love and bandwidth

You know what really grinds my gears [part 1]
March 11, 2009, 11:31 am
Filed under: design, food, Grinds my Gears, photos

You know public, what really grinds my gears, is this recession thing. Ok, I get it, no money, blah blah, I’m poor, woe is me. Sure it’s great now we can buy giant flat screens for bugger all with our endless pockets of disposable income but for the smaller weekly items, specifically food, something here is starting to get a little out of whack. Actually my beef is more to do with quality control vs. price during these bleak times.

Certain public expectations are being stretched,  especially the definition of what is constitutes a ‘good’ pre-packed sandwich. I would  like to say I am a connoisseur of the sandwich, of sorts, well at the very least I consume one a daily basis. And since being on a regular wage, I’ve fallen into the trap of buying my lunch everyday. And in this lunch a sandwich is usually is purchased and devoured.   This year especially, the sandwich has taken a big hit in the price hike stakes. Ok, for the most part I’m only talking about a certain University Union, but $5.50 for a Dagwood, $5.50 for a filled Knot and $4.50 for a double triangle!.  I can accept these prices but the quality needs to still be maintained, and it’s just not. I’m not talking about luxury items here but I think we have certain expectations of what these sandwiches constitute, especially the glorious ‘Dagwood’.    <this is the point in the post where I begin to realise why did I start to bother writing about this, sandwich theory come on Savage! Oh well I must continue>.     Well my expectation of a Dagwood are that it should be filled with a number of vegetables [salad items], meat, dressing and have nice-ish bread, and be a two-fisted eat. One of the last Dag I bought was coleslaw, some fatty thin meat and stale white bread. It was foul. I thought, this must be a one off but no, in other places, although not quite as bad, coleslaw was being used as the salad + bad meat and cheap bread. Yucko. I was finding too if I really wanted a ‘quality’ sandwich I would be being gashed for $9-$15, yes, $15 I say!  For a sandwich. Ok it was warm one but come on. A collegue of mine bought a $13 in the same Union [which should be priced for the student body].  $9 was the price of the base sandwich, but with addtional avocado and bacon + $4! Streuth!



I think the solution to this problem is not to improve the quality, but to have more honesty about what you are going to get. I like this solution: Scanwiches [link]. This is one of my new favourite sites – cross-section scans of sandwiches. Brilliant, what a great idea – this is what I’m really getting! I proposal  a local version, identifying where the good sandwiches exist in Dunedin and how much they are likely to cost, with graphs and reviews. Similar to Mr. Le Comte’s site for the Land  of the Long Flat White

My advice, actually until scanwiches becomes a universal system in stores is start making your own lunch, if you don’t already. It’s cheaper, you control the quality and you know what goes in it. I should’ve been doing this years ago, but I think now I can justify the 5 minutes in the morning to get ready. Not exactly  a ground-breaking revelation here but consider next time when you buy your lunch, is this value for money. 


You know what else really grinds my gears, that people are using the phrase ‘woop woop’ generally way to much. And old people are starting to do it to. Also why to people [esp sports people] continue to wear their high school leavers jerseys way too long after high school is over. Ok, I went to Kings, but who gives a shit NOW? Saddo. But lets leave discussing this to another time. 

Good night my people. Savage out!

[‘Grinds My Gears’ segement adapted from Family Guy / Peter Griffin]


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think your name should be sandwich…not me.

Comment by Cassie

I guess the whole consensus here is that value is not being maintained or exceeded. I mean, while it’s easy to get lost in the idea that its ‘cheaper’ to make the sammy at home, which would DEFINITELY be the case with regards to a $9-$15 sandwitch, what you’ve really been paying the excess for is convenience, in this case the extra 5 minutes in the morning. Would you be equally as appauled if the sandwitch place was located in the archway building? Maybe. But say you were given the choice, with two sandwitch places, one in Archway, selling sandwitches for $5.50, the other in the hub selling sammys for $5.00. Would you make the walk? How about for $4.50? What I’m getting at is that you’re prolly getting exploited more for the convenience than anything, and they’re getting away with it (in my opinion) because of the average 4 year turnaround of students. students who finally get sick of being ripped off by the beginning of their third year take two years of protesting and moaning, then move to papua new guinea or whatever and are never heard from again!

