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Pat Dryburgh

Tonight I had some extra work to do at the office, so after my workout I made a stop at the Subway shop close by. I usually stop by this particular Subway once every two weeks or so, normally during the day when the day staff is on. I’ve always been fairly impressed by the team at this shop, though I had never experienced the evening staff. I was in for a pleasant surprise.

As I entered, there was a young man behind the counter and 4 or 5 customers lined up. The evening Sandwich Artist was working by himself, and was just finishing up a sub. Not an abnormal situation for the dinnertime rush at a Subway, save for one small detail.

The guy behind the counter was covered in mayonnaise.

I don’t mean he had some mayonnaise on his hands. I mean his hands, arms, shirt and face were plastered in the stuff. From what I could tell, the incident had occurred just seconds before I walked in the door, as he was still holding the bottle.

Phased but not deterred, the man behind the counter continued to finish the sandwich he was working on and processed the payment. He then moved on to the friend of the first customer and finished her sandwich and payment process.

Then the next customer.

Then two more.

By the time he got to me, the last person in line, the man behind the counter had started and finished making 5 sandwiches. On a couple of occasions, he had to use paper towel in order to cook some of the meat toppings.

Mayonnaise was still plastered all over his face.

There were a couple of things that blew me away. First, the demeanour of the customers he served. Not one took notice of the fact that this employee, who is likely making just over minimum wage, was serving them in spite of having a face full of condiment.

Second, and most important, was the dedication that this employee displayed by working through an obviously uncomfortable situation.

As he finished with the customer before me and turned to take my order, I demanded that he take a couple of minutes to clean himself up. Not because I was disgusted by what was on him, but out of respect for a fellow human being. As he was wiping himself down with paper towel, I asked him his name.


During the brief conversation we had as he put together my turkey breast on whole wheat, I learned that Dave had worked at the store for a while. I also learned that he had hopes for bigger and better things than being a Subway sandwich artist. What those hopes were I never learned, but during my visit I did discover one thing: this man is a Rockstar.

I told Dave as he was finishing my order that I was blown away by his dedication. I also told Dave that if I were an employer, I would hire him on the spot, regardless of what business or industry I was in. Skills can be taught, talents acquired. The dedication and drive that Dave showed making sandwiches with a face smeared in mayonnaise takes a lifetime to develop.

I know times are tough right now. Not a lot of places are hiring, and even fewer are looking for someone whose experience is making sandwiches. However, if you are someone who runs a company, manages human resources, or simply wants to see your company do well, be on the look out for guys like Dave. It’s guys and girls like him who will, without a doubt, take your company to the next level.

I will be going into Subway tomorrow to speak with the manager. I want to give a commendation for Dave’s incredible work ethic. I am going to suggest a raise, though I suspect the request won’t be granted. I just want that manager to know that Dave is doing his company an incredible service.

Dave is not a sandwich artist. He is a Customer Service Rockstar.

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