Colliding With The Collada Customer

, , , , | Right | January 31, 2019

(I work in the restaurant of a bowling alley on the opening shift, which gets pretty busy on the weekends, especially with birthday parties. On this day, I am working register while two coworkers prepare food — one is manning the fryer and grill, the other assembling platters and plates of food to put up on an adjacent counter for pick-up — and a third makes pizzas in the back. As cashier, my job includes making drink orders, including coffees. We are on the tail end of a big rush thanks to a birthday party not pre-ordering their food, and I am finishing up the line when a male customer orders a collada: a Cuban coffee, which is basically an espresso shot with a heaping ton of sugar mixed in. I don’t think anything of it, and it takes no more than ninety seconds to make the coffee and hand it over after payment. About ten minutes later, while I am grabbing a couple pitchers for another customer’s soda, my coworkers call for my attention.)

Coworker #1: “Did you make a collada?”

Me: “Yeah, not that long ago. Why?”

Coworker #2: “This lady says it’s ice cold.”

(Of course, I am baffled. Unless the machine has learned how to brew coffee with cold water, there is no way it should already be cold. Still, [Coworker #2] goes about making another coffee while I finish the soda pitchers, still mulling over the accusation. The complaining customer moves in front of the register, and it is an older woman, not the man I made the coffee for.)

Me: “I’m so sorry, ma’am. I have no idea how this happened.”

Customer: “It was ice cold! Disgusting!”

Me: “I really am sorry. I don’t know what could have caused it.”

Customer: “It was ice cold. No Cuban would ever drink that.”

(I can almost feel my apologetic customer service smile fall into something like my neutral “resting b**** face,” though I try to be pleasant.)

Me: “She’s getting your coffee now, ma’am.”

(Luckily, my coworker has finished and is already turning to offer the customer the little Styrofoam cup.)

Coworker #2: “Here you go! Nice and hot!”

Customer: “I’ll be the judge of that!”

(She proceeds to pop open the lid and glare inside before just walking away, and I turn to my coworker in upset confusion.)

Me: “I honestly don’t know why that happened.”

Coworker #2: “Don’t worry about it. You didn’t do anything wrong. The cup was almost empty; it was just easier to give her another one than start a fight. I hope it gives her the s***s.”

(I agreed with her. I hope it was worth saving $1.45.)

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