Let The Right One In

, , , , | Right | June 14, 2018

(I work at a cafe that opens early in the morning. We often get people hanging out outside the doors before we open, waiting to get their coffee before going to their jobs. The supervisor usually locks the door, so they can’t get in, as they always try to get in early even though it isn’t time for us to open yet. One morning, however, the supervisor must have forgotten to lock the door; as I’m setting out the pastries, I look up suddenly to see a customer off to the side in front of the register. I stare at him with wide eyes, shocked that he’s in there before we’re open, and he just smiles at me, a bit condescendingly.)

Customer: “It’s 6:30; you’re open.”

Me: “Is it really?”

(I’m skeptical because I know how long it takes me to put out the pastries in the morning and there was no way it is 6:30 already.)

Customer: “Yes, see?” *looks at his phone* “Oh, wait. You have ten minutes. That’s okay; I’ll wait.”

(And then the customer steps back near the windows to wait. I’m speechless at this point, so I just sort of make an agreeing noise and go back to putting out pastries, as I can’t think of a polite way to tell him to get the hell out until we’re supposed to open. Naturally, my supervisor decides to come out right then.)

Supervisor: “Sir, you can’t be in here.”

Customer: *points to me* “Oh, it’s fine; she let me in to wait.”

Supervisor: *looks at me and frowns* “Oh, you can’t do that. We’re not allowed to do that; don’t do it again.”

(I just sort of nod, pissed at this point that the customer is trying to pin this on me and that I might be in trouble now. Naturally, two other customers slip in, since they see the original customer, and now we have three people waiting in the shop and we’re not ready to open yet, but the supervisor isn’t telling them to get out so I stay silent and finish. We officially open a few minutes later and take care of them before sending them on their way.)

Me: “You know I didn’t let him in here, right?” *explains what happened*

Supervisor: *in disbelief* “Seriously, man, that’s messed up. That’s not your fault. though; I guess I forgot to lock the door. I’ll have to be more careful next time.”

(Thankfully, I didn’t get in trouble, as she understood, and we both had a laugh over it, and I have yet to see that particular customer in the morning again, thankfully. I guess some people just don’t know how to be patient.)

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Someone Is Dying To Get Out Of Class

, , , , | Learning | May 31, 2018

(I am a lecturer, getting a coffee from a local café. I get a call from one of my students while waiting in line.)

Student: “[My Name], I need to miss today’s lecture. My son’s been in an accident and I need to go to hospital.”

Me: “Your son?”

Student: “Yes. I’ve been told he’s critical. He might die. I’m so terrified.” *starts sobbing*

Me: “Um…”

(I put the phone to my chest and tap the shoulder of a man further down the line, waiting with his son. He turns around and smiles. I hand my phone to him. He sees his wife’s name on the screen.)

Student’s Husband: *confused* “Hello, [Student]? Why are you phoning [My Name]? Huh, she hung up.” *handing the phone back* “What’s going on?”

Me: “I’ll let her explain.”

(She later dropped out of my module, but I still see her around campus. I’ve seen her husband and their only son from time to time, as well, but since he hasn’t mentioned anything about the call, I assume she hasn’t told him.)

A Not-So-Smooth Transaction

, , , | Right | May 16, 2018

Customer: “What kind of smoothies do you have?”

Me: *lists off smoothies*

Customer: “What’s in the Superfruit smoothie?”

Me: “It has a bunch of lesser-known fruits, so let me take a look at the ingredients real quickly.”

Customer: “Oh, it has fruit in it? I don’t want a smoothie with fruit.”

Their Listening Skills Are Toast

, , | Right | April 23, 2018

Customer: “Do you do salmon and scrambled egg?”

Me: “Yes, sir, on either a bagel or toast.”

Customer: “D***, my friend is looking for egg and salmon.” *his friend is nowhere to be seen*

Me: “We do that.”

Customer: “You do salmon and egg?”

Me: “Yes, sir, on a bagel or toast. Do you mean by itself?”

Customer: “He really wants it.”

Me: “We can do it by itself, too, if you like.”

Customer: “I don’t know. Do you do it?”

Me: “We can, yes.”

Customer: “I’ll just go to the bakery.”

(He then left, and wandered off down the street — in the wrong direction for the bakery. I’m really not sure how I could have been much clearer that we were able to help him… Or what he was hoping to find at the bakery!)

Very Closed Minded

, , | Right | April 18, 2018

(My friend and I both work in gastro-service in this town. We spend the evening at another local cafe. When we finish up, we notice we’re the last customers left, so we decide to pay quickly as we know how annoying it can be to wait around for just two customers.)

Me: *paying at the till* “By the way, when do you guys close?”

Server: “Oh, at 9:00 pm, so not for another two hours.”

My Friend: “Oh, good! We thought we’d already overstayed the closing time and you were just waiting for us to finally get out.” *laughs*

Server: “Oh, no, we would never do that! It’s fine for guests to stay longer; we’d just have to start cleaning up around other parts of the cafe.”

Me: “Sure, but it’s still bothersome to have people who just won’t leave.”

Server: “It’s fine, really. We’ve got a lot of things to get done; we wouldn’t throw anyone out just because it’s closing time.”

Me: “Listen, we both work in gastro-service, too. We know how it feels.”

Server: “Oh! Oh, thank God. I couldn’t think of another nice way to answer this without sounding patronising.”

(We stayed for another half-hour, chatting about our work and the troubles you sometimes get with customers. The server seemed really relieved we weren’t going to make any trouble.)

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