Thursday, April 30, 2009

Subway Sandwich Experience

I was told that I should be ashamed of myself for having the quality of liking to eat food and not ever having eaten a Subway sandwich shop sandwich, so because of this, I visited a Subway sandwich shop I saw in front of me.

When I first walked in, I felt it was a foreign environment - I didn't know what to do to make my purchase. I was somewhat familiar with how the store works: I'm supposed to yell at the workers until they put together ingredients that correspond to the words coming out of my mouth. I was kind of nervous about this, so I stood back for a while and hoped I would see someone else make an order first as a demonstration. A person was at the cash register at the moment, but I wasn't sure if that was because I was supposed to go there first, or they were at the end of their food transaction. While I was waiting, I looked up at the back wall, hoping to see some sort of menu with prices, but I wasn't able to really identify one, and at that moment, one of the workers asked if I could be helped. I decided I would be real cool about it and act like I knew what I wanted already, so I said I'd like a meatball sub. I know exactly what I want. I'm in charge. I've had meatball subs at other places and I didn't think there was a lot of room for messing up ordering this one. I forgot to mention what type of bread I wanted, like I always do, so I quickly replied back "wheat". But they were out of wheat! I was caught off gaurd. The worker went through a list of three different breads that were available. Some of them sounded like they were cheeses and not breads, and although I love cheese and think it's really great, I went with white. At this point, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to just start firing off commands of what should be done to it, so I stayed quiet and just started eyeballing some of the ingredients. The next question was what kind of cheese I wanted on it. I wondered for a split second what would happen if I said I didn't want cheese, but I just said provolone since it's a good cheese all around. After that, I was asked if it should be toasted. Toasted..? I bet that would take like half an hour to do! I didn't have that kind of time to be standing here (actually I did), so I said "no".

The worker put the sandwich down at this point and left it there, I guess so it could wait for the next worker to take care of it, like a production line. I few seconds passed and I didn't know what I should be doing, so I looked to my side and saw another person was starting to make an order and I watched that for a bit. I started wondering if maybe the sandwich could have been toasted in this amount of time it was waiting there. But then my attention was called back to the sandwich making process by the next sandwich shop worker. What did I want to be done to the sandwich now? I didn't know what to say! Isn't the meatball sub already done? There are meatballs on it, sauce, and some cheese. I don't know what else goes on a sandwich. I had to think back to that other meatball sub I had for ideas. I remembered (or fabricated a memory, I'm not sure) that there were onions it, so I looked around for onions in the ingredient trays. I couldn't find any. I didn't want to ask for something I didn't think they had, and I didn't want to look like I didn't know what I was doing, so I named one of the ingredients I saw which I knew I was familiar with: green peppers. Those probably go well on a meatball sub, and they might even have actually been on the last one I ate. I was doing well, but I needed to have at least one more ingredient to appear to be a sandwich ordering master. I saw some jalapeno pepper slices nearby, but I wasn't confident enough to call them that, so I just pointed to them and said real cool-like, "yeah, and some of those hot peppers. That'll be all."

I managed to avoid appearing like I didn't know what kinds of things go on a sandwich, but I saw now that my sandwich was going to be wrapped and placed in that little newspaper size sandwich bag all by itself. I couldn't have that! I needed something else to go in it too, or else all my hard work of ordering the sandwich would have been for nothing and I'd fail to impress the sandwich shop worker with my skill. I remembered back to when I was in high school and my friend bought a ton of Subway cookies, so I requested that I have a double chocolate chip cookie to go along with it. I'm not some shmuck who orders just a sandwich! I was feeling pretty good of myself, and was about to leave when I heard the person behind me in line order some sort of combo deal. A combo deal?! Why didn't I know to order that? At this point I started thinking that the sandwich shop workers knew all along that I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn't fooling anybody. It was okay though, because I had a sandwich.

I don't know if the sandwich tasted like the greatest thing in the world, but I was pretty hungry so I liked eating it a lot. I wasn't really in the mood though for the hot peppers, though. I shouldn't have ordered those, but it had to be done. In the future, I think I would much rather just be able to be at a sandwich shop and simply say "meatball sub" and be done with it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Souper Meal Review

This is the Nissin Souper Meal. Here are my thoughts on it in bullet point form in attempt to minimize risk of conveyance of my thoughts being influenced by language use and to prevent any humor as a result of a clever language use, because I feel writing an analysis in paragraph form distracts a reader from the actual information and ideas present and restricts everything to rules held by language and expectations about how language should be written. I have no intention of misleading a reader through use of a flowing writing style.

- The cup is shaped so that it is larger at the top and smaller at the bottom. Clearly, this is because of how when people eat food, they tend to be hungry for about 90% of what they see in front of them. While eating this, the person will then initially be deceived into thinking there is slightly more food than there actually is and therefore be hungry for the amount of food that the cup actually contains.

- The name of the product, "Souper Meal" at first appears to be misspelled, but the reason for it being written this way is actually the word "Souper" is a french word, meaning "to have supper", so by reading the title of the product, you are being commanded by its designer to eat this meal for supper.

- By putting "Meal" as the latter word, the designer is trying to make a point about man's need and desire for food as an end.

- The picture of the cup of instant noodles on the front of the label shows it in a way that I am not used to seeing it - ready to eat and with large floating words on top.

- The general layout of the design elements shows an artistic liveliness and conveys a message about food that no other food item package design to date has yet done.

- The Souper Meal tastes all right.