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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.”

    Looking For A Cold Comfort

    | West Fargo, ND, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (It should be noted that while our drinks are normally served hot, we can also make them over ice, or blended with ice by request. On this particular day, it is -40 without wind chill and in the middle of a blizzard. All the local schools have been closed as well as the interstates and we have been rotating workers on drive due to the harsh conditions. As such, it is my turn.)

    Customer: “I would like one large [drink].”

    Me: “Sure! See you at the window!”

    (After the customer pays, I go to hand her a drink and she glares at me and snaps.)

    Customer: “It was supposed to be blended!”

    Me: “Oh, okay! We’ll remake that for you right away! Sorry, I must have missed you telling me that when I took your order!”

    Customer: “I didn’t tell you. You should just know to make it blended!”

    (The kicker? The customer was a student at the local high school, which was closed due to the blizzard. Sorry that we didn’t assume you’d want a cold drink in the -40 weather!)

    Disabled But Not Disarmed

    | UK | Bigotry, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Top

    (An early morning regular customer is a disabled woman in her 30s who dresses very gothic and always orders a coffee and then reads a book. A new customer I’ve never seen before comes to the serving counter.)

    Customer: “I have a complaint!”

    Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that. What have we done wrong?”

    Customer: “You let that [disabled slur] not only sit here but she takes up two seats!”

    Me: “Please don’t use words like that. She’s a very good and quiet customer who uses the second chair to prop her walking stick against. Besides, this early in the morning there are plenty of seats.”

    Customer: “She’s offending us! She’s being abusive!”

    (I’m confused, because I’ve not seen the lady even move from her chair.)

    Me: “Er, what has she said?”

    Customer: “Nothing! She didn’t even apologise!”

    Me: “What on earth for?”

    Customer: “For reading one of those e-book things, and being lazy, and fat, and—”

    (I can see our regular struggling to her feet and limping over.)

    Me: “Please just stop. She’s not affecting you.”

    Customer: “She’s a lazy f****** bum. I bet she’s on f****** benefits!”

    (Our regular makes it to the counter.)

    Regular Customer:  ”Could I please have another coffee as I’ve finished the first one and haven’t finished the chapter I’m reading.”

    (She hands me a £10 note.)

    Regular Customer: “Please keep the change as a tip.” *turns to the complaining customer* “Darlin’, I work as a software engineer and you need to work on your d*** manners. Us disabled have a right to get coffee as well.”

    (The new customer stomped back to her table and sat there eating her breakfast and glowering at our regular, who paid no attention at all to it. We found she’d left another £5 behind as an additional tip for ‘dealing with that.’)

    Doesn’t Get The French Connection

    | BC, Canada | Bigotry, Language & Words

    (This takes place in western Canada. French and English are both official languages in Canada, but sometimes people forget that, apparently. My coworker is from Montreal and has a strong French accent, though his English is excellent. A customer decides to give him trouble because he doesn’t speak English as a first language.)

    Customer: “What the f***? You f***ers need to learn English before you come here! We only speak English in Canada!”

    Coworker: “Sir, I was born in Canada. I’m from Montreal. French is my first language, but I assure you I’m fluent in English.”

    Me: “Sir, I’m bilingual, too, because French is one of Canada’s official languages. If you’re going to be in Canada, why on Earth don’t you learn French?”

    (He grabbed his coffee and stomped off.)

    A Healing Cup Of Coffee

    | SC, USA | Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Top

    (It’s the week before finals, and my sister and I are both feeling the stress. We end up driving out to the nearest coffee chain with an armload of homework. I’ve only been there twice, but my sister frequently refers to it as probably the nicest branch of this coffee chain ever, by which she always means the people there. We order our drinks and sit down on a little couch in the corner. We end up waiting for a really long time, and people who have ordered after us are getting their drinks before us. My sister looks up from her computer.)

    Sister: “This is very unusual for them.”

    (About 20 minutes later, the woman who took our orders hurries over with our drinks and gift cards, apologizing profusely. Evidently, the ticket had gotten lost or something like that.)

    Cashier: “I am so sorry about this! Just take these to any [Coffee Chain], and you’ll get a drink for free.”

    Me: “Oh, it’s all right; we weren’t waiting THAT long!”

    (My sister and I try to reassure her that we’re not upset. She starts to walk away, then stops. She looks at my sister and I quizzically.)

    Cashier: “Sorry, but… are you two twins?”

    Sister: “Yes, we are!”

    Cashier: “My husband is a twin. Was a twin. His sister died really recently and…” *she stops for a moment to compose herself* “And yesterday was the first time he’s had to celebrate his birthday without her.”

    (My sister and I both express our sympathy and condolences, and she kind of laughs.)

    Cashier: “I don’t even know why I’m telling you this.”

    Me: “Maybe that’s why the drinks were delayed; because you needed someone to talk to.”

    (Maybe it was an odd statement, but I really felt that if the drinks were on time, she wouldn’t have been able to talk to us about being a twin and losing a twin. Ma’am, I hope you and your husband are doing better now, wherever you are. Thank you for the gift cards!)

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