Caffeine It Forward

, , , | Right | February 13, 2021

My local coffee chain offers a free beverage on your birthday.

Me: “Good morning! It’s my birthday! I’d like my free beverage, please!”

Cashier: “Oh, happy birthday! What would you like?”

Me: “How about that new fancy drink on the poster behind you? Have you had it yet?”

Cashier: “No, I haven’t had it yet.”

Me: “Then please take some of mine, okay? I don’t mind getting only half of it. Keep some for yourself and taste it, okay?”

Cashier: “Oh, wow. That’s very kind of you. What size?”

Me: “It’s free, right? Give me the biggest one! And you’ll get some of it, right?”

And thus, it is agreed upon.

Then, I look at the empty shop, with four employees busily taking care of the drive-thru. And I announce:

Me: “Hey, [Coffee Chain], it’s my birthday and I get a free drink! So, I got the biggest, bougie-est drink of them all, and I want to share it with you guys! Just put half of it in my cup and split the other half amongst all y’all, okay? It’s free and I am happy to share!”

And that’s what happened. Thirty ounces was more than enough to share, and OMG, wow, I am glad that I shared it! That coffee was strong!

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for February 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

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The Water’s Free And Somewhat Lucrative

, , , , , | Working | February 9, 2021

My boss is really cute and funny. Every so often, she gives us a little friendly competition to boost sales and morale at the same time. For instance, she’ll promise you a free lunch, dessert and all, if you make so many sales in one shift, or a small cash prize if you sell so many loaves of bread by the end of the month.

I have a tendency to repeat myself an awful lot. Being a cashier, that’s all part of the job. But one day, during a quick break, my boss mentions just how often I repeat certain phrases a day.

In this case, I tell customers who ask for water to drink, “Water’s free!”

Boss: “How many times do you think you say that in your whole shift? Go ahead, guess!”

Me: “Oh, I dunno… Thirty or so?”

Boss: *Teasingly* “Okay, thirty. Listen, I’ll make you a little bet. If you can say, ‘Water’s free,’ sixty times tomorrow, I’ll give you ten dollars!”

So, the very next day, when my shift begins, I get a little slip of paper, keep a pen close by, and tally the number of times I say that phrase.

Luckily for me, we have a HUGE turnout, with Thanksgiving just around the corner and people placing orders for our pies, breads, and cheesecakes like crazy. And, of course, there are the standard “take your friends/family out for breakfast/lunch” customers, as well.

At least half of them ask for water, and I’ll confess I milk it a little, but I make sure to mark down every single time I say those words out loud. After all, there is no rule that I can only say, “Free water,” once to a customer, or to only one customer in a large group!

The end result? Sixty-nine!

At the end of my shift, I present my special paper to my boss. She is a bit surprised at first, and then she bursts out laughing.

Boss: “Wow, I didn’t expect you to take this bet seriously! But a deal’s a deal.” 

And she handed the ten dollars right over!

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When Even Chocolate Can’t Save The Day, Part 2

, , , , | Right | February 9, 2021

I work at a very popular chain coffee shop. A woman comes in with her young son and approaches the register.

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Coffee Shop]! How are you doing today?”

Customer: “Yeah. I need a kids’ hot chocolate, but cold.”

Me: “So… a chocolate milk?”

Customer: “No! A kids’ hot chocolate but cold!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but per food safety regulations, I can’t steam milk for a hot chocolate and put it over ice; the milk will go bad.”

Customer: “What don’t you understand? I’m asking for a kids’ hot chocolate but I need it cold!”

Me: “Right. So you want milk, mocha sauce, whipped cream, and ice in a kids’ size, right?”

Customer:Yes! Finally!” *Rolls her eyes*

I ring up a kids’ chocolate milk.

Me: “Okay, so one kids’ chocolate milk and… anything else I can get for you today?”

By this time, the woman seemed to have noticed her mistake and completely changed her attitude. She sheepishly finished ordering and then apologized afterward. I guess she was having a long day.

When Even Chocolate Can’t Save The Day

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My, Aren’t We Feeling Entitled Today?, Part 3

, , , , , | Right | February 5, 2021

Our espresso machine requires maintenance and we have done everything in our power to alert customers to our inability to provide hot coffee drinks; we’ve posted several brightly-colored signs on the one and only entrance to the shop.

A man holds the door open for a loud female customer, complete with attached cell phone accessory. Her call must be very important as she is talking so loudly we all know the results of her last lady doctor appointment.

As she approaches the counter I attempt to deliver the bad news in as polite a fashion as I am able.

Me: “Welcome to [Coffee Shop]! I just wanted to make you aware that our espresso machine is undergoing maintenance and—”

She shoves her finger in my face, index finger up in a classic “Shut Up!” gesture. I swallow my anger and continue to wait for her to fish her credit card out of her purse while still yakking away on the phone.

Once she locates it, she pulls the phone far enough away from her face to bark two words before going back to her call.

Customer: “Non-fat latte.”

She throws the credit card on the counter.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but as I was saying, our espresso machine is down and I cannot make any hot drinks or any espresso drinks.”

She ignores me completely and continues her conversation until long enough has passed that she believes her drink should be done, at which point she storms up to the counter.

Customer: “Where’s my drink? You’ve had more than long enough to finish a simple latte. What are you, stupid?”

Me: “I tried to explain to you that our espresso machine was down when you entered the store, but you were so engrossed in your conversation that you must not have heard me.”

Customer:Well, most competent employees would put a sign up so people don’t waste half their lunch break waiting for a drink that you weren’t even making.”

Me: “Actually, if you’ll direct your attention to the door, you’ll notice that there was not only one sign, but several, explaining the situation.”

I’ve had many unpleasant encounters with customers over the years, but I think this response takes the prize for the most entitled comment I’ve ever heard because, rather than apologize for being on her phone or even acknowledging her part in the kerfuffle, she doubles down.

Customer:Well, if that man hadn’t opened a door I was clearly capable of opening myself, maybe I would have seen the sign.”

Me: “So, let me see if I understand you correctly. You’re upset that someone opened a door for you because they were trying to be polite?”

Customer: “Exactly! I certainly hope you’ll do something about it the next time he comes in here; that kind of thing is not acceptable!”

Me: “Oh, you can rest assured that I will make sure that man gets what’s coming to him.”

The next time he came in, I paid for his drink; I think he got what he deserved.

My, Aren’t We Feeling Entitled Today?, Part 2
My, Aren’t We Feeling Entitled Today?

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Grounds To Complain

, , , , | Working | February 3, 2021

I go into an independent coffee shop, grab a bag of espresso beans from a display, and take them to the counter.

Me: “Hi. Can I get these beans ground for espresso, please?”

Barista: “Sure. What machine do you have?”

Me: “Umm… an espresso machine.”

Barista: “Okay, but which one?”

I have never been asked that. They usually just choose the espresso setting on the grinder and whir away.

Me: “I… don’t know. I bought it second-hand; there was no box. I never looked that closely at the brand.”

Barista: “Well, I can’t grind it if I don’t know the machine. Can I get you a drink or something?”

I pull my phone out and look up “espresso machine,” showing her the first result.

Barista: “Oh, an espresso machine. Not, like a Keurig or something.”

Me: “Yeah. An espresso machine.”

Barista: “So many people get their coffee ground by us and then want to return it when it doesn’t work in their Keurig or whatever.”

She turned and ground my coffee for me. I’ve taken a photo of my machine and keep it ready in my phone if I ever encounter the request to prove I have an espresso machine again, but it hasn’t come up since.

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