Secret Ingredients

You know how people sometimes say, “Wow, this is delicious.  What’s in this?”  Then the person being complimented replies, “…(various food items), but the secret ingredient is love.”  Until recently, I thought that was just a saying.  But after an experience at a food court where the most apathetic person made me a breakfast bagel sandwich, I discovered love really is an essential ingredient.

When I approached the bagel shop, there were two employees behind the counter.  I waited for a moment.  One of them who appeared to be the manager (his shirt had a collar) said to the other, “Are you going to take this man’s order?”

“What do you want?” the employee asked me.

I said, “I would like the egg and cheddar breakfast bagel on an anything bagel.  Oh and I would like egg whites.”  Because I’m good a picking up body language, I immediately recognized the egg whites request was annoying.

Then after a long pause, the manager inquired,  “Are you going to make this man’s sandwich?”

Now I’m thinking this boss is being awfully negative towards his employee, and I don’t want all that negativity being projected onto my breakfast bagel sandwich.

The employee said back, “What does it look like?”

But the boss did have a point because it didn’t really look like he was making the sandwich.  He was just standing there.

“You better make that sandwich right too,” barked the manager.  I started to worry. How often does this employee make sandwiches incorrectly that he needs to be reminded to make them right?  I hope he takes care in making my bagel sandwich because breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Then the boss dropped this bomb, “I might fire you soon for your performance if you don’t correct your attitude.”

At that point I was extremely concerned about the quality of my bagel because anyone would make a terrible breakfast bagel sandwich if given news they were about to be fired.  No one takes pride in how they make their last bagel.  This isn’t like a captain going down with his ship.  This was a bagel shop in a food court.

The employee finished making the sandwich and handed it to me.  Now because this was a food court, you would take your food items and pay for them at the exit where all the cashiers were.  I got about halfway to the registers and decided to throw my sandwich into the garbage because it was made with absolutely no love.  By my accounting, it had a least two tablespoons of sadness, a pinch of resentment, and a zest of melancholy.  Another reason I discarded the sandwich was because while it was being made the boss also asked, “Did you wash your hands?”  And the employee said, “What do you think?”  I felt strongly he was bluffing with that rhetorical question.  Love along with sanitation are the secret ingredients.


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