October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Here For The Whine

| NY, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(On weekends, I provide wine tastings for customers visiting our wine region. One Saturday is particularly busy, with me jumping between multiple groups. A new group walks in and I greet them.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Winery]. Are you folks interested in doing a tasting?”

Man: “Chardonnay.”

Me: “We currently do not produce a Chardonnay, sir, but if you are interested in trying any of our current releases, take a minute to look over our list to see if there’s anything that interests you.”

(I go back to another group to pour their next wine, while the man glares at me until I come back.)

Me: “Thanks for waiting; we’re pretty busy today! Were you interested in trying some wine or do you have any questions for me?”

Man: “I looked over the list.”

Me: “Great. Can I bring over anything for you to try, or would you maybe like to have a glass of wine to enjoy here?”

Man: “I want your chardonnay. And don’t give me a skimpy pour like these other crappy wineries have.”

Me: *starting to get aggravated, but knowing that this is ultimately an easy albeit difficult customer to take care of* “Again, we don’t currently have a chardonnay. Is it safe to assume you prefer dry white wines? That is what we specialize in and we have six to choose from today.

Man: “I want chardonnay.”

Me: “Why don’t you take another minute to look at what we do offer? These two other wines may interest you.”

(I go off to serve another group. The man continues to glare at me, but finally looks at our wine list. I come back to him a minute or so later.)

Me: “Okay, sir, have you decided what you would like to start with?”

Man: “”Well since you don’t have a chardonnay…” *huffs* “I GUESS I’ll just settle with your Cabernet Sauvignon.”

(We currently do not have a Cabernet Sauvignon released, nor is it listed anywhere in the winery as being an option.)

Me: “Okay, I’ll be right back with your wine.”

Man: “It’s about time.”

(I walk to our wine cooler and find one of the owners is grabbing bottles for a tasting he is also conducting.)

Me: “Hey, [Boss], would you grab me a bottle of something while you’re there?”

Boss: “Sure, what do you need?”

Me: “Just whatever you don’t need. Doesn’t matter.”

Boss: “Ummm… what?”

Me: “This, uh, gentleman wants our chardonnay or our cab sauv.”

Boss: *chuckles and shakes his head* “Here’s a Riesling. Good luck.”

(I go back and pour the man a Riesling. He declared the bottle was corked, the temperature was wrong, and that the wine was ‘sweet’ based on the name alone, even though it’s bone dry. He spends a solid five minutes of my time berating me for my service and how bad our award-winning wines are. I eventually grow tired of this.)

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry if you didn’t like what I poured you, but you asked for things that we personally don’t have. You’ve also taken up time from customers who, thankfully, are quite patient and happy to be in this winery that they personally chose to come to, as I assume you also did. If there’s anything I can actually help you with, please let me know; otherwise I am going to go continue my tasting with this other group who are good sports.”

Man: “I want to talk to the manager!”

(Right that second, the boss, who has been at the cooler.walks by.)

Boss: “Oh, Riesling, that’s my favorite! Did [My Name] tell you it’s on sale?”

(Somehow, the man walks away and buys six bottles of the ‘horrible’ wine he hates. It isn’t even on sale, by the way, he just thinks he was getting a deal. Thankfully he leaves without another incident.)

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], I never want to see that happen again.”

Me: “Sorry I talked to him like that. I had a full bar and no patience.”

Boss: “No, no, not that. Just don’t let another idiot taste wine here!”

Me: “Uh, [Boss], that would cut out the vast majority of our clientele…”

Boss: “Good point. Okay, don’t let another idiot taste wine here unless you have wine, too.”

Me: “That I can handle.”

(People may be ridiculous and get worse once they have wine, but at least I have the coolest boss in the world!)

When Pinot Means No

| Sonoma, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(Sometimes, the wineries in the Valley join up for a tasting event. People can buy a ticket, get a special wine glass and get to travel to different wineries and get free tastings of specific wines.)

Me: “Hello, welcome to [Winery]. May I pour you a sample?”

Guest: “What do you have?”

Me: “I have the 2007 Merlot and the 2010 Chardonnay.”

Guest: “Can I have a Pinot Noir?”

Me: “I have Merlot and Chardonnay.”

Guest: “You don’t have a Pinot.”

Me: “No, I do not.”

Guest: “Do you have a Pinot?”

Me: “Yes, we do, although, the Pinot is not being offered for this specific tasting. However, if you’d like to taste the Pinot, you are more than welcome to visit the tasting room upstairs and try it out. Unfortunately, it won’t be complementary.”

Guest: “Oh, never mind… What do you have again?”

Me: “I have the 2007 Merlot, and the 2010 Chardonnay.”

Guest: “I’d like to taste the Cabernet.”

Whine About Wine

| MA, USA | Food & Drink

(I’m working at the tasting bar for our winery. It’s been a fairly busy day. I’m serving two women around my age—early 30s.)

Me: “Hi! Can I get you anything?”

Customer #1: “Um…. let me think. Sorry, I’m not ready!”

Me: “Sure, that’s f—”

Customer #2: “Can I try the chardonnay?”

Me: “Sure!”

(I get the wine and start to pour.)

Customer #2: “It must be really annoying to work here. You have all these people interrupting you to say ‘Can I try this? Can I try that?’ Is it really annoying?”

Me: “Actually, that’s not annoying at all! What’s annoying is when people say ‘I want to try this. It sounds delicious, what a great description, how do you like it?’ and I say ‘I think it’s great,’ and they try it and then say ‘this is terrible, it’s disgusting, how can you serve this? Who in their right mind would drink this?’ That’s annoying.”

(Both of them are staring at me in disbelief.)

Customer #1: “No… people don’t really do that.”

Customer #2: “That’s crazy. They really say stuff like that?”

Me: “I’m afraid so.”

Customer #2: “Well, I think this chardonnay is really good! Thank you!”

Me: “You’re very welcome!”

Loss Of Hearing Vs Lack Of Respect

| MA, USA | Bad Behavior, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

(Several months ago, I suddenly lost most of my hearing in one ear. I’m a singer and this has been devastating to me. Thanks to medication, it’s almost back to normal, but I have trouble with background noise and I’m very sensitive about the subject. I’m in my early 30s, and most people think I’m several years younger. I’m giving a tour of our winery, and one visitor has been very difficult through the whole tour. I’m at the last stop on the tour and explaining how the machines in the room work. The visitor starts motioning at me, but I have no idea what these motions mean.)

Me: “I’m sorry, did you have a question?”

Visitor: *mumbles something I can’t hear at all*

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t quite hear you, what did you say?”

Visitor: “Could you speak louder?! I can’t hear you at all.”

Me: *laughing a bit* “That’s a little ironic that I couldn’t hear you asking me to speak up because you couldn’t hear me.”

(Apparently, she doesn’t see the humor in this.)

Visitor: “You young people! You have no respect! You have no idea how it is not to be able to hear when you’re old! You should be in my shoes and not be able to hear well.”

Me: “Actually ma’am, I’m hard of hearing myself. I know I’m not old, but I know what it’s like to not be able to hear. At least you were fortunate enough to have good hearing for most of your life.”

Visitor: *a little taken aback* “Well, you just don’t… you don’t know—”

Me: “I do know. And this concludes our tour. The exit is right here.”

(She hurries right by me to leave and doesn’t make eye contact at all. However, the other members of the group pause to thank me for the tour and the information. One girl even said she wanted to give me a drink and a hug to try to make up for that difficult visitor. I appreciated that comment more than I can say!)