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Managers Cause A Latte Problems

, | Working | July 31, 2013

(I have been working at this location for several months. Even though I don’t drink coffee, I know a lot about it since my fiancé is a barista. )

Coworker: “Hey [my name], there is a customer that’s pulled up and she ordered a special coffee, but when I brought it to her, she said that’s not what she wanted.”

Me: “Okay. I’ll go talk to her and see if I can get it straightened out.”

Manager: “Hold on! You’re not a manager. You can’t do that. I’ll go talk to her and see what she needs. You stay here.”

Me: “Okay…”

(My manager leaves, and comes back a few minutes later obviously upset.)

Me: “What do we need to bring her?”

Manager: “I don’t know! I went over every coffee item on out menu, but she kept asking for me to make some special for her daughter, and it made no sense!”

Me: “Well what did she ask for? I know a lot about coffee, so maybe I can help.”

Manager: “I don’t remember…”

Me: “Let me go check.”

(I go over to the customer.)

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am? I’m sorry someone had to come out here twice, but I think there was a miscommunication about one of your drinks, and I’d like to try to help.”

Customer: “Yes, I’m not sure that last manager understood me correctly. I asked him if I could get a [special coffee] without any espresso in it because it’s for my daughter.”

Me: “Of course, ma’am. I understand what you mean, and unfortunately the way that particular coffee is made, it comes premixed with espresso in it. However, if you like I can make you a chocolate milk shake with chocolate chips and caramel sauce in it. That is essentially what you are asking for.”

Customer: “Yes please! Sorry for all the trouble.”

Me: “No problem, ma’am, I’m sorry we didn’t understand you the first time. Let me go make your drink for you.”

(I come inside, make the drink, and the customer leaves happy.)

Manager: “Did you get her what she wanted?”

Me: “I sure did!”

Manager: “Good. But don’t think this gives you permission to do that all the time! This was a one-time thing! Only managers can go out and talk to the customers!”

(A few hours later, our store manager comes up front to talk to us about a call she just received.)

Store Manager: “So apparently this lady just came through with her daughter and there was some trouble with her drink.”

Manager: “Was there something wrong?”

Store Manager: “Actually, the lady gave a glowing recommendation for the help she received even though her order was complicated, and not something we can normally make.”

Manager: “Well, I’m glad I could help fix her problem! It wasn’t really that complicated.”

Store Manager: “Actually the lady informed me the helpful manager’s name was [my name].”

Manager: “But she’s not a manager!”

Store Manager: “She certainly acted like one, so she is now. [My name], you are officially our coffee expert from now on. After next pay period your raise will be in affect and you can pick up your new uniforms after your shift ends.”

(My fellow manager was not pleased he couldn’t steal credit for my hard work and knowledge. He eventually changed shifts so he wouldn’t have to work with me anymore.)

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