May 4, 2008 at 3:29 pm (Rants, Stupidity, Trinidad, university, UWI) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I tagged and keyworded this like crazy because I really wish the regional manager of the Subway franchise or someone of similar authority from that organization would read this, and yes including the foul language.

Everyone should know about Subway by now, even if there isn’t one close to where you live. We’re all familiar with Jared Fogle’s amazing claims of how he lost like 300 pounds from just eating Subway sandwiches everyday. I’m sure I even saw the question (phrased differently) “Who is the guy who lost a lot of weight from being on a Subway diet?” as a question on Jeopardy for only 100 points.

Needless to say, Subway sandwiches are great : not too filling, tasty and best of all healthy. The price of it is another story, considering you can get a proper “meal” for about the same price of less, but that’s another story.

But, I believe quality at all restaurants is subject to the law of diminishing marginal utility, both in your own mind- “This doesn’t taste like it used to..” (when in fact it does) and on the part of the restaurant who just seem to lower their quality gradually, unintentionally or for the purposes of underhandedly saving costs. This brings to mind the folks at Coca Cola and Heineken. They’ve been around selling something that supposedly tastes the same for X amount of decades. I guess they deserve a lot more credit.

Sadly my Nokia (shitty) camera phone isn’t working and I didn’t feel like using my other phone to walk all the way out there to go take a pic of what made me write this..but someone is going around UWI, St. Augustine campus sticking up petition forms, calling themselves the “Campaign for Truth…For Real!” requesting that we sign our names to protest Subway’s (the branch at UWI) unfair practices, some of which being :

  1. Employees closing the store 10-15 minutes earlier than its official closing hours (10 pm)
  2. Their policy of not redeeming Subway Cards that don’t have the bill for each purchase attached (basically declaring $240 worth of purchases – average price of a sandwich is around $28TT – and the care to collect all those ridiculous stamps or management signatures worthless)
  3. Not having a student special (they didn’t clarify, but I guess they mean something similar to KFC’s “study combo” which supposedly is a deal for students but its a ripoff anyway)
  4. Having discourteous staff.

Notably some of the things they didn’t mention, which I always noticed about subway, my own qualms about them if you will, include :

  • The ridiculously slow service. This further exacerbates the problem of the length of the lines (at any time of day mind you) because students just can’t get enough of that Chicken Teriyaki on Honey Oat with extra Pineapple..
  • The STALE VEGETABLES they put in your sandwiches. They literally give you BROWN LETTUCE. Absolutely hilarious. “Good day sir would you like pickles,onions,tomatoes,blah blah blah”…you say “Yes all the veggies please”..and they proceed to put BROWN, VISIBLY SPOILT, DISGUSTING lettuce in your sandwich! estropeados lechuga!! l’embarras laitue!! Yet their slogan is EAT FRESH! Not for the life of me will I be able to get over this!! They also are frequently out of certain ingredients, sometimes 2 or 3 of them, yet when you ask them about the price they look at you as if you’re crazy. The price of a sandwich includes the veggies, but if THEY have problems with supply or whatever and don’t have pickles, green peppers, etc, which you are PAYING for…then why the fuck should you still pay the full price for it?

However, I’m in two minds about this. Its great to see UWI students attempting to mobilize and organize themselves for a cause…but as usual its petty and parochial. In recent memory of everyone, all we ever came out against as a pressure group of supposedly being the “premier university of the Caribbean” are : not getting into certain clubs at Port-of-Spain, administrative policies regarding residency and “security around campus” because people insist they should walk around Curepe/St. Augustine at odd hours of the night and think nothing should happen to them. The stance against the government construction of the aluminum smelters was something to be proud of, but that was still just a minority group within the student body.

I’ve dealt with the horrors of Subway by doing something amazing : NOT BUYING IT. There is something called power of the consumer, i.e to choose to buy or not buy from somewhere. Why are they bitching about this shit when they can just buy from Boomers, the other local “health sandwich”, bootleg Subway restaurant right which is right next to Subway??? How about KFC which is also right next to Subway?? Or the grill restaurants around the corner or over the highway?? Or Papa John’s or Pizza Hut who deliver to UWI in like 10 minutes??? Or the numerous Chinese restaurants all over the place?? What pussies they are making us out to be!

Yes, the whole policy of not redeeming Subway cards if you don’t have the bills attached is cheap, unfair bullshit, they’re slow, their lettuce is RIDICULOUS, and well they just suck basically but fine, hit them where it hurts and stop buying it! Everyday at lunch time I often see about 30 people in line for Subway, then I see people pass by, look inside, see the line, and happily become the 31st person, knowing fully well they have atleast a half hour wait to get a stupid chicken sandwich!

