Must Have Really Needed That Coffee Milk

, | Right | January 3, 2018

(I work in a fairly large, upscale supermarket and am currently stocking potato chips at the far end of the store, where they’re located right next to the (refrigerated) dairy section. Anything related to homogenised milk, however, is relatively close to the entrance at the opposite side. Note that a. the store is located in a small and rather posh, southwest German city, infamous for being a bit full of itself, and b. the obviously well-off customer is fitting the stereotype of a 60-something 1%er, fur coat and all. She’s not getting abusive, but increasingly snotty and impolite.)

Customer: *from behind me, without saying “excuse me” or anything* “I’m looking for ‘coffee milk.’ Where can I find it?”

Me: “Do you perchance mean condensed milk or coffee cream?”

Customer: “No! I said ‘coffee milk.’ Didn’t you listen?”

Me: “Well, however you wanna call it, the condensed milk and coffee cream is located at the front together with the homogenised milk. None of them are called ‘coffee milk,’ though, since…”

Customer: *interrupts* “I asked for ‘coffee milk,’ not coffee cream! And why is it up front? A colleague of yours just send me here! Are you saying I have to walk back to the front?!”

Me: “I’m sorry for my colleague’s misunderstanding. I can come with you and personally show you where it is. But as I was trying to say, depending on fat content, it’s either called condensed milk or coffee cream, just so you know. I’m pretty sure those terms are even regulated by the EU.”

(I don’t suffer fools lightly. They go ignorant, I go stubborn.)

Customer: *getting irate* “I don’t care what those lazy bureaucrats call it. I’ve always called it coffee milk and never had a ‘misunderstanding’ because of it. You know what, forget it. I’m sick of this incompetence! This place is going to the dogs! I’ll never shop here again and I will tell all my friends to do the same. Do you have any idea how many customers you are going to lose, young man?!”

(I hate it when someone calls me that. She hands me her shopping basket, containing veggies and deli meat, meaning she must’ve passed the milk aisle, and turns to leave.)

Me: “Going by your lack of common decency, won’t be that many.”

Customer: *gasps, huffs, and f***s off*

(I never got written up. The customer made good on her “promise” and never came back, but our numbers are still good.)

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