A Non-Working Lunch

| NY, USA | Friendly | January 8, 2017

(I’m picking up a pizza at a local pizzeria for my workmates. I’m wearing a polo with my company’s logo on it, and sitting at one of the tables waiting for my food. I’m kind of out of it because the morning’s work was labor intensive, so I’m staring idly at the drink cooler. An older gentleman walks in smiling, he greets me, and walks up to the counter behind me to look at a menu.)

Customer: “You know, I think I’ll get a meatball sandwich.” *he’s clearly talking to me since the owner has gone to the back to get my food*

(The customer seems very nice, and is obviously waiting for a reply.)

Me: “Oh, okay. The food’s good here, right?”

Customer: “Yep! I love it!”

(There’s a bit of a pause.)

Customer: “Do you have time to make it now?”

(It dawns on me he thinks I work here.)

Me: “Oh! I’m sorry. I don’t work here. I’m just waiting for my lunch.”

Customer: “Oh! Sorry! I thought you were watching TV.”

(I notice there’s a monitor above the drink cooler.)

Me: “Nope! Just watching the drinks cool.”

(He gives me a confused look, which I understand because my joke wasn’t that funny. Another minute goes by.)

Customer: “I know it’s your lunch break, but would you mind finding someone else to take my order? I’m sorry to bother you.”

(I wonder if he didn’t hear me the first time, but he’s so nice I don’t want to make him feel bad.)

Me: “I don’t think they would like me to go behind the counter since I don’t work here. I work for [Company], and I’m just picking up lunch. Hopefully the owner will be back in a second to take your order.”

Customer: “No problem! Sorry about that!”

Me: “No worries.”

(After another moment the owner comes back. He takes the man’s order and chats with him as another worker makes the sandwich. The customer then turns to point at me.)

Customer: “Let me just say you have just a nice employee! This girl is so kind and polite, and was very patient with me!”

Owner: “Oh, she doesn’t work for me. She’s a customer just like you.”

(The other worker hands me my food and I can see light finally dawning on the older gentleman.)

Customer: “I’m so very sorry!”

Me: “What are you apologizing for? You were complimenting me. It was nice meeting you!”

(We shook hands and I left with my food, in a better mood than when I came.)

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