Friday, August 11, 2006

TMI or just needing an ear?

Chowhound and I stopped in at Subway for dinner last night. We just needed a quick bite between band practice and open house. There was a young man making the orders and an older woman working the cash register. Chowhound placed his order, foot long Bourbon Chicken. No problem. Then, the trouble started. I asked for a chicken terriyaki salad. He got this blank look on his face and asked "What kind of bread do you want that on?" My turn for the facial expression. "It's a salad. No bread." His expression gets even more confused looking. "What's that?" I'm thinking, "hello, you know the green leafy good for you stuff that goes in a bowl" that and about a half dozen adjectives to describe this kid. Luckily, the woman piped in with an explanation, "It's his second day on the job." She then points out the three foot by eight foot menu on the wall and shows him what they sell. I'm thinking that should have been covered in day one of Subway101. But, hey no sweat, I'm forgiving. The lady tells me she will make my salad after she finishes ringing up the other 4 witnesses. Okay. I can deal with that.

While all of this is going on, the woman's husband comes in and brings groceries. He is reaching over the end of the counter trying to put them in the back. The young man finally helps him out of takes the plastic bags to the back. Then, a discussion develops about how the man would get home. All the while I'm standing there patiently starving and running out of time before the Open House at the school while Chowhound is sitting behind me wolfing down on his footlong. Oh, good, a decision is made. The man and boy leave after retrieving the Winn Dixie bag that was put in the back in less than 10 minutes earlier. Now maybe I can get my dinner.

The woman starts on my salad. She puts the lettuce in the bowl and then leans forward and whispers, "I found a lump in my breast this morning." I'm floored. I wasn't expecting that. And then she stops making my salad and proceeds to give me details. Now, this is not a place I frequent. I have never seen this lady in my life. We are not friends or even acquaintances. I'm starving and she has my dinner in her hands. But, although I have never had to worry about a breast lump I can certainly emphasize. I'm sure she is worried and just needed to express that. So, I offer my encouragement that hopefully it would be nothing. She then gives me her medical history. She has had lumps before. They were all benign. She has had uterine cancer and had all those parts taken out. The free clinic will be open this Saturday so she can go to the doctor. She needs to get her heart meds anyhow. I now probably know about as much as her doctor.

All the while, I am still withering away while drooling over my anticipated dinner. It is still just a newborn bowl of lettuce waiting to bloom into a full blown salad. It is on the other side of the sneeze glass just taunting me. Meanwhile, behind me Chowhound is ready to leave as we now have five minutes to get to the school. We had more than an hour for dinner when we started. I eventually get my salad, scarf it down, and head out the door with a wave and a good luck.

Now, I listened to the woman because obviously she was worried but I just couldn't help but think that this was way too much info. Maybe it's just me but it didn't seem like appropriate counter chit-chat. Am I too callous and cold. I was polite to the lady but my thoughts and actions were not in synch with one another.

And to top it all off, I was late for 1st period. I was immediately transformed into the teenage humiliated and scorned for walking in late and disrupting the class. This didn't make a good impression.