At What Point Do You Give Up?

, , , | Right | November 16, 2018

(I’m helping out in another location of the chain I work for. I’m a few minutes into my shift and attending customers together with a coworker. My coworker turns to another customer who she seems to know already. We have loyalty cards, which look like credit cards, where customers collect points for each coffee they buy. Twelve points equal one free coffee. After each transaction in which a card was used the screen shows the total of points already on the card. A customer hands over her loyalty card after ordering a coffee. My coworker finishes the transaction and hands over the coffee, but instead of leaving or moving to the side, the customer stays where she is and stares at the screen. All of what she says is in an incredibly snotty and arrogant tone.)

Coworker: “Would you move a little, please, so I can attend to the next customer?”

Customer: “Wait a minute. There are points missing. I had 936 points yesterday. There are 12 gone! And I paid, too!”

Coworker: “I don’t know where they have gone, ma’am. I didn’t take them because you said you didn’t want to use them yet.”

Customer: “Well, would you check? I was at [Other Location] two days ago and they must have taken my points, but I paid, too! That’s fraud!”

(My coworker prints off the recent transactions with her card and shows them to her.)

Coworker: “Here, it says you were at [Other Location] two days ago, but you were here yesterday and used your points, see?”

Customer: “Oh, I know what happened. I think this was [Store Manager]; she served me yesterday! And she took my money, too!”

Coworker: “No, you didn’t pay for the coffee, see? It says, ‘Total: 0€,’ here.”

Customer: “I did pay! Is [Store Manager] here?”

Coworker: “No, she’s at [Other Location]. I can give you their phone number, if you like?”

(My coworker writes down the phone number of our other location and the customer leaves, pulling out her phone. A while later the store manager calls our store, letting us know she has promised the customer twelve free hot drinks just to have her shut up; we should note down how many she already has on a list at the register. A while later the customer returns.)

Customer: “I want to start using my drinks now. I’d like four teas and one black coffee. I want to start collecting points again. I’ll be back tonight for the rest!”

Coworker: “Uh, you can use them one by one; we’re going to keep track of how many you had so you’ll get all the twelve drinks you’re promised. You can collect points in between.”

Customer: “NO, I’m going to have them today! And remember, not too much water into the coffee!”

Coworker: “Sure.”

(The customer gets her drinks and sits down with her five cups. Then, she waves me over as I’m heading into the back.)

Customer: “Hey, young woman!”

(I turn around and smile at her.)

Customer: *still incredibly snotty* “There’s still that stain on the table that I left earlier. What if I put my sleeve into it?! Come over and wipe the table for me, please!”

Me: *with the brightest smile I can muster* “Sure! I’ll be right back with a damp cloth.”

(I get a cloth and start wiping her table. The stain is already dry and takes a little scrubbing.)

Customer: *smugly* “Yes, that’s taking a little more action. It’s caramel sauce from my coffee earlier!”

(I finish cleaning the table.)

Customer: “Fine, and now turn over the cloth and do it again; I’m sure there’s something left!”

Me: *as cheerful as I can manage* “Of course. Here you go. Enjoy your coffee!”

Another Customer: *a few tables over, who has overheard everything* “I bet that’s your boss.”

Me: “No, luckily not!”

(I head into the back where I tell two coworkers what just happened.)

Coworker: “She’s like that every day. We all hate her.”

(Later I was doing the dishes and found her five cups. Each of the four tea bags was carefully tied to the cup and all of the cups contained at least three napkins each pushed down to the bottom, which took me ages to get out and off the cups. I really appreciate the customers at my usual location now; I’d never had such an demanding, unfriendly customer before.)

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