Sandwich line loyalty rewards the patient

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Will McDonald, Managing Editor

In every Mafia movie ever made, a big deal is always made about becoming a “Made Man,” a title given to mobsters in a large ceremony that means they are immune from being killed by rivals.

While it isn’t exactly the same thing, a very sought-after status of similar prestige exists within the Staples cafeteria – being a favorite of Colleen, who along with Amber is one of the two beloved sandwich line workers.

Each has their own line, and as a result each has their own cult-following of sandwich-orderers. While freshman typically select the shortest line, asww they become veterans many soon pledge allegiance to one line and stick to it.

Each line has it’s own pros and cons. For example, Amber has another worker helping her transfer sandwiches to the grill to be toasted and back, while Colleen has to pause from serving students to do this herself. This makes Amber’s line considerably quicker for the honest linestander.

However, the reason I am a Colleen person is because, over time, if you order the same sandwich every day, she will begin to make it for you as soon as she makes contact with your hungry eyes in the back of the line. As someone who has gotten the same sandwich every day of high school (ham, turkey and one single slice of American cheese), I was able to reach this point sooner than many of my classmates, although as high school has gone on many of my friends have joined me in the ranks of Colleen’s regulars.

With regular status comes a certain freedom when ambling down to lunch every day. I no longer have to scramble like I did when I was a freshman, shoving slow walkers out of the way in an effort to get there early and as far up the line as possible.

Now I can come to lunch at any time, and, provided I stand where Colleen can spot me, I soon see her pulling out the bread I like and placing the contents of my sandwich on it, before looking up at me while lifting the sandwich in a friendly “here it is” gesture.

Not only is this a more honorable method than the also popular “I’m bigger than you so get out of my way” method that many upperclassmen employ to cut lines, its more effective as well.

While freshmen and other non-regulars may still grumble and groan as I saunter past them, I feel obligated to remind them that they too can one day find themselves in my shoes.

All they need to do is be loyal (if you want Colleen to remember your sandwich you have to get it every day), be patient (endure the lines and good things will come), and above all else, be polite. Always say “thank you” and feel free to make small talk; Colleen’s a great person. There’s no quicker way to Colleen‘s blacklist – when a person who thinks they are a regular but actually is not will try and cut the line only to have Colleen not make their sandwich until a time equivalent to if they had waited in line has passed – than rudeness.

As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. While the thought of waiting in line may sound torturous, I promise that if you stick it out, you’ll soon find yourself strutting by your friends, sandwich in hand, as they stand in purgatory at the back of the line.