Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'll Make for a Great Old Lady Some Day

Some delicious panini I'll never consume
I go to Whole Foods for lunch a few times a week, often buying weird, healthy shit like seitan skewers because, you know... seitan skewers. Where else can you get those? I don't even know if I like those, but I get 'em.

I'm disappointed to report that in the three months I've been getting lunch there, I've discovered an issue. It's not a big issue, OK? I know it's not a big issue, so let's preface it with that & get it out of the way before you #firstworldproblems me (which I hate). This is a dumb issue, but this is often a blog about dumb things, so it's within the purview of my usual content to discuss this pressing lunch problem.

Behind the Whole Foods deli counter is a massive chalkboard. Each month, some talented staffer with lovely handwriting & a 52-count pack of Crayola chalk decorates this massive chalkboard with a beautiful advertisement for the supposed "Panini of the Month," always some delicious-sounding sandwich that I imagine to be oozing with fancy, gooey cheese. November's sandwich, for example, was grilled cheese on cranberry bread with taleggio & hot pepper jelly. December's is robiola with maple ham on focaccia. I cannot remember what October's was because it was so long ago & because it was never available. Wait, did you read that? Not available. And you'll notice that I say I "imagine" the ooey-gooeyness of these sandwiches... because that's the issue. In the three months that I've been attempting to order the respective paninis of the month, I have only been successful once. Why? Because the Panini of the Month is a freaking unicorn, that's why.

The one time I ordered the Panini of the Month with success was mid-November, & let me tell you, that sandwich was amazing. Weird, because there was fruit in the bread, but amazing nonetheless. Had I known it was my only time to eat it, I would've eaten it much more slowly, live-tweeted every bite. After that day, Whole Foods never had it again, which I know because I went in every day for a full week, & eventually the woman behind the counter recognized me & told me they weren't getting that bread anymore & didn't have the hot pepper jelly. (Nothing sad about being recognized at the deli counter, OKshutup.)

Today, I tried again with the December sandwich:

"Can I have the Panini of the Month, please?"
"Which is...?"
"Um, the one advertised on the massive sign behind you."
[Looking at sign] "Oh..." [To coworker] "Do we even have that?"

The coworker informed me that Whole Foods no longer receives shipments of robiola cheese, & thus no longer makes this sandwich. OF THE MONTH. Of this month! This sounds suspiciously like the cranberry bread & pepper jelly situation, no? Like some goddamn Panini of the Month conspiracy.

Something had to be done! I made my complaint official – no, not just by tweeting it but by taking it to the customer service desk, which I approached with a smile & where I prefaced my words with, "This is the dumbest complaint in the world, & I'm not actually mad about it, but..." The very friendly sales clerk, unnecessarily apologetic & seemingly as appalled as I was by the monthly lack of Paninis of the Month, immediately radioed for the deli counter in an attempt to right this wrong. I left feeling confident that the situation would be remedied, though I also feel confident I'll never learn what robiola tastes like.

On my way out, I bought lunch. No panini, of course, but a scoop & a half of antipasti, a KIND bar, & a BluePrint juice. When the cashier rung it up, it cost $20... and I realized I shouldn't be going to Whole Foods for lunch anyway, damn it.


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