Dear Max, (a breakup with deli down the street)

Dear Max’s Deli,

For this correspondence, I am addressing the company of Max’s Deli (here on forward referred to as “Max”). The fact that I’m addressing this to you Max and not an individual manager or owner is of importance. I am certain that if I tried to find out to whom this letter to should be specifically addressed, my concerns would fall on disinterested eyes. Likewise, if I walked into your deli and asked to talk with a manager I would be met with a vapid stare. This is the attitude and inefficient service that I and many others in the Oak Street neighbourhood have come to expect from making a simple request at your fine establishment.

Thus the focus of this letter to you, Max.

I write because I care. I like you Max. I love your expensive-but-totally-worth-it desserts and your Crocodiles have become an easy treat to cap off long days at the office. I’ve had a chance to try your coffee; it isn’t that bad. I’ve had the chance to sample a large portion of your menu and have always come away satisfied. Although there are delights in your store, you need to work on your ambiance.

Every time I walk through that front door, that swings open a little too easy, I instantly feel like I am an inconvenience. The closer I get to the front counter, the more amplified that feeling becomes. You see, it is obvious to myself and many of my friends that the staff at your deli hate life. Maybe it’s the low wage service industry job, but we’re in British Columbia dammit; our high schools and local colleges have courses that teach youth hospitality and service. Perhaps they are unmotivated because these are the types of jobs they’re most likely to land after they graduate. Regardless, a large portion of our economy is based on the service industry. Your staff should try harder. Thus, as someone who has an interest in the economy, I’m going to do my part to direct my business elsewhere.

This wasn’t an easy decision to make. Every time I fled your doors after a successful purchase with the ensuing ego-busting from the staff, I really do enjoy your products. Keep in mind though, delicious snacks can only take a guy so far. After a while he needs a little lovin’ and I’ve found someone else.

I’m not the first to look for taste-bud lovin’ elsewhere; I won’t be the last, but if no one tells you then you’ll never know why these people choose to skip past your doors. At first I thought it was me. Maybe my standards were too high; so I cheated on you with a deli down on 4th.

At first I entered the relationship with a little hesitation, I’m typically a very loyal guy, but I was warmly welcomed by someone who seemed like they actually wanted my business. The food wasn’t up to the usual standards and the place smelt like old wood and apples, but I gave her a second chance. The relationship kept getting better! She has these sticky cinnamon buns and the icing…Oh my god!…I don’t think I could legally describe the uses we found.

Every once and a while I’m reminded of what we used to have. I’ll walk by your front door, stop for a moment to take in the wonderful smells and become lost in the memories. Though the second I turn my head to gaze longingly through your pristine windows, I’m instantly reminded of the demon that lurks within and I continue on my way.



One Response to Dear Max, (a breakup with deli down the street)

  1. Shannon says:

    Dear J

    We at Max’s have just discovered your posting and are disheartened to hear that you have felt so unwelcome at our deli. Your letter will be posted for all staff to read. As I type this, I can hear our staff greeting customers by name, joking around with them and politely thanking them for coming in. This is the friendly welcoming attitude that we continuously strive to uphold in our neighborhood deli. We are all very sorry that it seems not to be the experience that you have had at Max’s. I urge you to resist the urge to walk by and pop back in to give us another try. We know the wait can sometimes be long but we do our best to prepare your made to order sandwiches, coffee drinks or heated meals as quickly as we can. Please do come back in and ask to speak with the manager. I’m off Wednesdays and Sundays but am always available by phone and all the staff are quick to get messages to me particularly from our valued customers.

    Shannon Gavin

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