Help! I Was a Total Asshole to the Girl Who Works at My Favorite Sandwich Shop

I have this routine where I eat healthy-ish throughout the entire week and then reward myself by getting ratchet on Friday night. Then I’ll wake up on Saturday and go straight to this delightful little neighborhood sandwich shop across the street from me and order a bacon, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat bagel with a medium iced coffee, and the ritual of it all (or maybe just the bacon) fulfills me in ways that the unconditional love of another human being a healthy, balanced breakfast never could.

So this past Saturday I hobbled into the sandwich shop at about ten o’clock. Please note that I barely slept the night before, so I was tired and weak and generally struggling to not sound like Christian Bale’s Batman.

  • Me: Hi. I’ll have a bacon egg and cheese on a toasted whole wheat bagel, and—
  • Girl taking my order: A medium iced coffee with milk only? I remember! [Smiles warmly.]

In my head: Oh! This is the moment in which I befriend the girl who works at the sandwich shop because I’ve been here so many times. If this exchange goes well, my future visits will involve her being all, “Hey Nic! How was your week? Getting the usual today?” and I’ll be like, “Yeah, girl!” and we’ll probably live happily ever after (or something).

I wanted to answer her with a self-deprecating and light response to ensure the above fate, maybe something like: “Haha, yep! That’s me. I’m boring and my order never changes. [Chuckle/smile.] Thanks.”

But on this particular morning my brain wasn’t working, because as stated before, I was tired and weak and generally struggling to not sound like Christian Bale’s Batman — so while I tried to formulate a sentence like the one above, I just couldn’t do it on such short notice, and so, fucking THIS ended up happening:

  • Me [Dryly]: Well, I’ve only ordered it about a hundred times, so… good.

WHO SAYS THAT TO SOMEONE? I’m sure this is exactly what I looked like in that girl’s head at that moment:


After the dust settled, I gave an awkward half-laugh/half-look-of-disgust as I realized that I had responded to her in the way a total asshole – a total asshole for no reason, nonetheless – would have.

Meanwhile, she gave me a look that was half-shocked and half-“Ew, your attitude is fucking gross,” which, really, was generous. Because if the shoe was on the other foot and I was working at a sandwich shop and a customer talked to me like that, I’d have totally been like, “GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN, DICK. AND MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN ICED COFFEE.”

I spent the rest of my time in the shop waiting for my sandwich in what can only be described as a severely uncomfortable state of debilitating embarrassment and shame, which is yet to wear off entirely.

As another Saturday approaches, I find myself fraught with anxiety over how to move on with my bagel-eating life. I’ve narrowed down my options to the following:

  1. Banish myself from this particular sandwich shop (in a dramatic fashion and while listening to that “deception, disgrace” song from the Lion King 2 soundtrack, perhaps) forever.
  2. Continue on as if it never happened and just hope that the girl forgets about it and/or has a forgiving heart and/or has better things to do than give a shit about my antics in the first place.
  3. Explicitly acknowledge the blunder the next time I come in and say something like, “Hey, remember that time I was a total dick to you? Haha, sorry. It was a weird thing where my brain stopped working and couldn’t formulate the kind of sentence I wanted it to, and again, sorry. Sorry! Sorry!! LOVE ME.”
  4. Crawl into a hole and die… ?

Please feel free to cast your vote — and/or offer a better option — in the comments below.

P.S. When I told my brother this story he was like, “Really? You’re putting that much thought into this? Nic, you have issues.” So I guess Option 5 is to agree with him.

P.P.S. When I told my friend Steven this story he was all, “I’d have spit in your bagel if I were her,” and then I was like, “Yeah but can we talk about how difficult it was for ME?! At least she had the luxury of being the victim,” and really I’m only including this exchange here because I find it kind of hilarious but also a little fucked up that it was so easy for me to use “the luxury of being the victim” in a sentence without even a trace of irony, which I guess proves my brother right in that first P.S.




  1. Personally I would go with number 3

  2. …or number 5: the girl is nowhere to be seen on your next visit because she quit her job, tired of serving assholes like you, and went back to college to learn how to be mean to lowly minimum wage service workers. 😉

    • Ha! OMG this option would be such a gift, as it would totally allow me to put a “I-changed-her-life-for-the-better” spin on this whole thing. Crossing my fingers!

  3. The Howling Fantogs says:

    There’s a Lion King 2 soundtrack?

  4. Is it even *possible* for you to be an asshole?? (I say this like I know you just because I read your blog) but yeah… um, number three. Grovel or find another bagel shop. She’ll probably think you’re an idiot but will probably then not spit in your bagel.

    • Gah, 3 is clearly the winner! Maybe this is all happening as a way for the universe to push me into confronting my fear of confrontation and being hated.

      Side note: LOVE YOU for that first sentence/question! It’s really not! Except for when it is, such as in this above, very rare, scenario.

  5. Everybody messes up sometimes. This is why we have social constructs in place to deal with exactly this kind of thing. You need to go back into the shop as soon as you can, before your regularly scheduled day (like later this morning), and you tell her that you are sorry you were such an asshole on Saturday. Tell her that it has been bugging you because you think she is so [nice, cute, sweet, something she would like to be] and she absolutely deserves a better customer than you. I don’t know about offering an excuse such as “bad day,” “exhausted brain,” or whatever. Some say it is necessary to give her something she can relate to that will also give her a reason to forgive and let it go, others say it takes away from the weight of your apology and shifts the focus from how your behavior affected her back to you and how it is all about how you felt. So, find a balance there.

