Here’s a statement that will shock no one who’s worked behind a deli counter: Customers are the absolute worst. For every civil, straightforward patron, there’s a line of soulless, half-conscious nincompoops with barely enough wherewithal to locate the deli, let alone decide between “picnic” and “classic” potato salad. They show up at the worst moments and can be spotted from across the sales floor, a force of nature hell-bent on pissing you off.
Maybe that’s a little dramatic. But when you’ve spent a few years on the serving end of the equation, you start to notice the patterns that grind the transaction to a halt. Ordering meat and cheese should be easy, right? But vague requests, ignorance of common courtesies, and other pitfalls can take a huge toll on the exchange.
Fortunately, such pitfalls are easy to avoid. We asked several deli workers to share their most egregious pet peeves, and we threw in some of our own, too. Read on to see how you can smooth out the experience not just for you, but for the people scooping your salads and the people in line behind you.
Brace yourselves, fellow grocery vets. The traumas of spoon and slicer are real.