An Open Letter to the Deli Worker at the Uptown Wal-Mart:


First off, let me just say that I understand the difficulties of your job moreso than most.  I myself worked in a deli for three years - it was a position very similar to yours, with perhaps only superficial differences.  So I know some of the problems you guys face on a daily basis.

I am referring, of course, to the "exact weight" customer - someone who wants exactly 100 grams of sliced meat, and if you go even two grams over, will ask that you shave some off to make it an even 100g.  I have dealt with these people, and I know how frustrating they can be.  That being said, you and I both know that most customers will shrug if you go a little bit over and say "close enough".  If they want 100g and you accidentally slice 120g, they're fine with that. 

That being said, when I ask for fifty grams of turkey meat, I am not going to shrug and say "close enough" when you put one hundred and ten grams on the scale.  That is more than twice what I asked for, after all.  Would you say "close enough" if you ordered an 8 oz. steak at a restaurant and instead got a 20 oz. steak, and then were charged the full price? 

The fact is, I wanted enough meat for one sandwich.  I realize it's only a difference about one dollar, but it's really the principle of the thing.  Not to mention the fact that I'm not exactly rolling in the dough right now, and these days, every dollar counts. 

So when I said "actually, can I get fifty grams?" when you started packaging up that 110g of meat without asking me, you had no right to make a face.  And I think you realized this yourself, because shortly thereafter, you took off enough meat to make it 50g, and then put the meat back on the scale and wrapped it, giving me sixty grams of sliced turkey for free. 

I appreciate the gesture, and I thanked you for it.  And then I turned to leave.  And you made another face, one that looked sort of like a pug that ate a bad prune.  It was a face that said "I can't believe how unappreciative that guy is, after I went and did such a nice thing for him!"

But let's be honest, here.  If you didn't give it to me for free, you'd be throwing that meat out - so it cost you nothing.  It just meant that when you take the garbage out, the bag is going to weigh about sixty grams less.  And it's not as if I went up to you, begging for sixty grams of free meat.  I wanted roughly fifty grams (or forty grams, or sixty grams, maybe even seventy grams), and I was willing to pay that amount. 

So please, don't expect me to treat this exchange as if you've just given me a free car, or offered a spare kidney you just had lying around. 

Please keep this in mind in the future.

Yours truly,


P.S.  Oh, yeah.  Telling me that turkey and chicken "are the same thing" is kind of a stupid thing to say, especially when you work in a deli.   

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