In the eye of the cookie beholder

Kristine Gill

During spring break, I stayed up until three, slept until one, ate, napped, showered only before making a public appearance, did homework at my leisure and worked.

Yes, I made my third triumphant return to Subway on Tyler in Mentor for a few hours and a few bucks. I love coming back to my old place of work and seeing how everything has changed. There’s usually a new sub, a new food prep procedure, and an entirely new crew – Subway on Tyler goes through employees faster than it goes through banana peppers.

I ended up working with Jane, who is in her 40s and a recent hire. Skeptical at first, I quickly fell in love with her. I appreciated her brevity. She told me what needed to be done but didn’t do it condescendingly, and she trusted that I was as good a “Sandwich Artist” as I claimed to be. She didn’t engage in awkward conversation, and she offered to do the dishes for me.

But then Jane did something that I hate- – something that people have been doing to their peers, whether intentionally or otherwise, since the very unpleasant days of kindergarten.

Jane got my attention while I was scoring bread and held up a cookie.

“Look at these, all undercooked,” she said. “They’re disgusting.”

Too shocked to give a proper reply, my lame tactic was to mention the stupid chart in the back of the store that compared pictures of properly and improperly baked cookies.

Jane just stared at me.

I expected to see her hands covered in raw cookie dough, but the specimen she held in her hand was a model of perfection. Undercooked according to Subway standards, yes, but of the most delicious consistency according to real world standards.

Disgusting?! If you want disgusting, check out the tuna scoop – it hasn’t been washed properly in a fortnight. No Jane, there is nothing gross about soft, chocolaty goodness.

Needless to say, my opinion of Jane was somewhat tainted after this encounter. No one likes to hear that the food they like and eat is disgusting, especially in kindergarten when it’s all Mommy packed.

But work continued nonetheless and it was as if I had never left. My ears heard an order and my hands crafted a beautiful sandwich. I knew the sub formulas as well as my weekly TV schedule.

But why is it that I can remember the sub formulas after not working for months and not the distance formula that I learned back in 7th grade and every year since. It definitely has something to do with the fact that meat formulas are hands on. Maybe it has something to do with meat in general. Maybe all education should relate to fresh toasted perfection – “undercooked” or otherwise.

Maybe though, I should just forget the distance formula. Forget education. Newswriting class is kicking my butt and the college experience in general is getting in the way of my real career. I should just stick with what I’m good at – what I have real passion for.

With skills like these I’ll be manager before you can say B.M.T. Forget the diploma – “Did you want American, Swiss or provolone on that?”

Kristine Gill is a freshman journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].