I’m almost beginning to think that for students to be slaves to something just because it tastes good or because its an international franchise, they deserve such treatment. I’m pretty sure everyone sees that the lettuce is 3 DAYS OLD but they continue buying it, based on the length of those lines everyday.

So shut up and take it, because apparently Trinis and UWI students are married to Subway and continue to accept horribly sub-standard service and products and are blind to other fast-food options and the power to boycott. They could probably pee in the sandwiches are call it mustard and there will still be a mad rush of a line there tomorrow morning.

So fuck that, i’m not signing a petition which basically is me identifying myself as saying : “I need Subway, I can’t help but put up with their bullshit because I can’t buy something else, please put an end to my misery and like, heed to my demands of being a dumbass, captive customer, I need….chick….en…teri….yaki……must…sign…petition…”. Idiots.



  1. Arlene said,

    One thing people should remember is employees have no control over company policy and will be fired for not following it to the letter. If the company says use it for 3 days you use it or find another job.

    Also remember that all hourly employees of just about every type of store are only paid until closing time and not one second longer. The store must be ready to open before they can go home. Nobody likes to work for free especially at minimum wage. That is why many stores lock the doors before “official” closing time.

    It is tough to be a happy camper when you work in places like that.

  2. unexplained_anomaly said,

    you make a valid point. I never imagined what they do may actually be a Subway policy. Ofcourse that would make it even more appalling.

  3. laurazee said,

    Students can afford a Subway? I wasn’t able to in my time, which was about 2 years ago. When Subway had just opened then, it was mostly employees from outside UWI coming to get it. -While you weren’t supposed to enter UWI without an ID card. (At that time it didn’t have any Curepe Subway.)
    Why people buy food there still? As a dietician I say they have this perception of health. It doesn’t matter to them if the lettuce is brown, or if they douse their sandwich in a cups of salad dressing (that’s healthy?). They like to believe they are eating healthy, they don’t want to hear anything else.
    The status symbol? It doesn’t matter if it’s a piece of rotten vegetable, it’s the status that comes with it. And you’re right it’s ridiculous!
    Although I was a student I used to cook my own food. My boyfriend and I somehow found the time to go to the Chaguanas or Tunapuna market and buy fresh stuff. Just to save the two, (later three) dollars in transport each we would walk there. Most students wouldn’t like to be seen in those places, yet people complain about rising food prices, and of Subway? LOL.
    Incidentally, bf (now husband) and I are living in Europe now. When I go back Trini, you think I am pulling the status thing? It ain’t worth a rotten piece of lettuce.

  4. unexplained_anomaly said,

    Glad to know you are enlightened. The status symbol factor is definitely there, as hardly anyone buys from Boomers (formerly known as Blimpie), and their lettuce is fresher, they use local sauces such as tamarind and mango, and its the same price or cheaper than Subway. They buy it because its *Subway*. We see they ads on cable so it doesn’t matter if it tastes horrible…Makes me wonder why McDonald’s left Trinidad…they were no different..

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  6. seethirty said,

    You are absolutely right. I’ve been getting stale or close-to-stale vegetables for years in my Subway sandwiches. Apparently the only thing that’s “fresh” at Subway a lot of times is the bread. I think if anyone has problems with Subway, trying to browbeat Subway into changing their policies or actions is largely futile. The best course of action is to just not do business with them, and tell all your friends and family not to, as well. We have a right to recommend or discourage business with shops we have opinions about. I tell everyone I know, don’t bother going there. Horrible service. Don’t expect a properly handled refund if they screw up your order. The veggies and meat are often “questionable”, and I am sick of them having to ask you how to make a sandwich, like Subway is staffed by toddlers who have to be told how to do everything. I go to Quizno’s, now.

  7. amirah said,

    its good to know that we can actually do something about the subway diminished food value even at uwi there was one time i wanted the subway melt and AFTER i paid for the damn thing its then the employee tellling me they cannot melt d cheese cuz current gone i guess i didnt even have d energy to argue we should not let these stufff happen though its only by complianing and actually not buying their food we can send a message to these people i purchase zingers now cuz the lettuce is fresh in compariso to the many times i’ve witnessed the stale ones i have to pASS ON SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS I’M ACTUALLY PAYING FOR HERE IN TRINIAD

  8. that guy said,

    well I am not going to bother reading all this >.> but I read most of it… the part that got me most was the part about the brown lettuce…. you know it doesn’t mean it’s spoiled…. just like an apple you hold it out to air it turns brown… it’s easy to see that todays culture has gotten so obseced with perfection that they won’t settle for less… well get over it life isn’t perfect ppl are starving in affrica and you appauled about brown lettuce…. wtf… oh and sry about all the spelling mistakes… bad typer

  9. haii hello said,

    i like subway so SHUT UP 😀

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