To Clarify: 911 Is Not A Sandwich Complaint Hotline

Here are some valid sandwich-related reasons to call 911: An obstructed airway; anaphylactic shock; poisoning. For some reason, a Connecticut man thought the meat-to-mayo ratio of his sandwich was another justified reason for calling emergency services.

“I specifically asked for little turkey, and little ham, a lot of cheese and a lot of mayonnaise and they are giving me a hard time,” the man tries to explain in the call placed Wednesday afternoon from a deli in East Hartford.

He then adds, “I wonder if you can stop by and just–” before the understandably perplexed operator interrupts to ask, “You’re calling 911 because you don’t like the way they’re making your sandwich?”

“Exactly,” responds the caller.

The operator suggests he just not shop at that store if he’s unhappy with the sandwich preparation, but the man continues on, as if 911 is the proper place to call to resolve ticky-tacky disputes with local merchants.

“I mean, I just want to solve this the right way,” he said. “Her sister made it, but she left. They are playing games with me, so I was just wondering if you could come by… I just want it resolved and I want to be able to come back here and get the regular sandwich that I ask for.”

The operator was able to bring the tense showdown to an end by getting the man to say in the future he’d look at his sandwich before he pays for it.

The deli’s owner tells the local NBC affiliate that the man had placed an order for 14 sandwiches but then refused to pay for them. But the deli couldn’t take them back because they were custom orders.

He apparently called the next day to apologize and let them know he’d still be buying his sandwiches there in the future.

In spite of the fact that the man wasted minutes of the 911 operator’s time complaining about sandwiches, the police have not filed any charges against him.

View more videos at:

Man Calls 911 Over Sandwich Order [NBC Connecticut]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ferozadh says:

    It takes all kinds, doesn’t it.

  2. Vox Republica says:

    Say what you will, but National Sandwich Emergency Hotline is at least in the top 15% of great potential song titles for bands that aren’t very good.

  3. dullard says:

    “In spite of the fact that the man wasted minutes of the 911 operator’s time complaining about sandwiches, the police have not filed any charges against him.”

    Why not?

    • Scooter McGee says:

      Same thought I had.

      “Yes, we’ll send an officer right away, to arrest your dumb ass.”

    • chefboyardee says:

      this. make a statement, arrest his dumb ass, or at least fine him.

    • papastevez says:

      Hasn’t enough emergency worker time/money already been wasted? Do we really need to waste the time of an officer, court official etc. on teaching him a lesson? I think the best way is to release this to the press and let the people of his community embarrass him and call out his jackassery. Theres already enough people in the justice system.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        A fat fine would do perfectly here.

      • vastrightwing says:

        I will argue, yes. Because if you allow people to call 911 for any non-emergency issue, it will continue to get worse as the tolerance for it grows. I say charge the guy and let a judge deal with the idiot. At least he should be fined.

    • corridor7f says:

      Waste of our justice system, I’m guessing, just like this guy is a waste of life.

  4. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Great name. “The Greatful Deli”.

  5. humphrmi says:

    “I specifically asked for little turkey, and little ham, a lot of cheese and a lot of mayonnaise and they are giving me a hard time”

    Did anyone else hear this in Milton Waddams’ voice when they read it?

    • nugatory says:

      yes, yes I did. Its amazing that whenever I read a sentence that is really whiny, I hear it in Milton’s voice.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      I do now, and my day is better for it.

    • Bad_Brad says:

      There were big grains of salt in the sandwich. Great big grains of salt. Set the building on fire. And I still haven’t received my paycheck.

  6. Clyde Barrow says:

    I blame our public school systems for this. All through school the system never allowed us to think for ourselves but instead reinforced this mindset that you “need to ask” before doing anything. So now we have a country full of adult-children who cannot do anything without a babysitter.

    • nicless says:

      I… uh… what?

    • nishioka says:

      Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

      • Difdi says:

        All the words are individually in English, but none of them make any sense when strung together.

        Did you have a seizure while writing that, or do you need to go seek a refund from your ESL teacher?

      • iesika says:

        You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that? My guess is that when one really been far even as decided once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like. It’s just common sense.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      My goodness!

    • StarKillerX says:

      You are so far off base your not even in the proper ballpark.

      This is actually a perfect example of how we, as consumers and as a society, have become so self entitled and whiny that many feel if a company, or it’s employees don’t kiss their asses it violates their rights.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Not that I am agreeing the this man in any way, but aren’t all deli sandwiches custom made?

    • Doubting thomas says:

      I had the same thought, best answer I can come up with is that some delis keep a cold counter with pre-made sandwiches and the like for customers in a hurry or on the go. if all the sandwiches had been standard menu orders they could have been wrapped in shrink wrap and they could have attempted to sell them there.

