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Getting Heated Over Coffee Temperature

, , , | Right | May 20, 2020

It’s been a pretty busy night, and because our times are so high, my manager tells me to serve the orders off screen as soon as I have them memorized, rather than when they’re ready. I see a medium coffee on screen and serve it off.

Due to a promotion, we have been selling iced coffee almost every order. I just hand out the next order and go to make it, assuming it’s iced. The order taker in the back is also notorious for getting orders consistently wrong and I’m having a visibly bad day, but I try to smile and be as accommodating as I can.

There is a loud car honking and then a knock at the window.

Me: “Is there something wrong?”

Customer: “Is that my coffee?”

Me: “Yes, is there something the matter? Too little milk?”

Customer: “I asked for a hot coffee. Not Iced.”

I can’t confirm it without going to the back, and since people have been disgruntled over the rise of price in medium and large hot coffee, I ask for the receipt just to confirm orders didn’t get mixed around.

Me: “Could I just see your receipt really quick? She may have rung it in as an iced and I just want to check to ma—”

Customer: *Abrupt and angry* “Look, I just paid the girl in the back $1.50 for a hot coffee, not an iced! I don’t need to show you my receipt! Now make my coffee!”

Me: “Sure.”

It turns out we don’t have enough hot coffee for a medium.

Me: “I’m sorry, it turns out we are out of hot at the moment. I can make this iced coffee just like the hot you wanted and refund you the difference?”

Customer: “What do you mean?! No, I’m not going to wait. Just give me my money back. How the h*** don’t you have any coffee?”

I go get the manager for the refund and get the next order. Now the manager is angry that the customer took her name and that I didn’t keep up on coffee. About ten minutes later, we get a call from the same customer.

Manager: “That was the lady who wanted the coffee. She said you were really rude to her, the line took too long, and you made it wrong and asked to see her receipt? She wants to file a complaint against you.”

Me: “That lady was ruder to me, honking her horn and knocking on the window like she deserved all the attention of the store. And if making sure she didn’t get over- or undercharged is rude, I guess I was. It took too long because it’s busy and she needed to argue with me over a simple request thinking she was the queen of being right.”

Manager: “Calm down. I’m sure she just exaggerated some parts, and I’m sure you were wrong to her.”

I got defensive and started to argue since I was tired, hungry, and irritated from a bad day. I ended up going on break early to calm down. I got back and laughed at it because if she hadn’t argued, she probably would have gotten free iced coffee or pies for the inconvenience.

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