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Unfiltered Story #191614

, | Unfiltered | April 9, 2020

(A man and his three children come into the store a half hour before closing time. Note that we close down and clean the coffee machine an hour before close because it takes a long time to rinse through.)

Man: Three for kids. *motions to the children’s deal we do*

Me: Sure, are they on white or wholemeal?

Man: *points again* Three kids!

Eldest Boy: *says something to his dad in a language I’m not familiar with*

Man: Brown. Three.

(I grab the breads from the cabinet behind me and start cutting them to size. A standard sub is six inches long, whereas children’s are only four. I cut the first one down to size and the man shouts)

Man; Too small! Three kids! *points again at the sign*

Me: I’m sorry, the kids sandwiches are only four inches. *I motion to the bread I’ve already cut down* If you want larger sandwiches they’ll cost a bit more.

Eldest Boy: *speaks to the man again, gets gruff sounding response, and turns to me* Six inch Sweet Onion Teriyaki Chicken, three of them. And a kid’s turkey.

(I check they are all on the same bread as before and make them up, asking if they want them cheese and toasted and treating them accordingly. The eldest son does all the salad for the rest of his family before getting to his own sandwich.)

Eldest Child: Everything but onions, please.

Man: Change gloves! Allergic! No onions.

(An alarm bell rings in my head, since the chicken itself is coated in a sweet onion sauce, as stated on the board and by the child himself. I ditch the gloves I have on and walk back to the sub pulling the clean ones on)

Me: *to the boy* The sauce on this chicken has onions in it, is that ok?

(He nods, and I go ahead making his sandwich how he wants it. Meanwhile the man and the other kids have gone to the tables in the corner and sat down. I note they’ve also taken drinks and started filling them, but not bringing them up to the till. The man returns as the boy is choosing his sauce.)

Boy: Sweet onion sauce, please.

Man: No onion! Allergic!

(The boy and the man then have a five minute conversation blocking the till while they presumably argue about the boy being allowed to have onions or not. Finally the man agrees to the sauce and I wrap their sandwich and put them through the till. A line of finished subs made by my coworker has piled up since they started and it’s now only 20 minutes until we close. As a shift runner I need to do paperwork, so I wrap them up as quickly as possible – explaining that drinks cost on top of the sub cost when it was questioned – before heading round the back and leaving my co-worker (the assistant manager) to do the line. A few minutes later I get called back out front to deal with a complaint. It’s the same man as before, with his onion ‘allergic’ son.)

Man. Onion got in sub. *opens the sub to show me a piece of onion not even an inch in length slap bang in the middle of the sub*

Me: *can’t remember if, in my haste, I accidentally put it there* I’m very sorry, would you like me to make a fresh one for you?

Man: Yes! Allergic! No onion!

Me: *I take the rejected sub, putting it aside to make a new one* Is the chicken teriyaki alright still? The sauce on the chicken has onions in it.

Man: Manager! Onion allergy! NO ONION!

(As a sufferer of anxiety and depression, I can feel my hands shaking by now, and a little teafull. My co-worker motions for her to take overr, but I wave her off. I take a deep breath.)

Me: Sir, I AM the acting manager tonight, and I wouldn’t want to cause your son any harm. As such, I’m informing you that if your child is allergic to onions, this chicken is not suitable as the sauce contains quite a lot. I have chicken tikka or plain chicken breast, if you prefer.

Man: *he and the son start another raging argument. It’s now fifteen minutes to close and I desperately need to do my paperwork and counts for the night, but daren’t leave. I motion for my colleague to do them instead and she obliges as the man speaks up* Sweet chicken. Fine. Salad NO ONION.

(I remake his sandwich as asked and take extra care to not let an onion within an inch of the sub. Once again the child chooses sweet onion sauce.)

Me: *to the boy* Is this sauce alright? It contains a large amount of onio-


(I add the sauce, wrap the sub and hand it to the boy, who takes it over to the table and starts to eat. The man hovers about the till for a further five minutes while we start our end-of-day tasks. When I notice that he seems to be looking at the counter behind me, I engage him.)

Me: Can I help you sir?

Man: Coffee. Large. *points to the sub that contained onion* Can have free?

Me: I’m sorry, but our machine has been turned off for nearly an hour as we close soon. I also can’t return that sandwich to you, as I have replaced it with a new one at your request. I have to put that down as waste.

Man: Can give. No waste. Coffee, Large.

Me: I’m sorry sir, but I can’t give you a sandwich you previously did not want and had replaced, and the coffee machine is off. It would take me half an hour to get it working again to make you a coffee, and we close in ten minutes.

Man: I wait. Coffee.

Me: Sir, we close in ten minutes. I can’t turn the coffee machine on. I will not be paid to stay here another hour to clean it.

Man: *slams his hand down on the counter next to the till, making me jump. I can feel tears pricking my eyes by now* COFFEE OR I COMPLAIN. SPEAK TO MANAGER.

Co-worker: *pokes head around from the back prep area* I’m sorry sir, but I’m the assistant manager, and I assure you I will not file your complaint having seen how you’ve treated [my name] this evening. We close in ten minutes, and the coke machine will be turned off in five. Have a nice night.

(The man shouted at her in a foreign language, grabbed his own untouched sandwich from the table, unwrapped it and threw it on the floor. He then stamped on it, emptied one of his kids’ drinks all over it and forced them to leave their dinner behind so he could storm out.)

Me: You think I’d be used to this after five years.

Co-worker: I’m not used to it after nine…

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