The Machines Have Already Started Thinking For Us

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Working | April 21, 2016

(I’m on a three week internship in Toronto and decide one morning to try a popular coffee store again. I’ve tried it before, but me being from the Netherlands, their coffee was tasteless to me. Luckily, they have a new brand of coffee called ‘dark roast’, which is supposed to be more flavourful.)

Employee #1: “How can I help you?”

Me: “Good morning. I would like a latte, please, but with dark roast coffee instead of the regular coffee.”

Employee #1: *stares at me as if I’m crazy* “What?”

Me: “A latte, but change the regular coffee with dark roast coffee. The regular is too mild for me.”

Employee #1: “But the latte is machine-made. It is always the same settings.”

(Employee #2 happens to overhear our conversation.)

Employee #2: “No problem, [Employee #1]! Just make the latte, pour some out and put dark roast coffee in it.”

Me: “Sounds reasonable!”

Employee #1: “I’m not sure… It is machine-made! I can’t change the settings!”

Employee #2: “That’s why I said, make the latte with the machine, then afterwards pour some out and put dark roast coffee to fill the cup again.”

Employee #1: *stares at [Employee #2] as if he suddenly sprouted wings or something*

Employee #2: *sighs* “Never mind. I will make the latte myself.”

(He proceeded to make my latte with dark roast coffee. I thanked him, and Employee #1 handled the receipt with an amazed expression still on her face. I guess that when machines come into play, you don’t have to use your brain anymore. The dark roast latte was perfect, by the way, exactly how I wanted it.)

Venting Tall

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Right | April 20, 2016

(I’ve gotten up early to get my mom and me coffee one morning. I’m not a morning person by any means.)

Me: “Can I get a tall white mocha?”

Barista: “Sure, anything else?”

Me: “A tall, venti nonfat cappuccino please.”

Barista: “A what?”

Me: “A tall, venti nonfat cappuccino, please.”

Barista: “Honey, you’re making up drinks now. Would you like a tall or venti?”

Me: *suddenly hitting me what I’ve been saying* “Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry. I meant venti.”

Barista: “I give everyone a break this early.”

(Luckily she had been our barista for about six years and knew I was actually smart.)

Driving Away Business

| MA, USA | Right | April 19, 2016

(I am a 16-year-old girl working at the drive-thru of a popular coffee shop. It’s a busy day and we are moving through the line quickly, until this customer.)

Me: “Here are your drinks, sir. Have a great day!”

Customer: “How do you get to [Small Town 50 miles away]?”

Me: “Uh, I’m sorry, sir. I actually don’t know. There are plenty of places to get maps downtown, which is about two minutes down the street.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to go down there. Ask someone else.”

(I turn to a coworker and ask her how to get there, but she doesn’t know either.)

Me: “Sorry, she doesn’t know either. I see you have a [Popular Smartphone]; you could always look up directions on there. We have free Wi-Fi.”

Customer: “No! Ask someone else! I need to know now!”

(As it is only me and my coworker working, I resort to asking a customer inside the store.)

Me: “All right, he just told me you should get on route three west to get to the area.”

Customer: “How do I get to route three west?”

Me: “Sir, I don’t know, and there is a line behind you. I’ve helped you the best I could.”

Customer: “This is f****** ridiculous! You should know this! What the h*** are you getting paid for?” *drives off*

Me: “I’m pretty sure I’m getting paid to make your coffee…”

That Tabled That Discussion

| Staten Island, NY, USA | Friendly | April 18, 2016

(I take my young sons to the coffee shop after school. While waiting for a place to sit, we stand next to two girls occupying a four-seat table, homework spread out. My ten-year-old son is keenly observing the table.)

Ten-Year-Old Son: *looks at the girls’ work* “Don’t get mad, but your answers are wrong. I’m sorry I looked.”

(This not being an odd occurrence, I think “oh, this is gonna be fun.” I turn my back and eavesdrop. Bad mom, I know.)

Girl #1: “It’s eighth-grade math. What are you, sixth grade?”

Ten-Year-Old Son: “Fifth grade.”

Girl #2: “Let’s see you do our homework.”

Ten-Year-Old Son: “Okay. I’ll do your homework; you give up your table?”

Girl #1: “Deal!”

(My son solved three pages of math problems in about five minutes.)

Girl #1: “Holy cow! Two hours we tried! Do you have superpowers?”

Ten-Year-Old Son: “No, I have Asperger’s.”

(And just like that, our little mathemagician got us a table.)

Please, No Morey!

| London, England, UK | Working | April 5, 2016

(I have just finished ordering a drink. Everything goes smoothly until the barista asks me my name.)

Barista: “What’s your name?”

Me: “Murray.”

Barista: “Okay, Mary.”

Me: “No, Murray.”

Barista: “Miri?”

Me: *very loud and clear* “No, it’s Murray.”

Barista: “Maury?”

Me: *frustrated* “No… just write Muriel.”

Barista: “Okay, Mural.”

Me: “It’s Muriel.”

Barista: “Okay, wait over there.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(I was relieved when I thought the barista figured out my name but that feeling didn’t last. I picked up my drink and noticed that the barista had written “Merry Al” on my cup.)

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