    Look and feel sorry, but keep it in perspective. You messed up a perfectly good social interaction, but you did not put her cat in a suitcase and kick it up and down the street while she screamed and cried for you to stop. You aren’t off the hook, though. You did behave thoughtlessly, and you probably shit on her day. She might be reliving the moment and feeling awful, or she might be thinking about the ways that she should have responded and feeling stupid. She might be beating herself up for misreading you. Sure, she might have not thought about it since the moment it was over, but she sounds sweet, so it is more likely that she remembers and has found a way to blame herself.

    You see, I understand because I over think things, too.

    You are right to give things like this a lot of thought. This is what makes you a good human and will help you to be an even better human. One day you may just be a Super Human and just think of all the good you can do then!

    You can do this, Nic. You are thoughtful and kind by nature, and you are willing to do the hard work to be the best Nicolas that you can possibly be. I look forward to hearing how it all turns out.

    TL;DR – Go right now and apologize to the nice girl. Promise her that you will always try to don’t do that again. Also, tell us how it goes.

    • Ahhh this was such a lovely analysis of the situation. It’s true: little human interactions like this are where the truths of our character lie!

  6. If it makes you feel any better, I was at walmart yesterday and a similar thing happened to me. It was about 105 degrees out, my son spent the whole time screaming his head off, and…well, I feel like just the word Walmart sums up the disaster that was our grocery trip.

    I pushed my cart up to check out (my son still screaming for no aparent reason) and the 18 year old cashier said “hi how is your day going?”. And instead of having a pleasant conversation or even just smiling and saying fine how’s yours…I said “how does it look like it’s going?”. Then I did the same thing you did and felt like a total asshole while I stood there and he bagged my groceries.

    At the end I apologized and told him it was a hard day and to make it even worse…he said “it’ll be ok as soon as he takes a nap”. I have replayed the situation a hundred times now and can’t believe I was so rude haha!!

    If I were you Id go back and make light of it. She’ll appreciate it and probably like you even more had you just smiled the first time. It gives you a connection! And it will make you feel better.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that Walmart story! I feel your pain. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only person capable of making such a blunder – though yours was of course more justified, because like you said, it was Walmart and good things just never happen there.

  7. Yeah, you totally have to own this one buddy – not for her, but for you – because if you don’t own it and apologize then I know I have to hear about the time you were a dick to the waitress for the next 6 months and I don’t think I can take it!
    Much LOVE!

    • Ha!! It’s so true, I can already see references being made to this exact situation – trackback linkage and all – popping up in posts from here through the early holiday season, LOL.

  8. Number 3! 2 sounds uncomfortably awkward, and while 1 and 4 sound similar and tempting, it’s too hard to stay away from the bagels. Bagels always win out 🙂


    I’m done. Serve me up and smoke me because I’m DONE.

    I literally LOL-ed for days after that reference.

    Also, go with #3.

  10. Hahaha. Sorry I am finding your dilemma so funny but I used to work as a waitress and had to serve ass… Sorry, I meant people like you. I would have picked 4, cos that’s what she would gave picked 😀 P.S. Am really enjoying reading your blogs, you have a great sense of humour!

    • LOL thank you for this comment! I didn’t mention that I too used to wait tables, and it’s true, serving assholes was always the worst part of the job. But now I have more empathy for them, as I am open to the possibility that they’re all just well-meaning-but-totally-hungover weirdos like I was on the morning of this bagel incident, haha.

  11. Haha! This was great! If I were you, I would just find a new sandwich shop but I’m really awful in awkward situations.

    • Same here!!! It’s funny because I haven’t been back to the shop yet, though I’m telling myself it’s a cutting-out-carbs thing, but we all know the truth, haha.

  12. If this girl were me, at first I would think “Yeah, this guys is an ass” but I would still be nice to my customers. I used to be a store associate that was connected to a warehouse in back. So not only did I have to deal with unruly customers but I had to work my butt off in the back. It was so tiring that I had to leave. The minimum wage and the difficult work did it for me. But sometimes, and I understand this, customers aren’t thinking when they come in through the door and whatever happened between me and them didn’t bother them. So whether they were stressed or hurried, I didn’t let whatever happened between us bother me either.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! I had similar ones when working as a waiter back in the day, it’s all about “shaking it off” as Taylor Swift would say, haha. Hopefully sandwich shop girl shook me off!

  13. No. 3. What happened next? I too was a douchecanoe. I didn’t apologise. I see the woman in the grocery store. She eyeballs me sourly and vice versa. I can never go to her checkout again. Even when her line is empty! I meant to say sorry but its been a year now…!

    • Haha omg I fear you just gave me a glimpse into my future! So I have been back to the shop once since this debacle occurred, but she wasn’t working. We shall see what happens when we’re face-to-face next!

  14. I read the entry about Thought Catalog first, it was wonderful and insightful and a little depressing, then I came here and laughed quite a bit. Thanks for that, you taught me a lot tonight! Take care.

  15. I went through the comments and you said that you haven’t seen her? Please update us soon!
    And I’ll have to go with option 3, but change your words a bit. Just be sincere. I guess she’ll understand.

    • So I’ve been back once more since the time I went and she wasn’t there. The SECOND time, she was actually on a break (or something) outside engaged in conversation with an older couple that I presume were her parents… so I didn’t interrupt them and I went inside and placed my order with someone else yet again! So now not only have I not had a chance to apologize, but I also have seen her talking to her parents, which further humanizes her and makes me feel like more of an asshole AND it’s been like 3 weeks at this point so IDK I think my window has closed!!!? This has all become so very convoluted, haha. I’ll have to give a formal update soon. ANYWAY, thank you for commenting! 🙂

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