This afternoon I went to Balducci's to use a deli coupon to buy a couple of sandwiches and quickly learned that I cannot do that, which confused me. I naturally assumed from my experiences getting sandwiches at delis at several grocery stores in the Midwest and New England that this was common: ya' want a sandwich? Go to the deli! In fact, if I recall from living in Brooklyn, if I wanted to get, say, a Rueben, I could walk to a neighborhood deli and order a Rueben. Not a grocery store, mind you. An actual business called a d-e-l-i wherein they make s-a-n-d-w-i-c-h-e-s.
This is not the case at Balducci's on New Mexico Avenue in Washington, DC. In the deli department you can get your "deli sliced meats." The deli department does not make sandwiches; those are made by the sandwich department which may or may not be in the prepared foods department. I'm going out on a limb here, but I have a feeling the sandwich department gets its meat from the deli department.
The objects I most wanted to purchase from the deli are pictured on the right of the coupon. Pictured: Sandwiches! However, sandwiches are not "sold by the deli," as I was informed by the clerk. "They are sold by the sandwich department." Therefore, the sandwiches I wanted to buy, the sandwiches pictured on the coupon, were not valid purchase items.
Apparently there is a glitch in their system - or departments just don't talk to one another. For example, if I were to buy a sandwich it might get rung up under prepared foods. If I were to buy cream it would go to the dairy. If I purchased a hunk of Fontina cheese, it goes to the cheese department (yes... I know... that's a dairy product, but not a product sold by the diary department). So, when the graphics people in the marketing department make the coupons that go to John Q. Public (or, in this case, John J. Anderson), they don't know the ins and outs of sales. So, if there is going to be a special in the deli, why not represent that deli transaction with a sandwich? After all... IT JUST MAKES SENSE!
That is, of course, unless you are handling the sales, which is run by Major Major from Catch-22.
Maj. Major Major Major: Sergeant, from now on, I don't want anyone to come in and see me while I'm in my office. Is that clear?
First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir? What do I say to people who want to come in and see you while you're gone?
Maj. Major Major Major: Tell them I'm in and ask them to wait.
First Sgt. Towser: For how long?
Maj. Major Major Major: Until I've left.
First Sgt. Towser: And then what do I do with them?
Maj. Major Major Major: I don't care.
First Sgt. Towser: May I send people in to see you after you've left?
Maj. Major Major Major: Yes.
First Sgt. Towser: You won't be here then, will you?
Maj. Major Major Major: No.
First Sgt. Towser: I see, sir. Will that be all?
Maj. Major Major Major: Also, Sergeant, I don't want you coming in while I'm in my office asking me if there's anything you can do for me. Is that clear?
First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir. When should I come in your office and ask if there's anything I can do for you?
Maj. Major Major Major: When I'm not there.
First Sgt. Towser: What do I do then?
Maj. Major Major Major: Whatever has to be done.
First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir.