I work in the Union Square area. I take the subway to Union Square every morning, and take it home from Union Square every evening. Union Square Park is a lovely place to eat lunch and I enjoy sitting there and relaxing.
Ah, lunch. Yes. That's what I'm going to be talking about today.
That's right. You have not misread. I hate it. I despise it. Lunch could not possibly make me more miserable. Every single day, I am forced to go to one of the same 7 or 8 places and get subpar food. It is very draining. I frequently converse with friends and ask them what I should get for lunch because I don't have the willpower or care to think about all the shitty food around here and choose one.
And, normally, I eat a late lunch. Around 3pm. And I understand that at 3pm, certain places don't offer their full menu. Some of the delis don't serve breakfast stuff. Some of them even turn off their grill. And that's fine. At 3pm, I don't have the expectation that I'll be getting my pick.
At 1:45, however, the time that I went out for lunch today, I expect all lunch options to be available. After painstakingly deciding on what I'd like to eat, I made my way to Food Works on 19th street. "Today," I thought, "I will have a Philly cheese steak for lunch. Delicious, greasy, cheesy goodness." And so I picked up my drink, and walked over to the sandwich counter to order my lunch. It was maybe 1:55 at the latest. "I'd like a Philly cheese steak with American cheese please."
"Oh, I'm sorry, the grill's closed."
"The grill is closed for the day."
"It's not even 2 o'clock yet, are you kidding?"
But he had already walked away.
When I go for lunch at or after 3, I don't expect the grill to be open and so I don't go to Food Works to get a Philly cheese steak. It's not even worth the trip. But at 1:45, I expect you to make my fucking sandwich. At 1:45 I expect you to slap a piece of generic beef-like product on the grill with some onions and peppers til the meat turns brown. Then I expect you to throw a couple slices of American cheese on top, let it melt just a tiny bit, and flip that whole fuckin brown, cheese covered mess on to a small hero roll.
For once I had actually picked what I wanted to eat. And you're denying me? Are you fucking serious? That's completely fucked. What kind of service industry can get away with telling someone "No, we won't make you what you asked for" at a normal time to ask for that thing.
So I put my drink back, and walked out. Disgusted. Now I had to think of a new place to go, and so I figured I'd just get a slice of pizza and end the search. Get to the pizza place, and it's the one day that they have burned the shit out of the plain pizza and are out of pepperoni. What are the chances? About 100%. The pizza had decided that I was to suffer for not choosing it first. So, fuck you pizza place, off to a different deli where I picked up a lackluster sandwich which is now sitting in front of me.
I hate lunch because shit like this happens to me all the time. Because the "gourmet delis" on and around 5th avenue in this area all serve the same crappy food that is in no way "gourmet." I die a little every day trying to decide what horrible crap I'm going to shove down my throat because there is literally nothing good to eat.
In fact, the reason that I eat at 3 o'clock is that I'm so depressed at the prospect of having to wade through the shit that some people call lunch options, that I lose all motivation to go get food until it's late enough when the choices are more limited.
I don't know if this monotony is just to be expected from having worked in the same area for over 3 years, but it seems that many people are quite capable of working in one location and finding something to eat for lunch on a daily basis, so I think it must be specific to this area. And that sucks for me. Because I work here. And I'm hungry.