From Sweet To Bitter In Less Than One Bite

, , , , | Right | February 14, 2018

Customer: “I can’t have chocolate, because I’m diabetic. You have to stop me if I order anything with chocolate in it.”

Me: “Oh, okay. What can I get you?”

Customer: “A big slab of millionaire’s shortbread and a large mochaccino, please.”

(When I advise her that both of those contain chocolate, she becomes irate and abusive, and screams and demands a manager.)

Customer: “Your staff is insulting me. She’s refusing to sell me anything sweet, saying I’m fat and should be dead. I’m very upset!”

(The manager looks at me, completely confused, as he knows I’m not that confrontational. When I try to speak, the customer spins even more outlandish tales, such as me questioning her husband’s virility and sexuality, and suggesting she become bulimic and die on the toilet.)

Manager: “I… I just can’t believe [My Name] could say all this in the five seconds I was in the kitchen. All I heard from her was, ‘Okay,’ when you mentioned your medical condition.”

(The customer went wide-eyed and left briskly.)

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You’re Finnished

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 7, 2018

(I’m Finnish, but I currently work and live in London. Some of my friends are visiting from Finland and we go to a nice, small café near my flat. We are chatting and, obviously, we use Finnish since it’s everyone’s first language. A man maybe in his 50s has been sitting near us and now approaches our table.)

Man: *rudely* “What are you talking?!”

(We are a bit surprised by his tone, but I assume he is just wondering what language we use, since Finnish is kind of rare and a hard one to guess. He’s not the first one to ask. So, I answer politely that we are speaking Finnish.)

Man: “No! You have to speak English! This is London! Anyone can’t understand you!”

Me: “I speak English when I’m speaking with other people, but we are all Finnish, so we can, in fact, understand each other.”

Man: *speaking on top of me* “NO! You need to speak English all the time! All the time! Other people need to understand you!”

Me: “Look, mate. I don’t see that this is in any way your problem. We speak English with other people, but Finnish with each other. We have been understood perfectly well by everyone, since we speak English to the people who don’t speak Finnish.”

Friend: “Yeah, so, please leave us alone.”

(By this point the barista and everyone else in the café have noticed that something is going on.)

Barista: “Excuse me, but is everything all right?”

Me: “This ‘gentleman’ is kind of bothering us.”

Man: “They need to speak English! Otherwise, people can’t understand what you are saying! You could be talking about anything! You could be talking about me!”

Friend: “Why on earth would we be talking about you?”

Barista: “Sir, there is no law that says everyone must speak English all the time. Have they in any way indicated that they were talking about you?”

Man: “Well, no, but they might! I was listening, and I couldn’t understand them at all, not one word! They need to speak English.”

Barista: “So, your problem is that you tried to eavesdrop on their conversation, and now you are annoyed that you couldn’t?”

Man: *pause* “No… Well… No… Other people can’t… Need to understand them…”

(The man went back to his table, took his things, and left. We thanked and tipped the barista. My friends just thought the whole thing funny. I can’t understand how a person can function in a multicultural city with hundreds of different languages and millions of tourists with that attitude.)

Not What You Were Egg-specting

, , , | Working | February 5, 2018

(My grandparents are out for a meal, and they’ve decided to try out a new café that has just opened. My granddad decides what he wants to eat quite quickly, whereas my nan isn’t keen on what they currently have on the menu for the day. She flags one of the staff down.)

Nan: “Oh, hello! I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but I was wondering if it was possible for someone back in the kitchen to just make me a sandwich, or something? I can’t eat anything from today’s menu.”

Waiter: “That’s no problem at all! What can I get you?”

Nan: “Just an egg mayonnaise sandwich on wholemeal would be fantastic, thank you!”

(The waiter suddenly looks very confused, and there’s a bit of a pause before he replies.)

Waiter: “Egg… mayonnaise? In a sandwich, right?”

