Coffee Can’t Help People Who Just Want To Hate The World

, , , | | Right | July 12, 2019

(While entirely uncommon, sometimes customers will ask for a specific barista when calling in on the phone, should they believe that employee remembers a specific event or has better knowledge. My manager tells me I have a phone call and I pick up the receiver.)

Me: “Hello? How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Finally! I was in your store earlier and you served me on the register, correct?”

(I remember him and confirm this.)

Customer: “I came in to relax and have some coffee, and instead I was rushed, barraged with questions, and entirely hurried. It was horrible! You need to stop being so abrasive and just let people enjoy their time!”

(I am bewildered, as I try to be brief, polite, and chipper, and I always ask questions to ensure the customer receives the drink they order. I apologize for rushing him, assuring that I meant no harm or offense.)

Customer: “You had better revise your attitude.”

Me: “Next time I’ll be sure to be less hurried. sir.”

Customer: “And just exactly how will you behave, properly, hmm? Repeat it back to me.”

(I felt belittled, on the verge of tears, and utterly defeated, and repeated back his suggestions of being less “idiotic and annoying.” Seemingly satisfied, he hung up.)

Pay It Forward Becomes Fling It Backward

, , , , , | | Right | July 8, 2019

(I work at a place where it’s common for customers to pay for the person behind them in the drive-thru. I help a customer who intended to pay only for her $4 drink, but upon hearing that the customer in front of her had paid it, insisted on paying for the $11 total behind her. The customers with that total pull up, and I notice they are all teenage girls.)

Me: “Actually, guys, the lady in front of you paid for your order!”

Driver: “What? Why?”

Me: “It’s kind of a pay-it-forward thing; it happens pretty often here.”

Driver: *to her friends* “Sweet guys! Free drinks!”

(I hand them their four drinks and ask if they’d like to pay it forward.)

Driver: “Why would I? I just saved 11 bucks!”

Me: “Well, have a good day!”

Coworker: “I get it when someone intends to pay for one drink, and can’t afford a huge total of the person behind them. But when that happens it just makes me want to throw things.”

It’s Okay, Students Don’t Read Newspapers, Anyway

, , , , | | Learning | July 8, 2019

(I work through graduate school at an on-campus coffee shop. Recently, the student-run newspaper did a story on me because I won a national customer service award through the company that runs on-campus dining at our school and hundreds of other campuses nationwide.)

Regular: “Oh! I saw you were in the student newspaper this week!”

Me: “Yeah? Is that out already?”

Regular: “I’ll show you!”

(She holds up a copy of the newspaper, which is delivered folded in half; above the fold, the biggest headline is, “[Neighborhood near campus] Rapist Still At Large.”)

Me: “Um, I don’t think that one’s about me.”

Regular: *noticing that the bottom half is facing her* “Oh! Sorry!”

(She flipped it over, and below the fold was the story about my customer service award and my picture!)

Real Pretend Advice

, , , , , | | Related | July 5, 2019

(I am taking my young daughter for some after-school shopping, and she has just been telling me about her day at school where they have been learning about personal safety, including not telling complete strangers their names. We popped into a coffee shop where they write your name on the cup and I realise I can use it as a teaching experience.)

Barista: “Name?”

Me: *gives a completely random name and steps to the side to wait*

Daughter: *looks confused*

Me: “Do you know why I gave the wrong name?”

Daughter: “No?”

Me: “What did you learn today about talking to strangers?”

Daughter: “Oh! So the lady still doesn’t know your real name!”

Me: “That’s right, so she can’t pretend she knows me. If she tried to pretend to know me, she would be using the wrong name, so I’d know she was a stranger.”

Daughter: “So if a stranger asks my name, I can give a pretend name?”

Me: “Yes, or you can just say, ‘I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.’”

Daughter: “Mum, that lady is shouting your pretend name.”

(The poor barista had been calling my order for the entire time, and I’d been listening for my real one.)

H2-D’oh! Part 6

, , , | | Right | June 28, 2019

(I work in a coffee shop and we sell our iced beverages in clear cups. We are very busy as it is a holiday. I am on bar making drinks and calling them out as I finish, including size, the drink name, and the name that was given when the person ordered. There are a couple of drinks sitting on the hand-off plane that haven’t been collected yet, which isn’t unusual. A man comes up and picks up a drink and walks off with it which, again, isn’t unusual. A few minutes later he comes back.)

Customer: *holding a large, clear, iced cup* “I ordered a caramel macchiato! This tastes nothing like a caramel macchiato!”

Me: “Are you [Customer]?”

Customer: “Yes?”

Me: “Your drink is right there, sir.”

(I indicate the hand-off plane with a large caramel macchiato waiting to be picked up with the customer’s name on it.)

Customer: “Well, next time make sure I get the right drink the first time! What is this, anyway? I’ve never, in my life, tasted anything like it before! Why would you even sell this?”

(I look at the drink in the clear cup — the clear liquid in the clear cup.)

Me: “Sir, we don’t charge for glasses of water.”

H2-D’oh!, Part 5
H2-D’oh!, Part 4
H2-D’oh!, Part 3

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