Come gather round children, and let me sing you the epic ballad of the fast food restaurant known only as “Sad Subway”. Now I am a former Subway employee, which leaves me with an unreasonable love for the food/hate for the employees, whom I am always convinced are doing a crappy job that I could do way better.

Imagine, if you will, a Subway employee who was always smiling, pleased to make your food, happy to add a little extra lettuce, to only put a small amount of mayo when you ask for just a little and ask if that is enough, to create any random sandwich you wanted and figure out how to charge for it on her own. That was me. Now picture someone unhappy who slops crap on a piece of bread and doesn’t understand english. Those are the employees of the Sad Subway.

The nickname came about when best friend M came to me with a tale of woe and lunch. “The lady who made my sandwich was crying.” “YES!” I exclaimed, she is ALWAYS crying when I go in!” I then went on to describe this weeping woman. Eastern European with a very thick accent, dark lipliner and light lipstick, bleach blonde hair with dark roots, lots of eye makeup running everywhere. “Nope,” M says, “my girl was small and brunette”. Thus, we came to realize that it was not the PERSON who was crying all the time, but the SUBWAY that was making them cry. And so the legend of the Sad Subway began.

This “restaurant” is right down the block from my workplace. Also, a footlong veggie delight with cheese no oil or mayo is like 6-8 points? And I am full for just about forever? So anyway I go often. I can’t decide against it just because some woman is getting tears in my hot peppers. Since it is a college area, there is high turnover of the workers (I also imagine they get suspicious that there is a demon living miles beneath the subway, forcing them to cry so it can feast on their pain. I have suspected as much), and there is ALWAYS some dolt who is training and seems to find being a sandwich artist a difficult job.

“A BLT” I tell the guy. He looks up at me blankly, then a desperate hope comes across his eyes as he thinks that he may be able to trick me into ordering something easier, something he knows. “A BMT?” “No. a BLT” I tell him. “Look, I don’t even want tomatoes. The title is just a formality. It’s a new thing. I used to just order a veggie delight and add bacon to it but now someone yells at me when I do that.” (When I worked at Subway, we were allowed to  eat whatever we wanted while on shift. I very often just made bacon on bread. I would never have yelled at someone for ordering anything).

Now, children, just when I think it could not get worse, it gets odder. They hired a new person last week, a middle aged woman who could easily be the delightful mother of my original crying girl (who may be the manager now, I never see her crying anymore and she’s actually pretty good), Very Eastern European, very bad at English. Ok, I  don’t think you need your English to be perfect before you move here, or even get a job, but ….well…c’mon, it’s Subway. Can’t you easily memorize the words for the 6 or 7 different vegetable toppings before you are released on an unsuspecting public? By unsuspecting, I mean the guy ahead of me who was on the cell phone and thus was not paying attention when he asked for pickles and you put on jalopenos. Not the same thing. Oops. When I asked for Italian Dressing (oh dear god Pittsburgh has GOTTEN TO ME), she picked up Southwest with the clear air of someone picking at random, hoping against hope.

I had this woman again today. Just as bad as ever. Poor woman, her limited vocabulary and fast pace of a college campus Subway (it’s pretty much always really busy in there) seem to be a large ticket to crying city. Sad Subway has claimed another victim. Today, in fact, the front door was broken. Broken how? I’m not sure (once, at my Subway, some neighborhood girl came in to ask a friend who worked there for a free sandwich. When refused, she got angry and slammed the front door, putting her hand through it. That was a fun day.) the door was covered in posters (why not just one?) that asked us, the customer, to gently close the door and be assured that it closes before we move along, as it is broken and may shatter into  a thousand tiny glass shards at any moment.

(Bonus story from when I worked at Subway: We had a “restroom for customers only” sign on oru front door. Some lady came in, used the restroom, and on the way out we calmly repeated this sentiment, suggested maybe she was interested in a soda (didn’t expect her to buy anything, but at least discourage her next time) and she FLIPPED out, saying we wouldn’t let her leave because she used the bathroom, and actually calling the police. On speakerphone. The police call went like this “Help me I’m being held hostage in a subway!” “which line ma’am? do you know the closest stop? Is this the Market Frankford line?” “No, a Subway. The sandwich shop. I went to the bathroom and they want me to buy a soda.” “Um, ok, I dont think we can help you there ma’am”)