Olives

Posted by Tejus Parikh on March 24, 2008

Last week I ended up having to fend for myself during dinner. Being male, and have a strong dislike of cleaning up by myself, I opted to head to Publix for a sub. For those of you that don’t live year a Publix, your’e probably going to think it’s rather strange that someone would go to a grocery store specifically to get a sandwich. Those that do, know that Publix beats any other chain sandwich store by a mile.

This particular trip provides the perfect anecdote explaining why. This particular episode stands out because the sandwich lady put on a small handful of olives on the sub. Then she realized it was a small handful and, without prompting, put another small handful of olives on the sub, leaving me with a sub with lots of olives. This is good. I love olives.

Contrast that to the last time I entered a Subway. Instead of the usual, mostly friendly, high school kids, it was an older lady making the subs. If I had to guess, she’s probably the proprietor of this franchise. Not only that, she was being a little stingy with the ingredients. Like counting the number of leaves of lettuce stingy and the guys in front of me weren’t having any of it.

C: “Can I have more lettuce?” “I need more tomatoes.” “Can you put a little more onions?”
All the while the owner is getting a little more upset. Every extra vegetable cuts her margins, you see. Then came the kicker:
“You need to put more olives” (there were about 6 little slices on this footlong sub)

OL: “I’m going to have to charge you extra for that.”
C: “What?! It’s a vegetable, it’s not like I’m asking for more meat.”
OL: “It’s the most expensive item on the sub.”

I fully understand that she, as a franchise, is a little ticked off by how crappy her investment in a Subway turned out to be. But to take it out on a customer is just absurd. After all, the margin on those olives is going to completely vanish if you don’t sell enough sandwiches to put them on. Sorry Jared, but I’m going to stick with the place that actually makes a sub that I want to eat. There are a lot of businesses that would trade the cost of a second handful of olives for a satisfied, and recurring customer.

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Tejus Parikh

Tejus is an software developer, now working at large companies. Find out when I write new posts on twitter, via RSS or subscribe to the newsletter: