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The Golden Rude

| Right | May 8, 2012

(I am working at the drive-thru at our coffee shop.)

Me: “Thank you for choosing [coffee shop]. This is [name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: *complete silence*

(I can see his car in our camera and he’s not talking.)

Me: “Did you have any questions or anything?”

Customer: “Well, there you are! What kind of smoothies do you have?”

Me: “We have strawberry banana, orange mango banana, and chocolate banana.”

Customer: “I want a strawberry one.”

Me: “Okay, that will be—”

Customer: *drives away from the speaker before I can finish*

(The customer in front of this customer in the drive-thru line has an issue with her order, so we have to wait until it is ready. During this time I make small talk with the customer as we are trained to do. After handing the customer her beverage, the next car pulls up.)

Me: “That will be [price]. Your smoothie is on its way!”

Customer: “I have a concern. You just wasted 5 minutes of my time having a conversation with that other customer. If I had honked my horn, you would have called me rude, but don’t you think it is rude to have personal conversations on my time? I just can’t believe you would do things like that. My time is valuable and I don’t like my time to be wasted!”

Me: “Well, they had an issue with their order and we had to wait. I thought it would be rude to ask her to stop talking to me. I will go check on your smoothie.”

(I get the smoothie and come back to the window.)

Me: “All right, there you go!”

(I am holding the smoothie out toward the customer. He spends a good two to three minutes talking on the phone while I wait.)

Customer: *turns and finally sees me* “Well, finally, what took so long?”

Me: “I’ve been standing here for two minutes.”

Customer: “Well, I was on the phone. Why didn’t you say something?”

Me: “I didn’t want to be rude.”

Not So Powerless To Help

| Working | December 6, 2012

(Our flat has a pre-pay electric meter that you top up by taking a small plastic key to any participating shops. It’s fairly common in rented accommodation in the UK. Our local corner store offers this service, but many of the staff are not trained on how to do it. I went on my lunch break to get a top up, which is peak time for this shop. I have been waiting in line for about 10 minutes at this point.)

Me: “Hi, can I have £40 on my electric, please?”

Cashier: *looks at the key* “We don’t do this here.”

Me: “…Um, yes, you do.”

Cashier: “No, we don’t.”

Me: “I’ve topped it up here plenty of times in the past, though. I know you do it here.”

Cashier: “Well, I don’t know how to do it, so you’ll have to go somewhere else.”

Me: “Are you serious?”

Cashier: “Go next door to [shop’s name]. They’ll probably do it.”

Me: “But they don’t, I’ve asked in there before. You do it here.”

Cashier: “Look, I don’t know how to do this, so just go next door.”

(There is such a big queue behind me that I don’t want to cause much of a fuss, so I go to the stationer’s next door on the off chance that they’ve started topping up electric keys.)

Me: “Hi, you don’t do electric top ups here, do you?”

Next Door Cashier: “Nope, sorry! They do in the corner shop next door, though.”

Me: “Okay, it’s just that I tried next door and the girl told me to come here, even though I know they do it there!”

Next Door Cashier: *sighs* “Oh, for goodness sake! AGAIN?! Come with me!”

(I follow the other cashier back into the corner store, who goes straight to the store’s manager.)

Next Door Cashier: *to the corner store’s manager* “Another one of your customers trying to get some electricity top up that was turned away! You NEED to train your staff better, seriously!”

(The manager was so embarrassed that she topped up my electric key right then and there. Ever since I have not encountered a problem topping up at that store!)

Assuming Is Never Amusing

| Learning | June 18, 2013

(I’m a sophomore in high school. I’m pansexual and gender-neutral, but biologically female, so I usually wear looser, more boyish clothes. My best friend is also a girl and straight, but has really short hair and a boyfriend who lives in another state, so no one believes her when she tells them that. She’s also very eccentric, painfully cheerful, and a theatre kid. One day, we’re walking to chemistry.)

Student: “Hey, are you guys, like, a couple?”

Me: *chuckling* “Nah, she’s straight.”

