Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Sandwich guy

Every day (well, most days), sometime between 11:45 and about 12:30 (although on at least two occasions as late as 1:20), there's a guy in a ski jacket and tuque who walks briskly down the main aisle (on which I'm situated) between the desks at my office, with a big blue cooler slung across his back. He calls out, "Sandwiches," brusquely; sometimes as he's approaching, but sometimes you just hear the echo of it — you look up and realize he's already turned the corner.

It took me a couple of weeks to figure it out: the man actually sells sandwiches. And a little while longer before I actually witnessed a transaction.

What era are we in? I see them sell sandwiches from the cart on Mad Men, but I never thought I'd see anything like it in my working career.

After monitoring his comings and goings for a few weeks, I finally asked some coworkers about him. They rewarded me with a spreadsheet recording the times of his appearance over the space of a few months, about a year ago. It seems my predecessor gave him the moniker I was already using in my head, and my time-tracking observations were confirmed.

Sandwich Guy does indeed sells sandwiches; and they're pretty good, they say.

He's associated with Les Sandwichs Volants, but nobody knows definitively his relationship with that organization, or how he comes to traverse our office space on a quasi-regular basis.

There's on ongoing debate as to whether his service commands tipping, and it seems my predecessor believed firmly that it did not — which, it's alleged, may have a little something to do with his unreliability. Past a certain hour, you just can't be sure that he'll have anything left to satisfy your particular lunchtime needs, or that he'll show up at all. (Although, it's hard to know if they ever really attended to Sandwich Guy's behaviour before my predecessor drew attention to it.)

Today, was my first first-hand experience with Sandwich Guy. I tagged behind a few coworkers who were hoping to head him off before he sold out of goods at the other end of the office. Alas, no carrot cake for the translator, but the vegetarian was in luck, and so was I.

Only two meat sandwiches left. I considered roast lamb, but opted otherwise.

Rôti de porc tranché, mayonnaise, piments marinés, sauce piquants, tomates, concombres, laitue. On a foot of baguette. Delicious. For $5.50.

And he called me mademoiselle.

I'm sorry I waited till winter is almost over. I could grow to really like Sandwich Guy.
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