Friday, December 12, 2008

The Frown that Garnered Three Free Meals

I went into Cosi the other day looking for some soup, but I came out with three free meals.

At first I started out at a hot dog stand, but when I peered in, no one was there, so I ended up at Cosi.

It was close to 2pm, so I thought the lunch rush would be over, but it was not. So first I had to fight to get someone's attention, since I wasn't ordering a sandwich and all of their attention was focused on people who wanted higher priced menu items.

Then I got the soup of the day, which was actually three bean chili, in a coffee cup with a coffee-drinking lid. This is where I'm sure a frown started to crease my brow. I was told that they were out of lids for the soup containers.
(As an aside, I'll say that I am usually afraid of chili, but I was so hungry that I forgot that irrational fear. Really, anything you eat at a restaurant could be a hodge podge of who-knows-what, but I still avoid chili.)

Soup comes with bread, which as a carbaholic, I do not need, but still wanted because I am entitled to it. I reminded the harried worker behind the counter of this. A different employee started to ask me what I wanted (White. I usually do the "healthy" thing and get wheat, but I didn't want multi-grain.) and at the same time the harried worker thrust some (multi-grain) bread in my hand. Meanwhile, I heard another employee ask someone if they wanted white or multi-grain.

"You know that's multi-grain," said the woman behind me. I looked at it, and rolled me eyes, resigned to my healthy multi-grain fate because I just wanted to get out of there. But then I thought better of it as asked for the bleached flour white bread because that is what I wanted.

When I got to the register, a manager, who I had seen chastising an employee about not using gloves to make a sandwich earlier, upped and grabbed by coffee container o'chili and disappeared.

"Forget it. I don't want it," I told the cashier. As it turns out the manager was trying to put the chili in the correct container, but I didn't want to be bothered by then.

This same manager reappeared and told me that she had something for me if I'd just wait a few minutes. I frowned, but since the cashier couldn't process the refund until another manager came to do whatever that special thing is that managers do, I was still there when she came back.

She gave me three cards for three free meals, prefacing this gift saying that she was sorry and that even if I didn't want to return to that Cosi, there were many all over town and here were cards for three free meals. That was very smart.

Although as a kid, they told me that frowning was bad and that it would leave lines on my face (which it does), it is still worth something. Really, I was tired, hungry and cranky, otherwise I'd have been more patient since they were so busy. But it is just as well that I wasn't.

When I walked back across the street, I found my appetite and the hot dog vendor, so I got Italian sausage with little hassle for half the price of the soup.

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