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Everyone Got Their Tea Total Today

, , , , , , | Right | March 14, 2023

I go to a sub-sandwich shop that’s just around the corner from me. They have a soda fountain and a tea fountain thingy. I pay for my food and turn to the drink fountains while the employee who helped me rounds a corner and goes into the back of the shop out of eyesight. I’m in the mood for iced tea, so I walk up to the iced tea fountain.

At the top are some buttons, while there’s a traditional spout at the bottom. I don’t notice that the spout has a little switch you lift to dispense the tea since it’s all matte-black and kind of blends together. Without thinking, I place my cup down and press and hold the most obvious top button, assuming it will dispense tea. I am suddenly greeted by an immediate hissing sound and steam. I quickly realize the button is used to brew tea and let go. About five seconds later, hot water/tea begins to overflow and lightly spray from the top of the machine since it was presumably already full.

I go into a panic and start mashing buttons to stop it. This does nothing as more water/tea flows out. I grab my cup and back up. The employee hears the commotion, comes out, sees what’s happening… and literally leaps over the counter. He runs up to the machine and pulls it forward, spilling more tea and making the top come loose, and manages to wrestle it and shut it off somehow about ten seconds later.

The employee backs up and turns, totally covered in VERY hot tea. He begins to try and pull his shirt forward to cool down while letting out little “Ehhh!” and “Uhhh!” noises. He looks back and forth, not sure what to do, darts around the counter, and runs into the back again while pulling his shirt off.

I stand there, flabbergasted. About fifteen seconds later, another employee — a woman — comes out, looking very confused. She sees me holding a sub and an empty cup, sees the iced tea machine, which is completely pulled out and emitting large volumes of steam, and sees the soda fountain counter and floor completely covered with tea. She looks dumbfounded.

Employee: *Turning to me, wide-eyed* “Wha… what happened?!”

Being a rational man in my thirties, I did the only thing I could think of: I dropped my sub and cup on the floor, closed my eyes in embarrassment, and darted out the door behind me like a scared child.

And that was the last time I visited that particular sub shop for about four years until I was pretty sure that either they had forgotten or new employees were working.

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