I love your suggestion about a sandwitch rating site to keep people honest, but while you’re at it, why not rate bars, retaurants, second hand traders etc. And make sure it’s public. Get is signed up as a University extra curricular activity, brand it as a ‘good stepping stone’ for marketing students (they’ll believe anything), link it to the university site, and make sure it’s a reference for new students. Sure, Union sandwitches will moan, but it’ll be an independant survey ‘secret shopper style’ so when people start shopping at ‘t2000’s MiniSammy Mart’ or whatever next door, they’ll know about it.

Just make sure you word the catagories emotionally, but not in a biased way. For example, the ultimate/overall rating could be ‘exploitation’ 1 being, ‘you’re not being exploited’, 5 being ‘you’re getting fucked.’

But hey, what do i know?

Comment by Marc Dudley

It is definitely a thing of convenience but being in Archway wouldn’t make much of a difference as it’s not a social space. But if they offered sandwiches and better seating, sure maybe. The university is odd though, all the sandwich are provided by ‘campus chef’ [as far as I know, and I will add here have a logo which looks like a clansman – I’ve even written to them about it] and the same sandwich are priced the same no matter where you are [union, Commerce, staff club, st david street] which is good. But different locations, namely St David do offer better ‘other’ sandwiches that the rest don’t, but why? Also the staff club seems to offer worse food than anywhere else – the ‘buffet’ is stomach churning. I suppose it’s in their best interest to not make everything the same but fuck I don’t know where with this….

The only disparity in price i’ve encountered is in buying coffee, $2.50 at the staff club as opposed to $4.50 in the Union and maybe $3.50 at union grill [don’t quote me on this as I don’t drink / buy coffee, only heard from others]. I can’t fathom why the staff club is cheaper though, shouldn’t things be priced down to students rather than cranky old lecturers? I think it has something to do with the union being partly or fully student owned and profit margins etc. I’m sure the rationale will make my head hurty.

I think you underestimate students though, there are a high percentage that catch on to this pretty quickly and look for other outlets [eg. $3 Clubs and Socs lunch].

Is your spelling of ‘sandwitch’ intentional?

Comment by themachobox

hahaha, ‘sandwitches’, yes and no. When I was studying i used to go to sandwich king, then they started getting stingy with the fillings so they became sandwithces (more of a grouping of ‘bitches than witches). yeah, i know, but it was funny at the time. I get pinged for it relentlessly but fear it’ll become commonplace in my language for years to come!

Anyway, I think I’d just like to say here that for me there is nothing more annoying and boring than getting into an academic debate with academics. Not saying you are or aren’t, just that i’m not going to get into a debate. because they’re boring and i’m not very good at them. That being said you’ve made some great points. I was struck by the idea that archway would not be a good place to buy sammies because of a social aspect. Absolutely, but that’s only assuming that you’d be staying for lunch right? I mean, if you were in your flat and you wanted a coke, for ‘convenience’s’ sake you’d go round the corner to the dairy, but for the ‘experiencial’ aspect, you’d ring your mates, organise a candle lit dinner in Thailand and pick up some hookers. That’d be more of an experiece than the Rob Roy dairy. Not exactly economical for a coke though right? Back to Scott and his sammies though, surely now that he has decided to make them at home, for a far more economical price, will he be walking to the library hub area for a ‘social’ experience during lunch, or gathering his like minded friends and chilling out in the design department or on a bench nearby? I don’t know. If it were me, i’d avoid university ‘social’ spaces like the plague and opt for somewhere I can go with a couple of friends where I don’t have to risk getting hot liquid spilt on me by every asshole coming out of the coffee joint.

Now for some reason we’ve moved to coffee, which i’ve decided to ignore due to the aforementioned dislike of debate, and that i can’t speak intelligently on the subject.

As for students and their eating habits. Urm. I’m not so sure about your comment. Certainly there are a LOT of them who catch onto the clubs and socs lunches, but then while I was there, it seemed like a lot of them were in a similar vein. You probably know the type, more laid back, greener, generally tipping the scale on the side of life experience as opposed to lifestyle. However, most of the people i met just wanted a filled roll and a coke and they wanted it now. I still love them, don’t get me wrong, but it’d take quite some time for them to get over price hikes and switch to a samosa.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion scott and themachobox. It’s been fun!

Comment by Marc Dudley

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