Student: “So you’re a lesbo?”

Me: “No, I like guys and girls. And anyone inbetween.”

Student: “But… you dress like a guy.”

Me: “My shirt is pink and I’m wearing a fluffy white jacket.”

Student: *turns to my friend* “And… and you have short hair!”

Friend: “So that makes me gay?”

Student: “Well… yeah!”

Friend: “I wear rainbow tutus to school and belt out show tunes in the hallway. Do you really think I’d be in the closet?”

Student: “Well, I mean—”

Friend: “How would you feel if people assumed you were a redneck because you live in Georgia?”

(Suddenly, the student’s eyes go wide and he looks absolutely horrified, apologizing profusely before rushing off.)

Cool, Cream, And Corrected

| Right | August 21, 2012

(At the coffee shop where I work, my coworker, Coworker #1, is from South America. He has a very thick accent, but his English comprehension and speech is otherwise perfect. A customer comes through drive-thru and orders two extra large coffees with a whopping eight servings of cold cream. A few moments later, he comes back to complain.)

Customer: “I have a problem!”

Coworker #1: “What’s the issue, sir?”

Customer: “My coffee is stone cold!”

Coworker #1: “Okay, I’ll remake that for you. It was eight creams, right?”

Customer: “Yes, and I’d like them to be actually warm this time.”

Coworker #1: *remakes both coffees* “Here you are. Have a good day!”

(The man leaves, but comes back a few minutes later. He’s still fuming. Another coworker of mine helps him.)

Customer: “This is unacceptable!”

Coworker #2: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “You can remake my coffee again, and this time I’d like it to not be so godd*** cold!”

Coworker #2: “Okay…” *turns to my South American coworker* “Could you remake this again? I need to finish cleaning the flavor shot station.”

Coworker #1: “Of course!”

Customer: “NO! No, he’s not touching them!”

(At this point, the manager hears the noise and comes out.)

Manager: “Okay, what’s the problem?”

Customer: “I’m so sick of your employees!”

Manager: “What’s the problem?”

Customer: “That f***ing foreigner of yours keeps f***ing up my coffees! You either need to make him learn f***ing English or send him back to wherever the f*** he came from! I want hot coffee, NOT hot coffee that’s STONE COLD!”

Manager: “Okay, firstly don’t swear at me. Secondly, he speaks and understands English perfectly so don’t say he can’t understand you. I will remake your coffees this time if it humors you. What was in them?”

Customer: “Eight creams!”

Manager: *pauses for a moment* “Seriously?”

Customer: “YES!”

Manager: “You do realize that adding EIGHT cold creams to a coffee will cool them off, right?”

Customer: “What?”

Manager: “If you add that much cream—which is chilled—to a coffee, it will cool it off. It’s not my employees’ fault. Now, have a nice day and please leave my store!”

Crib-ayashi Maru

| Working | January 13, 2014

(It’s my first day working alone, and I’m pretty nervous. I check in a guest that had requested a crib earlier, and see there’s a note saying that it’s been delivered.)

Me: “Yes, sir. I see a note here saying that a crib is in your room waiting.”

Guest: “Great! Thanks!”

(Later, he calls to tell me that there is none. I end up having to hunt one down, which takes a long time. Meanwhile the guest is very angry, and berates me to the point of tears. The next day my manager calls me over.)

Manager: “We had a big complaint against you. It was from that guest last night.”

Me: “I tried to find him a crib.”

Manager: “Hmm…”

Me: “Someone had put a note saying it was in the room but it wasn’t.”

Manager: “Yes. We wanted to see how you would handle it if there was no crib and the guest wanted one.”

Me: “Wait a minute… Are you telling me that you put that note there?”

Manager: *nodding shrug*

Me: “So… you deliberately set up me up to see what I would do? The guest made me cry! He was furious!”

Manager: “I know. You failed the test! I won’t have you working alone yet.”

(Right away, I looked for another job that didn’t play games at my and the customer’s expense!)