[Oops - not enough sleep last night - just edited the title]
There’s a certain sandwich shop in Tienmu that I go to quite a lot. It’s really way too expensive, but once a week it’s a good place to enjoy a cheese sandwich, a can of something fruity, and a little time out reading the newspaper.
When I first started going there, the sandwiches were thick with cheese and you got a big handful of chips on the side. Nowadays, the cheese lurks somewhere within the mounds of lettuce, and the chips, last time I went, totaled … three. This alone is a bad business move. I’ve seen it time and again as a frequenter of service establishments - business slows down, so they start cutting back: fewer staff, cheaper ingredients, smaller portions, etc. Big mistake. You do this, and you’re sending a very clear message to your customers that (a) you don’t care about them, and (b) you’re going under. I get the same impression whenever I walk into JB’s of a lunchtime and have to ask if they’re open because all the lights are turned off downstairs. More, when you do get s few customers coming back in, you’ve just blown your one chance to capitalize and impress.
Then I noticed that the potato salad was way too often tasting like vinegar. Whether this was because the ingredients were cheap or the food was spoiled, I don’t know, but I don’t buy it any more. I just get my sandwich.
I get bored with the same old cheese sandwich after a while and ask if I can pay extra for brie. No problem! When the bill comes, it’s about NT$330 for the sandwich and a drink and a chocolate bar (the latter totaling NT$70). That means I paid NT$260 for the brie sandwich, compared to NT$135 for the Dutch cheese - an extra NT$125 for a NT$100 piece of cheese. It turns out they were charging me for the brie on top of the Dutch cheese sandwich … but I don’t get the Dutch cheese! I asked for it, or for the price to be lowered, but it went over their heads.
A while ago I thought I’d risk a potato salad once more. It tasted OK. The next day I was sick as hell with food poisoning. But still I go back for the brie sandwich when I’m feeling decadent, because I can’t buy one anywhere else. So I get one today to take away. NT$330 for the sandwich, a drink, and chips. I get in the car and take a bite so I can savour the flavour while driving - yeuck! Something was badly wrong. I looked inside the sandwich. Apart from a strange-looking piece of tomato, everything looked normal, except for some rather drab (and scarce) lettuce. I try again, just in case it’s my taste buds playing up - yeuck! This was not right.
So, I drove back and pointed out that I was unable to eat the sandwich. They looked inside. The guy picked up a piece of the brie and put it to his nose and mouth. I was told there was a problem with the brie. They made another sandwich - this time with cambazola. I waited for that, bought some Bounty chocolate pieces as a goodwill gesture for them replacing my sandwich without question, then dashed off, now late for my next appointment.
I tried the sandwich. It tasted fine. I finished one half in a hurry. Then I took a bite out of the second half - yeuck! That same disgusting taste! WTF! It obviously wasn’t the cheese then. I looked inside the sandwich. Everything looked normal, apart from a strange-looking piece of tomato and some drab lettuce … wait a minute! Did they re-use the salad?! Tell me that’s impossible. Tell me a restaurant wouldn’t put the ingredients from a foul-tasting sandwich into the next one they make for you. Tell me they accepted the loss on the lettuce and tomato along with the brie. Tell me that.
Don’t tell me they were so friggin’ cheap and so friggin’ insensitive to their customers that they used shit from a bad sandwich to save money on making a new one!
Now I’m hungry and pissed off, so I reach for my NT$260 bag of Bounty bars. I manage to fondle my way through a wrapper in the darkness of my car and shove a piece in my mouth, desperate for the oozing taste of smooth milk chocolate melting in my mouth to release that sweet, succulent, coconut interior that takes one away to tropical - yeuck! Why oh why oh why can Wendel’s Bakery supply their customers with gorgeous, delicious, perfectly presented European confectioneries and chocolates imported from half way around the globe, but this place always manages to store theirs in such a way as to frig up the chocolate and turn it into a dry, pasty, white-encrusted ingot of flavorless crap?!
Needless to say, I have granted that little establishment way too many second chances already; I won’t be going back. :fume:
Now, name that sandwich bar.