheese. I think he just forgot to toast it on the second go-around, or just didn’t feel like dealing with me any longer.
My boss had been warning me for months that their service was incompetent, but I had never had any real problem there, until I came across this “other bagel guy,” who I had seen many times before, but miraculously managed to avoid entirely until today.