Nan: “Uh, yes. You know, egg mayo sandwiches? You cook some egg and just… mix it in with the mayonnaise?” *mimes mashing the two together* “On wholemeal bread?”

Waiter: “Wholemeal?”

Nan: “Yes, just brown bread.”

Waiter: “Okay… uh… How many?”

Nan: “You mean, how many eggs?”

Waiter: “Yes, how many eggs would you like?”

Nan: “Oh… um… I guess two would probably make enough for one sandwich? I suppose it depends on how much mayonnaise you mix in, or how filled you want to make the sandwich.”

Waiter: *nods slowly, looking intensely confused* “Riiiiiight… Of course. I’ll bring that out to you as soon as possible.”

(Food came out pretty quickly, and while my granddad’s meal was perfect, my nan’s was… less so. True to their word, it was two eggs… fried, covered in mayonnaise, and on white bread toasted to the point of being brown, more like a biscuit. To her credit, my nan ate it without a word of complaint, but vows not to order another any time soon!)

It’s Bag-uiling

, , , , , | Right | January 25, 2018

Customer: “I’ll have a #7.”

Me: “So, that’s a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on an English muffin?”

Customer: “No, I want it on a plain bagel.”

Me: “No problem. So, a bacon, egg, and cheese on a plain bagel––”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “No?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “You asked for a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a plain bagel, right?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Then, why’d you say no?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

You Can’t Buy Trust

, , , , , | Working | January 22, 2018

(I work at an extremely popular chain bakery and cafe. We have recently gotten a new manager: a woman who has been bounced from cafe to cafe because of all the complaints that have been filed against her by employees and other managers. The company refuses to fire her because she is very good with customers and receives glowing reviews from them. A customer comes up to me in the middle of lunch rush.)

Customer: “Excuse me? All of the paper towels are out in the women’s bathroom.”

(I run off to get the paper towel dispenser key, which is kept in the office. I try to get in, but find the door locked. I go up to the new manager, who is swamped with sandwich orders.)

Me: “[Manager]? I need the bathroom keys, but they’re locked in the office. Can I borrow your keys to go get them?”

Manager: “No.”

Me: “I… What?”

Manager: “No, you cannot. There’s money in the office, and nobody is allowed in there when there is money in there.”

(This is correct, but only in stores that do not have cameras installed in the office. Ours, however, does have a camera installed.)

Me: “[Manager], we don’t have to follow that rule here. Please? I only need the keys for a second, and I can see through the office door that the only money that isn’t locked in the safe is change. It probably totals about $10 at the most.”

Manager: “No. I don’t trust you. Wait here while I finish what I’m doing, and then we will get them together.”

(I am taken aback. Not only have I not given this manager any reason not to trust me, but I also know that the general manager holds me in high regard, and that I have a reputation for being an extremely trustworthy person. Nonetheless, I stand and wait for her to finish the five or so sandwiches on her board. While standing there, I am approached by no less than five more customers, all telling me that the paper towels are out. Finally, the manager finishes.)

Manager: *unlocking the door* “All right, tell me where the keys are.”

(I move towards the doorway, fully intending to grab the keys myself. She SLAMS the door in my face, and yells through the door.)

Manager: “Tell me where they are!”

Me: “Do you see the tan box on the wall?”

Manager: “No.”

Me: “It’s a tan metal box with a lock on it. There’s a keychain hanging off of the knob with three skulls on it. It’s right next to the door. Do you see it?”

Manager: “No.”

(I try and fail to direct her towards the keys several times before she gets flustered and opens the door. I reach around the door, open the box, pull out the keys, and close the door behind me. The only part of me that enters the office is my arm up to my shoulder, and I don’t even need to look. I also don’t come within five feet of the money the entire time. On the way back out, the manager drops this gem.)

Manager: “It’s just, I really don’t trust you around money.”

Me: *muttering under my breath* “Well, that’s going to cause an issue, because I’m a cashier.”

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