Friday, September 4, 2009

Life Imitates Urban Legend

This happened just yesterday (Thursday, 11:30 AM): a Target admin ordered a salad from Au Bon Pain, City Center location (Downtown West, Minneapolis), and started to eat it when she noticed the dead mouse lying on top of the lettuce.

I don't think this was a manufacturing error, since it's very obviously on top and dressed in olive oil and feta cheese. My guess is that it was the work of a disgruntled employee or someone with a sense of humor as poor as his/her impulse control. The customer pointed it out to the store manager who took it, refunded her money, and made note of her contact information. Good thing she got photos of the salad before the manager could dispose of it.

I've never cared for that particular Au Bon Pain. I've blogged in the past about the hostile or dismissive attitude of most of the employees there. Most of the cashiers give me a contemptuous look, especially if I've interrupted their conversation (in-store or on a cell phone), though a few choose not to be interrupted and continue calling out over their shoulder while punching in my purchase. I'm not sure where the contempt comes from, since I have been at pains to be a polite and uncomplicated customer wherever I go, having worked foodservice myself.

There's a sign by the registers, in fact, that promises to cover the cost of your purchase if the cashier does not offer you a receipt. It is frequently attended by a very tough and angry-looking cashier who fails to offer you a receipt, tacitly daring you to call him on it. No, I don't think I would actually get punched out in the middle of Au Bon Pain, in the middle of the day, but that's what it feels like could happen.

As for the mortified customer, she has written a very stern e-mail to Au Bon Pain's ownership and contacted her attorney.

Update: As of 1:00 PM Friday afternoon, how's Au Bon Pain doing?


NickIQ said...

You just described every experience I've ever had at that Au Bon Pain, minus the dead mouse.

Christian said...

I can handle disinterested, uninformed employees (see also: Dunn Bros.), but personal offense has to be significant before I will peg a specific outlet as terrible and bother to alert everyone else. I will miss their macaroons, though.

Cinamingrl said...

Poor little mousie.

Christian said...

It is unfortunate the poor little corpus was exploited for political reasons, but he attained a level of fame he was unlikely to see in his lifetime. Or hers.