For any of you that know me, even in a cursory way, you know I love Chipotle. I’m convinced that Chipotle salsa may actually be running through my veins.
I know the majority of people’s bodies are made up of 70% water, but I’m sure that at least 30% of that number on me is comprised of their delicious and perfectly seasoned rice.
Fortunately, I have a job that allows me to frequently eat the deliciousness that is Chipotle for lunch, and also allows me to expense it while I’m out of town.
When the perfect storm arises where I can get a free lunch of Chipotle, I am overwhelmed with happiness, as this combines two of my favorite things: saving money and guacamole.
Naturally, I was excited today when I was in Columbia, Missouri and I felt the familiar hunger pangs that could only be cured with a heaping bowl of Chipotle, where I’m fairly confident they know me by name.
I stood in the long line that wrapped around the store, deeply inhaling the smell of avocados and tomatoes and trying to contain my excitement.
I’m pretty sure the patron behind me was concerned I was in the beginning stages of a seizure because of my deep breathing, but I didn’t care.
She kept a safe distance from me, most likely to ensure she wouldn’t be collateral damage when I fell to the floor from whatever apparent ailment was affecting me. With each step forward my anticipation grew and I began salivating worse than Pavlov’s dog, or R. Kelly at a junior high school dance.
The awaited moment finally arrived and I was asked what I wanted. Chipotle has several people working on an assembly line, as if they were assembling my burrito bowl the way they assemble a Ford Focus.
Normally I would find this type of procedure repulsive, but the end result is so fantastic, that who am I to argue with their protocol?
I advised the gentleman at the beginning of the line that I wanted a bowl, which he began preparing, and moved it to the next guy in the line.
This is where the system seemed to fall apart, and disaster struck.
The second gentleman in the assembly line of goodness, who I will refer to as “guy number 2”, was wrapping up a burrito for the guy in front of me when the tortilla ripped.
He then screamed at the top of his lungs “broken tortilla!!!“, as if we were in a Trauma I emergency room and someone was flat lining.
Surely the 10-minute employee training had prepared him for such a disaster. Apparently not. He turned to the workers in the kitchen, who had not yet received the promotion to the assembly line, and demanded a new tortilla immediately.
Once he was given the new tortilla, he begrudgingly threw it on the counter and transferred the burrito contents from the broken tortilla to the new one. He did so with such anger and fury that I was convinced the cost of the broken tortilla was going to come out of his hourly wages.
He pushed the new burrito down the line to the next person and then glared at me asking me what I needed on my bowl.
At first I was taken aback because I’m on a first name basis with several Chipotle employees and am convinced I’m on the verge of being invited to the baptism of the manager’s child based solely upon the number of Chipotle purchases I make in a week.
As a result, I was surprised “guy number 2” didn’t know what I wanted. However, I was feeling quite charitable and advised him of my order.
“Guy number 2” was clearly angered about the severed tortilla debacle and began throwing the different kinds of salsa into my bowl. (Hey, if a girl can have more than one kind of salsa without being charged extra, this girl is going to do so).
We then came to the end of the assembly line, but the next worker had abandoned his post, so “guy number 2” was required to complete my order.
This made him visibly upset, as if he was asked to deliver a baby on that shiny metal surface, instead of just throw a few toppings on my bowl. (okay, it was more than a few, but whatever).
He inquired as to what else I would like, and I advised I wanted guacamole. Quite honestly, the guacamole is the best part of the meal and if I could have it served in a cup I would drink it with a straw as my beverage of choice.
However, I knew this activity would be frowned upon and I didn’t want to ruin my chances of the invite to the baptism, so I asked for the guacamole on top of the bowl. Although this sounds like a simple task, it was more than “guy number 2” could handle.
Instead of providing me with a heaping scoop of guacamole, he placed a heaping scoop of lettuce on my bowl instead. He then immediately left his station, most likely to go to the kitchen to see where the breakdown occurred with the defective burrito.
As he was exiting, I was tempted to ask him what about me suggested I wanted lettuce in my bowl. One look at my flabby arms as they shook when I pointed to the condiments should have suggested I wanted nothing to do with lettuce.
In fact, it blows my mind they have lettuce at Chipotle, as it seems like such a waste. If I wanted a salad, I wouldn’t have come to Chipotle. But then again, if I wanted a salad more often, perhaps my bulging stomach wouldn’t have been smashed up against the counter as I paid for my burrito.
I advised the cashier that I wanted guacamole. “Guy number 2” then returned to the line where he was advised of my desire for guacamole.
This new information clearly sent “guy number 2” over the edge, and I was tempted to reach over and grab my bowl before his head exploded all over it.
He then grabbed the spoon and plopped the guac into the side of bowl, where it practically had no use.
Seriously?! After I paid, I sat down to eat the delicious goodness, but much of the guacamole stuck to the bowl. I forged ahead and ate the contents of the bowl anyway, practically licking it clean.
Certainly, my bad experience with “guy number 2” will not keep me from returning, but it definitely put a damper on the experience today. I’m sure Chipotle will make it up to me sooner rather than later.
After all, I still don’t know what to have for dinner…