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    Like Their Coffee (Burnt) Black

    | Franklin Park, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Health & Body

    (The property owner has come in to report that there is smoke coming from the roof of the shopping center, though not directly above our store. A few customers overhear.)

    Customer #1: “So, uh, what should we do?”

    Customer #2: “Yeah, can we still order drinks?”

    Me: “Um… well, I guess so, since we haven’t gotten an official order to evacuate.”

    (Despite the commotion, no one in the café has budged. I am in the middle of making the last customer’s drinks when the store manager comes in.)

    Manager: “Ladies, gentlemen, there is a fire in one of the electrical units on top of the building so we are evacuating. Anyone parked directly in front of the building will need to move their cars.”

    (Most people get up to leave, but a few just look around, confused.)

    Customer #3: “Can we leave our things here?”

    Manager: “No. Take all of your things. The store is closing and I have no idea when we will be able to reopen.”

    Customer #2: “Well what should I do?!”

    Manager: “You have to leave. We’ve been given official orders to get everyone out.”

    Customer #2: “But I’ve already paid for those! I don’t have my drinks yet!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I will finish making these drinks, but I am leaving directly after and you will need to do the same.”

    (Even as fire trucks begin to arrive and people file out, a few people wander in.)

    Customer #4: “Are you still open?”

    Me: “No! We are evacuating the building, there is an electrical fire on the roof!”

    (They leave, obviously displeased. I hand off the drinks I was working on and run out. Amazingly, many of the people who were in our cafe are standing around, a few asking if we think we’ll reopen soon. Luckily, the fire was quickly put out, no one was hurt, and the damage was mostly cosmetic. The next day, the same woman who wouldn’t leave without her drinks comes in.)

    Customer #2: “I was here when we had to evacuate yesterday! Was everyone all right?”

    Me: “Yes, everyone is fine. They got the fire put out pretty quickly and none of the stores have major damage.”

    Customer #2: “Well I’m just glad to hear no one was hurt. You guys are more important than coffee.” *walks away*

    (A coworker, who hadn’t been working during the evacuation, looks touched.)

    Coworker: “That was so nice! What a sweet thing to say.”

    Me: “Yeah… just wish she had felt that way yesterday when she wouldn’t let me leave until her lattes were finished.”

    Coworker: “…oh.”