    • homehome says:

      I believe they mean that he’s probably the only person who orders his sandwich like that. You know like a BLT, many ppl get BLTs, that’s a generic sandwich or turkey club.

  8. CrazyEyed says:

    When you say “a little ham, a little turkey” there’s no national reference guide for “little” as a portion size. Just deal with it dude. If there’s a little too much ham or turkey, pick it off and be glad they were more liberal with the portions. If thats not the case I’d like to know what his problem was. Not enough cheese or mayo? Excuse me Sir, would you like a jar of mayo and a block of cheese with each sandwhich?

    • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

      Eating that much cheese and mayo he won’t be around long enough to matter.

  9. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    When I was very young and inebriated and hanging wioth a bad crowd, we would sometimes stop at a highway emergency phone to ask what time it was. They policemen answering the phone seemed to be really displeased.

    • Stickdude says:

      When you were young and inebriated and hanging out with a bad crowd, did you look like your avatar?

  10. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    Mary had a little lamb
    A little cake, a little Spam
    A banana split, three onion rings
    Some tofu, and threw up…

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      My mom always told it as ‘Mary had a little lamb, a side of rice, and some mint jam’. . .we had an interesting childhood, my sister and I.

    • KennyS says:

      Mary had a little lamb,
      She also had a bear.
      I did not see her little lamb.
      But I would like to see her bear.

  11. James says:

    yes! i was hoping for a “newsy” reporter by and it came and :36. love the way local news stories always ham it up.

  12. Bladerunner says:

    At least he didn’t BS the 911 operator to get someone to show up, then say “oh, no, it’s about my sandwich”…

    We had a lady call about anaphylaxis from an animal bite. We got on scene, and there’s no bite, but “Look at the size of that bug!” One of the firefighters on the crew had to tell her “Ma’am, that’s a piece of lint. A big piece of lint, I’ll grant you…”

  13. CrazyEyed says:

    I once heard a clip on the radio of a woman calling the police because she wanted an order of McNuggets and since Micky D’s was out, they suggested she get something else. She was angry because Micky D’s was simply suggesting alternatives.

    • psm321 says:

      Umm, no. That story was completely misreported. The McDonald’s was REFUSING to refund her money for the nuggets she ordered, or to provide the nuggets (because they were out). They were insisting that she order something else for that money, no refund possible. Where I come from, that’s called theft and is a crime. But no, when a company does it, it’s “a civil matter” and everyone makes fun of the consumer for calling the police about the crime. But there’s never any similar outrage or insistence that it’s “a civil matter” if a restaurant calls the police over a non-paying customer.

  14. Moniker Preferred says:

    OK, this is the last shit-stupid Consumerist posting I’m bothering to read.

    Farewell to the noobs who came here thinking this was actually a consumer advocacy site, set up by Consumer Reports. Nope. It’s only what passes these days for mind-numbing “entertainment”. Good luck to those nattering nabobs of negativism who regularly comment on every crap-tastic “story” here. Find something useful to do with your lives, like hitting the streets to save the USA from far-right extremism.

    I pay for Consumer Reports. I would consider paying to NOT have to read Consumerist. (and you have the nads to ask for a donation!) Seek a legitimate line of work, staffers, before Daddy CR figures out how you are screwing up their reputation.

    Delete my account (and don’t sell my Email address).

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      C’mon. It’s Friday.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      But what about all the kitty pictures Laura posts?

    • nicless says:

      This is a light-hearted consumer story about not taking your complaints to the incorrect department. Who crapped in your cereal this morning? Can you ask them to stop?

    • Vox Republica says:

      So when you were chastised for using 911 inappropriately, what was the purpose of your call?

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Who are you again?

  15. Jawaka says:

    This is Consumerist, we’re supposed to blame the company right?

  16. Here to ruin your groove says:

    Reminds me of a situation at work. A couple of girls (17/18) were brought in by the police as their mom was taken to the hospital. One came down and asked if the officer said something or another to me before leaving (I forget the specifics). “Oh, we’ll just call them then.” I asked if she needed the number and she said, “Duh, it’s 9-1-1.”

    Another guest got dropped off by the police over a domestic issue. She was insanely pissed as she was checking in and stormed off to her room. Suddenly the phone alarm goes off to signify someone was dialing 9-1-1. I race up to her room and ask what was the problem… “It’s none of your business.” After telling her that was unacceptable she told me she was calling to complain about the police that dropped her off and was now calling to complain about me.

    Honest to God, people have no idea wtf 9-1-1 is supposed to be an emergency line.

  17. PunditGuy says:

    I understand they don’t want to fine such behavior because they’re worried that it’ll discourage someone from calling when they really should. Theoretically, I’m on board with that. But there’s a part of me that thinks there isn’t a fine big enough for asshattery like this.