Monday, October 15, 2007

Why Can't A Sandwich Always Be A Sandwich?

The cafeteria where I work has great food. And because we get an employee discount when we wear our badges, it is a cheap place to grab some lunch. At least most of the time it is. Sometimes, I come away from the cash register with visions of poking my fork in the cashiers eye and pouring my drink over her head. Because apparently the price of food items in the cafeteria varies from day to day depending on what color of shirt you are wearing and whether or not the cashier has to pee.

Okay, maybe those aren't the reasons - but there is something wrong with whatever pricing system they do or do not have in place. Last week, I ran upstairs and grabbed a bottle of Red Diamond Sweet Tea (best drink in the world), went to the sandwich bar and ordered a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, and picked up a small bag of chips. I get to the register and the woman glances at my employee badge, charges me $1.60 and I'm on my way. That's a great lunch. And that is typically the price I pay for those items.

On another day last week, I went to the salad bar, rounded my paper plate over with a huge salad, grabbed a Red Diamond tea and headed over to pay. When you make your own salad, it has to be weighed to determine the price so I placed it on the scale. She glanced at my badge, read the scale, entered the tea and I was charged $2.30. Again, another great price for such a large salad and a drink.

But today, for whatever reason, prices were not so great. Today I picked up a "pre-packaged sandwich" out of the refrigerator (usually left from the night before, so they are a discounted price) and a pre-packaged salad which comes in a plastic container about the size of a McDonald's Fillet-O-Fish box. Not really that big. For a drink, I opted for a bottle of Crystal Light and stepped up to the cash register proudly wearing my employee badge. The old lady sitting at the register did appear to glance at my badge, I heard her say "sandwich, salad, juice" and then she turned to me and said "$5.00 please."

What? How the hell is this $5? I asked her "did you get my discount" and flipped my badge towards her.
"Yep", she replied.
"Well," I said, "how much is the Crystal Light? I normally get tea and it's only a dollar"
"The Crystal Light is a dollar also"
And of course, they do not print receipts. So unless I want to start making a much larger scene and continue holding up the line of people that was growing behind me, I just had to walk off and wonder exactly what the hell did I pay for this day old sandwich and minuscule salad?

And this is not the first time I have had this issue. I don't normally eat a great variety of foods there mainly because nothing is priced (isn't that convenient?) so I kind of stick with what I know is cheap, because my money is needed in places much more important than buying food. So, I've noticed before that a drink and a PB & J sandwich ranges from $1.25 to $1.90 or so depending on who is checking me out. But, it's such a great price either way that I've never really worried about it.

But today's lunch was ridiculous. Back to bringing home-made PB & J sandwiches for me - at least for the rest of the week. I've spent my $5 lunch allowance all in one trip. Bastards.


Scott said...

Been like that for the 7 years I've been here... It's all about WHO you go to. The blonde with the blue eye-shadow is generally the cheapest. It seems price is directly related to cashier age, in general. It's kind of a fun game, actually...

...roseykrh said...

Yeah, I've noticed it before and it is an interesting game. But today, there was only one cashier so I had no choice and it was just an insane amount of money for what I got.

I wanted to eat wings off of the hot bar, but I avoided them on purpose because last time I got them I paid over $4 for about 12 wings. So, not wanting to spend $4 I bypassed what I was really craving and opted for a "cheap" meal.

Ha, the joke was on me.

Scott said...

lol, and I forgot you go a bit later and may not have the same options in the 'cashier game' that I do. :)

...roseykrh said...

okay, now I'm really mad about yesterdays meal because today I got a Pork Tenderloin sandwich from the grill and an order of french fries for $1.60

Tammy said...

Personally, I'd go to the head of the cafeteria and ask questions. Not in an accusing way, just in a "I'm curious" way. Tell him/her you're trying to make the most of your lunch budget and would like some guidance. Then again, you probably don't have time for that stuff!