Category: Time

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Hurrying To Get You Nowhere

| Finland | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Time

(I work at a really tiny fast food kitchen in a really busy neighborhood, which means that the queues can get long at times. Four cars arrive at the drive-in at the same time, just after four different groups of customers have placed their exceptionally large orders. The guy in the second car gets frustrated and is on his phone whining to his friends, forgetting that I and my coworker can hear him through our headsets. As I walk outside to serve a customer his meal, the guy in the car starts yelling at me.)

Customer: “When the f*** is it my turn?! I want to place my order!”

(Fortunately it’s his turn next, but when he pulls up to the window to complete the transaction, he starts pulling out a sheet of coupons searching for the ones he wants to use, and he can’t seem to decide on whether to pay by debit or cash.)

Customer: “Why the f*** are you guys so slow? I’ve been waiting for fifteen minutes. This is ridiculous!”

Me: “I understand your frustration, but I will serve those who came before you first. Besides, if you are in a hurry, I suggest that next time you use the time you have to wait wisely, and have your coupons and payment method at the ready. That speeds things up quite a bit!”

(After that he stayed quiet. I don’t feel guilty about being cheeky either, especially after I found out from my coworker that he’s an unemployed high school drop-out, who mooches off his parents and spends his days driving around his dad’s car!)

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There Isn’t Safety In Numbers

| Houston, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Time

(I work at a restaurant that can get packed, so we hand out numbers for the waiting list. We call the numbers three times, and the fourth is a ‘final call’ before we move on to the next number. Sometimes people decide to leave without even turning in their numbers, but it’s not a big deal, we just move on. A father and his two children get a number to be seated and is given an estimate of about a 15 minute wait. We also record what time the number was given and the estimate wait time given. About 10 minutes pass and we call his number, no answer. We call twice more and I even check the parking lot just in case they are out there. No response and five minutes after the first call, the final call is given and we move on. About 30 minutes after I call his number he walks up to me:)

Customer: “Why haven’t you called my number yet?”

Me: *checking records* “Sir, we did call you at [time]. We called your number four times with no response and I even checked the parking lot.”

Customer: “Well, I want to be seated right now.”

Me: “I’m sorry; we had to skip your number you will have to be put on the waiting list again.”

Customer: “But you skipped my number. I want to be seated now.”

(By now he is getting close enough to kiss me.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Like I said we did call your number and you did not answer.”

Customer: “I wasn’t here!”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Customer: “I went to go run some errands.”

Me: “So how were you going to know if I called your number?”

Customer: “I do this all the time everywhere else.”

Me: “I’m sorry, you did not inform me you were leaving. How was I supposed to know you would be coming back?”

Customer: “You should have held my place.”

Me: “We did. We gave you five minutes to claim your spot.”

Customer: “You should seat me now.”

(By now he’s getting irate and he’s actually balling up his fist ready to swing.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t read your mind. You can’t get a number then leave and just come back whenever you want. You have to be present when your number is called.”

(At this point the customer moves behind the host stand to confront me and I’m still giving him the biggest smile I can muster. I’m smiling because I can’t believe how ridiculous he is and I guess that made him angrier. A manager steps in and because a couple tables left at the same time, tried to defuse the situation by offering to seat him quickly. The next customer I call promptly answers and says:)

Next Customer: “That guy is crazy!”

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Putting The Selfish Into Selfie

| Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Time

(I make the mistake of visiting a very popular coffee shop at a busy time. After more than 10 minutes I am second in the queue behind a teenage girl already holding a coffee from another shop, and there are at least 15 more customers waiting behind me.)

Customer: *stares blankly at the barista*

Barista: “What can I get you?”

Customer: “Oh! I don’t know… Give me a second.” *pause* “Can I get, like, a muffin?”

Barista: *clearly already very stressed by the amount of people waiting* “We have banana, chocolate chip, blueberry, pumpkin, and lemon. Which one?”

Customer: “Oh, uh… I don’t know. Blueberry?”

Barista: *swiftly gets muffin out of case and puts it on the counter, trying to speed up the transaction* “Is that everything for you today?”

Customer: “Uh, hang on.”

(She then proceeds to grab the muffin, take out her phone, and TAKE A SELFIE with her pastry. Still not finished, she logs on to social media, filters and captions the photo, and finally posts it before turning back to the now shaking-with-rage barista.)

Customer: “Okay. Can I get, like, a [very complicated dessert drink with numerous substitutions]?”

Barista: *eyes twitching* “[Total].”

(Back on her phone, she takes her time finding her money before flouncing off after her friends.)

Me: *to Barista* “I am so sorry you had to put up with that. And I’m sorry that I didn’t slap her. Just one medium coffee for me, please, and keep the change.”