Sunday, June 18, 2006

True Deli Tales

I work the delicatessen. This is my story.

Something I never get tired of saying:

Take it! Take your pound of flesh!

A mom and young daughter are shopping for lunchmeat:

Customer: What kind of Salami do you have?

Me: We have Hard salami and Genoa.

Customer: What's the difference?

Me: Genoa has peppercorns in it.

Customer: Ohhh, give me Hard. My daughter really loves the Hard salami.

Me: Oh. Okay.
Co-Worker: Stop saying 'flesh'. It's gross.

Me: Why? That's what it is. The flesh of dead animals. Killed because they are tasty.

Co-Worker: It sounds bad.

Me: How so? These people know what they are getting. They want some animal cut into bite-sized pieces and I do it for them.

Co-Worker: It's just wrong.

Me: Hey, if the customers can't handle the moral implications of eating animals because I hold a mirror up to their ethics then they are free to visit our large produce section.

Co-Worker: Stop it! You are messing with our customer's heads!

Me: You are messing with my Feng-Shuei.
Customer: What is all that red juice and pink marbling?

Me: Uhmmmm...This is meat. Animals have parts.
Customer: All this meat has fat in it.

Me: Yes, it does. This isn't tofu. It's meat.

Me: Aaaaaand... Here's your cheese. The deeply-embossed thumbprint comes at no charge.

Customer: Cool! I like free stuff.
Me: Sit at home in your dark basement cutting up animals and they call you crazy. Do it at work and they pay you for it. What a world.
Me: At least I respect the sacrifice the animals made. I don't lie to myself all day about what I eat and where my food comes from. I am not in denial like some people.

Co-Worker: It just sounds cruel.

Me: Can I help it if some customer gets a glimpse of Medusa in Perseus' shield, only to realize that the image they see is, actually, themselves?

Co-Worker: Huh?

Me: Have you ever read a book?

Co-Worker: Of course I have.

Me: You think I have rocked the foundations of any customer's belief systems? Do they leave here so shaken by staring into the smoking mirror of truth that they go home, repeatedly say to themselves they are really, really a good person and get drunk on that bottle of whiskey they have hidden in the linen closet?

Co-Worker (To customers): Do you believe this?

Customers (Shrugging): He's right.

Co-Worker: I can't believe you are all on his side.

Me: Cage-free and free-range animals are stupid. The only time I want my food out of it's tiny cage is when the farmers show the animal shock videos of what's going to happen to it.

Co-Worker: They don't show the animals videos!

Me: Yes, they do. And after the movie they publicly ridicule them.

Co-Worker: No, they do not!

Me: It's all about the fear. When the animal knows it's about to get gacked it causes fear. Adrenalin is Natures' Tenderizer.

Co-Worker: Adrenalin actually causes meat to get tough and not taste as good.

Me: That's junk science. I can't believe you bought into all that 1960's Anti-War Berkeley propaganda. You hippie. You are a hippie!

Sometimes you have to come out from behind the counter to get to the salads and prepared food that are way up in front of the case and serve them from the front.
Customer: Oh, I didn't want you to have to go to all this trouble.

Me: No problem.

Customer: I'd have thought you could just do a reach-around.

Me: Hey, this guy doesn't do reach-arounds.
Me: Doesn't working in a delicatessen clash with your stance against animal cruelty and exploitation?

Co-Worker: I have to pay the rent. I need a job.

Me: So...You are against animal exploitation as long as it doesn't affect you personally?

Co-Worker: I'm going on break.

Me: Stay out of the linen closet! Hey, nice shoes. Leather?

Keep in mind this is all done in the presence of customers.



  1. That was hilarious. I am so going to steal it.

  2. When you get fired will you be posting twice a day, every day?

    Tex Lebeauf

  3. Heh, what is this co-worker like? She/he sounds like a grouch.

  4. Gus: Not so much a grouch as a weird crank. Angry 15 minute rants about needing a scrubbing pad from the sink, phone calls and how much everyone dislikes him/her are not uncommon.

    Anon: More.

    Marionette: Rock on, you crazy cat!

  5. These are awesome. I love true work stories, espcially when the co-workers are tarded.

    The early exchanges remind me of my local Whole Foods (which is an organic, healthy, free-range, anti-antibiotic, fair trade etc etc type place). now, i'm all for that stuff, but they recently stopped the veal and the live lobster tank because customers were complaining. i hate that kind of namby pamby window dressing "see no evil" crap. these are probably the same people who go out to eat and scarf down animals of all kinds, but just don't to be reminded that the delicious lobster sprinkled liberally through the pasta was once actually a living thing.

  6. eeeeeeeek!

    (Traumatized bu the cow chart) ------>

  7. What kind of people really eat liverwurst and head cheese? Be honest. I have a theory that only people over the age of 65 or so buy this stuff because their tastebuds are already starting to go anyway.

  8. What kind of people really eat liverwurst and head cheese?

    Not too mention Scrapple (Meaty bits in congealed fat) and Souse (Main ingredient: Pig snouts).

  9. I'm Spanish and here it is normal to ask for a part of the body of the animal and a specific way to cut it. The professionalism of our butchers allow us to cook properly and have a healthy diet. When I've lived in UK I found very difficult to cook as I'm used to and I felt almost forced to eat ready made food, unhelthy awfull food.


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