Don’t Mess With The Rohit: A Subway Story


About a week ago I was with my buddy Scott working on a project when I asked the ever important question, “Yo, what’s for lunch?”

Given the limited options that presented themselves, we opted for Subway which was directly across the street from his office. We both figured quick and easy.

So off we went where I jumped in line like a cog on a conveyor belt, shouting out my order to the “sandwich artists”. With the precision of a skilled craftsman (who am I kidding, this was Subway!), my guy began building the foundation for a fantastic sandwich.

Bread?
Check.
Meat?
Check.
Cheese?
Check.

Now we were in the final stretch. Some veggies, a few condiments and I was one seriously happy Craig.

The ever important handoff to the next Subway employee occurs flawlessly – like watching Barry Sanders in the backfield, there was a little shucking, a little dancing and boom off he goes!

Veggies?
Check!
(I’m getting geeked…what can I say? I was hungry!)
Condiments?
Uh…condiments?

Why was he wrapping my sub? Wha…wait a sec! Fumble! Fumble!

So the Subway employee skips my need for oil & vinegar leaving me with as my friend Scott described, “Superdry”.

I remind him, “Excuse me sir, I wasn’t done building my sandwich.”

And his response?

“Sorry buddy, too late. Next in line!”

Well that was a pisser.

So after serious consideration and cotton mouth from my sub, I did what any hunger deprived person would do: write a formal letter of complaint on subway.com.

I described to the t what had transpired. I didn’t over-embellish, I just wanted to make them aware that for a company who prides itself on the customized experience, they failed in delivering by ignoring a customer.

Now for the kicker. Instead of the standard apologies or discount I would normally have expected, I received the following below:

Hi Craig Sorry for your bad experience at varick street on monday. Please stop by the store and identify the employee. I’ll take appropriate action. Please understand that if you fail to show up then your time spent writing to subway is useless and that employee might do the same to some else. Help me help you get a better sandwich next time. Thanks! rohit manager.

What the hell?! Hamma laws in a Subway?! Can I make this rogue employee lunch and forget his condiments and call it even?

Could you just imagine? A police lineup of Subway employees with me standing behind mirrored glass?

“There he is Mr. Rohit! There is that vile man who ruined my sandwich!”

While I’m sure Rohit’s intentions were pure in giving me the opportunity to walk into his restaurant and point a finger, I’m not sure that’s the kind of behavior I’d encourage. Instead of singling out the one guy who ruined my experience, why not share my letter with the team and then explain how 1 negative experience can impact everybody? How about inviting me back into the location after a quick retraining, so to allow me to walk away impressed and possibly repost my positive experience?

I’m going to write Rohit back and explain the above. If there’s any other advice from anyone reading this, I’d love to hear it. Above all else, I’ve found this banter between myself and Subway relatively entertaining.

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