Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

, , , , , | Working | June 11, 2021

I drop into a large chain coffee shop. I order a large coffee and something to eat and sit by the window to enjoy a bit of quiet. A couple of women come in, chat to the barista, look around, and motion in my direction. I assume they are picking out a table; instead, they all stand awkwardly together at the counter and the barista comes over.

Barista: “Sorry, but could you swap tables?”

Me: “I’m quite happy here. Why do I need to move?”

Barista: “We have other customers that need that table.”

The table is no bigger than any of the others, nor more accessible. There is one next to me exactly the same, but mine is the only one left by the window.

Me: “No, I don’t think I will… unless there is a good reason for it?”

Her face scrunches up and she marches to the back. She comes back quickly.

Barista: “I’ve spoken to the manager and he says you have to leave.”

Me: “Okay, but I want a refund.”

Barista: “I will put it in a to-go cup.”

Me: “I don’t want it to-go. Besides, I paid extra to sit in, so I want a full refund, please.”

Barista: “I can’t do that.”

Me: “But I’m sure your manager could.”

She went back to the group of women. There were some less than subtle remarks and they sat somewhere else. The manager never appeared. I can only assume that they were friends trying to bully others out of their favourite spot.

I drank my coffee in my own time and eventually left. I didn’t put in a complaint, but the barista wasn’t there a month or so later, so she probably managed to get herself fired all on her own.

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