"But I ordered Pineapple on my sandwich!"
"I'm sorry, there might be some delay with the pineapple" I reply halfheartedly, watching pineapple chunks float amongst the swimming pool water, out of the door and into the streets. It's difficult to maintain one's cool when chlorinated liquid is lapping around your waist and customers are screaming at you and stock is floating out of the shop on a tidal wave. Somehow I manage.
I hate work dreams. I hate them because I am good at making sandwiches, great at them. It's not very stressful. So I feel like my subconscious is playing undeserved tricks on me when I have to suffer gastronomic nightmares, especially when it had been years since I last hung up my apron and headed towards the bright lights of the city and the intellectual challenges of university study.
I did actually find myself using my sandwich skills at Uni. During late nights of editing the student magazine I'd play hostess and sculpture energy-boosting sandwiches for my fellow editors using delicious ingredients procured from one of the nearby yuppie delicatessens: Rose Humous, Organic Cucumber and Parma Ham, Baba Ganoush, Feta and Chilli Olives. I honestly thought my sandwich-making career was over, this was just extra-curricular. How wrong I was.
I have re-entered the field with trepidation; but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. It's nice to have a change of track, a break from the paper-based stresses of desk-work and studying simultaneously as I did for most of the last two years. But it feels somewhat anti-climatic. It's hard to be pleased about moving home and going back into fast food catering, even if the ingredients are organic, locally sourced and by all accounts gourmet.
I don't want to sound like a snob, because I'm really not, but although I'm now working in a completely different kind of establishment, a fine-dining equivalent of the sandwich world, it's not exactly what I had in mind after six years of further education.
An old friend of mine recently popped into the charity bookshop to say hi and I told her about the new job. "I'm moving up in the world, I really am", I joked.
"But you are! Their sandwiches are so nice."
She was being honest, but I still felt slightly insignificant. My friend knew exactly what she wanted to do when we were still at high school, and now she's achieved her goal, loves it, and is about to buy a house.
And I'm back to living with my parents and still making sandwiches. The reality stung me hard.
But this is how reality works.
How could I be jealous of my friend having achieved her goal when I had no clear goal to achieve? This isn't what I had in mind after six years of education, because to my discredit, I didn't know what I had in mind. It's taken those six years to build up a respectable CV and to decide what I want to do. This last month hasn't just been about lol scumming. It's been about working out my next step. Now I have my degrees, two (and a bit) foreign languages, a great work history... and a goal.
So the dream is to pay off debt, and get enough money together for (another) internship, one that's related to my chosen career. You gotta have a dream, they say. And it's true, sandwiches or no sandwiches.
But when the work dreams return, I'm out of there.