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Not Being A Jerk – What A Novel Concept

, , , , , | Working | May 5, 2021

I’m at a cafe where I usually hang out on Saturdays to work on my novel. Most of the staff know me, but they recently hired a new manager, and one of the baristas admits that they don’t really like her.

One day, I sit down in front of my computer at the cafe and prepare to type the words of a future bestseller. I have my earphones in, listening to music.

After a few minutes, I realize that there’s a lady beside me, tapping her foot. I take the earphones out.

Me: “Can I help you?”

Lady: “I’m the manager here.”

Me: “Okay… Am I doing anything wrong?”

Lady: “Are you even prepared for the interview?”

Me: “What interview? I’m just a customer here.”

She looks at the clipboard in her hands.

Lady: “Aren’t you [Job Seeker]?”

Me: “No, actually, my name is [My Name].”

A man in the corner speaks up.

Job Seeker: “I’m [Job Seeker]. I was here for an interview about the baker position?”

The lady huffed and stomped over to him. My barista friends tell me that she’s still there after a year and a half, and they hate her even more because she’s incompetent and rude.

Welcome To Retail: The Gluten-Free Edition

, , , , , | Right | May 4, 2021

I am a baker at a popular cafe. The only gluten-free dessert we offer is a triple chocolate cookie, but there is cross-contamination, and we have to warn customers about this in case they are allergic. A teenage cashier who has just finished her training calls me over to help her with a customer.

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer: “The triple chocolate cookie. Does it have gluten?”

It says gluten-conscious right on the tag, but it’s written pretty small, so it can be easy to miss.

Me: “No, but there is cross-contamination with things that do have gluten.”

Customer: “Oh, sweetie, I don’t think you understand. I want to know if there is gluten in the cookie.”

Me: “There is no gluten in the cookie itself, but it is around things that do have gluten.”

Customer: “But does the triple chocolate cookie have gluten?”

Me: “Are you allergic to gluten?”

Customer: “Oh, yes. But, not so bad that I have to worry about cross-contamination.”

Me: “Then you should be fine, ma’am. The triple chocolate cookie has absolutely no gluten, whatsoever.”

Customer: “So, there is gluten?”

Me: *Internally screaming* “No.”

The customer finally buys her cookie. When she is gone, I turn to the cashier, who looks like a deer in the headlights.

Me: “Is this your first job?”

Cashier: “Yeah.”

Me: “Welcome.”

Related:
Welcome To Retail, Part 5
Welcome To Retail, Part 4
Welcome To Retail, Part 3
Welcome To Retail, Part 2

Common Courtesy Isn’t So Common, Apparently

, , , , , | Friendly | March 31, 2021

A new Italian cafe has opened not far from where I live — a fifteen-minute walk — and I decide to check it out by myself for breakfast. When I get there, I see that there aren’t many smaller tables; the ones they do have are filled and there’re only large tables left. It’s the type of place that does table service, and the woman working on the door directs me to a six-seater.

About five minutes later, a family of five comes in. They look around in dismay to notice that there’re hardly any free large tables; they all have one or two people sitting at them like I am. Because the table I’m at is right near the entry, I can hear their conversation as they debate whether they should leave.

I haven’t ordered yet, and I decide that this won’t do; I’m a single person and they’re a family who have come out for a nice breakfast. So, I get up and tell them that they can take my table — where there’s more than enough room for them — and that I’ll find somewhere else. The family looks shocked, and the mother thanks me twice. The staff asks if I will be okay sitting at one of the bench-seat-style tables — one has another lone person at one end, so I would be at the other — and I say yes. I’m sat and served a coffee and rather delicious bruschetta, with the staff alternating between thanking me for moving and apologising for the inconvenience of moving. Before I pay and leave, the woman from the family runs up to me and thanks me, again.

Seriously, do people not do nice things for others anymore? Moving tables as a single person isn’t a huge deal, especially when you’re given a huge one, but the staff and family acted like I’d done this massive thing for them. To me, it seemed like the sensible — and right — thing to do. Why would a single person need a six-seater, anyway?

A Confusion Sandwich

, , , , , , | Working | March 17, 2021

Where I work, we have a shelf filled with sandwiches. We have baguettes, ovals, and subs. We did have bread packs before lockdown, but they are all classed as sandwiches. Since reopening, corporate has decided to remove some products until further notice.

Today, around 10:00 am, a customer comes in. She walks up to the sandwich selector and has a look at them. She then grabs a sandwich and comes up to the counter and I say my greeting.

Customer: “Do you still do the sandwiches?”

Me: “I’m sorry, which sandwiches?”

Customer: “Just a sandwich.”

Me: “What kind of sandwich?”

Customer: “Just a sandwich.”

I give up trying to figure out what kind she wants and resort to the standard answer of, “All our sandwiches are in the selector.”

Customer: “So you haven’t got any sandwiches, then.”

I finished the transaction and she left the shop. My manager was behind me the whole time bagging sausage rolls, so I asked her if she’d heard what happened. She hadn’t, so I explained it all to her, and when I finished explaining, I realised she’d meant the bread packs as that’s the only one we hadn’t got out of all the sandwiches.

After I got home, I told the story to my partner, who started pissing himself laughing. I didn’t understand why he was laughing because I was so confused as to why she didn’t specify or explain what kind of sandwich she was looking for. 

After my partner pulled himself together, he explained to me why he found it so funny. Our bread pack is two slices of bread with filling in between, cut diagonally, and placed in a container that has a clear front so you can see what the filling is. It turns that out since I started working with this company, I forgot that pretty much everyone else calls that a sandwich. 

I now feel like a complete idiot and I feel so bad for the customer.

I Am Not Trying To Seduce You

, , , , | Learning | March 2, 2021

I am at a week-long international tech workshop at a campus with an onsite cafe and no other eating within walking distance. We are all nerds but not completely without social skills, so about six of the guys decide to go to the cafe together and get to know each other. The international students want to practice their English, and there are French and Chinese students next to me trying to show off a bit.

Chinese Student: “Good afternoon, gentlemen. It is a pleasure to have lunch with you.”

French Student: “Very nice, but I want to sound cool like American movies. How would I greet a friend?”

Me: “Well, you could say, ‘hello,’ ‘hi,’ or, ‘hey,’ before their name.” 

Chinese Student: “‘Hey’ does sound cool.”

The server comes up right then.

Server: “Hi! My name is Macarena. What can I get you guys today?”

The French student speaks enthusiastically with their song-like French accent.

French Student: “Hey, Macarena!”

The server does not look pleased, the French student is confused, and the Chinese student is laughing so hard he is having trouble talking.

Chinese Student: *To me* “You did not tell him the rules!”

Me: *To [French Student]* “You can say, ‘hey,’ to any of your friends… unless her name is Macarena.”

French Student: “Why?”

The Chinese student started doing the dance, and even Macarena started laughing at how ridiculous it was. For the rest of the week, the French student greeted her with, “Helllloooo, Macarena!” while she stared at him before laughing.