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Sweet, Creamy Karma

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: revilo636 | January 22, 2023

Years ago, I worked for a big Canadian coffee and donut shop, mostly working the evening shift. If you aren’t familiar with [Coffee Shop], the cream and sugar are dispensed by a machine that is calibrated to an amount determined by corporate. If you are used to ordering at other coffee and/or donut chains, the number of sugar and creams you order may need to change depending on how much you actually want.

One night, we had these three bikers drive in, and we could tell they had been on the road for a while. Their ringleader was your stereotypical biker: tall, wide shoulders, big beard, and covered in leather. His friends were shorter but otherwise still had the whole tough but tired look going on.

My coworker was in the back working on soup and sandwiches, but it was only three people and it had been a slow night. No worries. I just needed to get these tired boys some caffeine and wish them a good night.

Ringleader: “I want an extra large twelve and twelve.”

Me: “Are you sur—”

Ringleader: “Did I stutter?”

Me: “Okay, but that’s only—”

Friend #1: “Did he stutter?!”

No. No, he did not…

So, off I went to make him exactly what he’d asked for. I grabbed a cup, put it under the sugar dispenser, and pressed the times-three button four times — twelve extra-large shots of sugar. Then, I went over to the cream dispenser and did the same thing. Now, fun fact: the cream and sugars are measured to dispense a twelfth of the cup size you are selecting. So, by the time all twelve shots of creamer were dispensed, the cup was basically full.

I stirred the creamy sugar mixture around before I poured an itty bitty splash of coffee into his cup, just enough to bring it up to the safety line on the cup. I tried asking him if he wanted me to heat it up or anything, but I basically got the same exact runaround from him and his friend.

Obviously, the guy knew what he wanted and he didn’t need me to tell him what he was ordering. They grabbed the rest of their order and drove out into the night.

Now, you would think that was the end of the story. The big, angry biker man got his nasty sugar-cream drink and left me sitting there wondering if the rest of the world had been drinking their coffee wrong this entire time.

But no, I was lucky to be working the next afternoon when he came back in! Mr. Ringleader came back in all by himself the next day and shuffled up to the counter. I could tell he must have been embarrassed because his voice was a lot softer this time; he knew he’d f***ed up.

The glorious aftermath is that he apologized and confirmed that the drink had been utterly disgusting. It turned out that he was used to ordering from another coffee chain where they use way smaller measurements for their cream and sugar. Once I knew where he was used to ordering from, I made him the approximately same drink using our measurements (roughly a triple-triple) and sent him on his way.

I only wish I could have seen his face when he took that first sip.

Is It Possible? Did A Customer Actually Learn Something?

, , , | Right | January 13, 2023

When I managed a coffee stand, I had a semi-regular who came in once every ten to twelve days. She came in two days in a row so she could complain about one of my employees.

I had recently become the manager and was making some changes. One, specifically, was to standardize how we charged people for their drinks. THIS woman — who had an absolutely ridiculous drink, by the way — had bullied previous managers into “her price” for her drink, and no, she didn’t tip.

One afternoon, I got a call from the girl who was working, warning me that I was probably going to get a complaint about her. Her. The Nicest Girl You’d Ever Meet. I asked if the complainant was known to us, so she described the drink (that’s how baristas know you).

When the customer showed up the next morning, I knew exactly what it was about. Regardless of what she said about my employee, she was really complaining about being charged full price for her drink. And I wasn’t about to punish someone for doing what I told them to.

Long story short, I told her that, since she’d thought her drink was fine at the time, aside from that, I didn’t care. She gave me this look (you know the one).

Customer: “Well, I guess I won’t be getting my drink, then.”

It was clear she FULLY expected me to grovel for her business.

Me: “Okay, see you later!”

Six months later, she came back. She was INCREDIBLY polite, drinking black Americanos, and tipping. She had gotten perma-banned from somewhere, and I wish so badly that I knew the story!

What IS A Plate, Anyway?

, , , | Working | January 13, 2023

My mother and I spend the day doing some Christmas shopping in a nearby city, and we decide to stop for drinks at a chain coffee shop. I go to order our drinks while my mother goes to use the ladies’ room.

Me: “Hi. Could I have a medium Earl Grey tea without milk, and a medium Terry’s hot chocolate, please?”

Barista #1: “Sure, was that green-top milk with the tea?”

Me: “No, no milk, thanks.”

Barista #1: “Okay, and a small Terry’s hot chocolate?”

Me: “Medium, please.”

Barista #1: “Oh, oops, a medium. And did you want whipped cream on that?”

Me: “No, thanks.”

Barista #1: “Okay, so one medium Earl Grey, no milk, and one medium Terry’s hot chocolate, no cream. That’ll be [price], please.”

As I’m paying, [Barista #1] turns to [Barista #2].

Barista #1: “Medium Earl Grey with green-top milk and a small Terry’s hot chocolate.”

Me: “Medium hot chocolate, and no milk, please.”

Barista #1: “Oh, yeah. You know, I’m just losing the plot today. Completely losing it. I’m standing here looking at a plate, thinking, ‘What is a plate?’”

I head over to the area where [Barista #2] is making the drinks. After he finishes making the tea, I notice him making what appears to be a small hot chocolate.

Me: “Sorry, is that a medium?”

Barista #2: “…”

Me: “…”

Barista #2: “…”

Barista #2: “Just have that one. I’ll make the correct one, too.”

Me: “Oh, okay! Thanks!”

He finished both hot chocolates and slathered them both in whipped cream, and I thanked him again and took my drinks to a table. After a couple of minutes, my mother joined me at the table, looking down at the extra drink in confusion. I just burst into giggles. These baristas had clearly had a long day!

Thermodynamics, You Take It From Here, Part 13

, , , | Right | January 9, 2023

Customer: “I need twelve [different types of hot drinks].”

We confirm the order, they pay, and we start making them. They come out like a conveyer and we place them on the counter, with the customer taking them one by one.

After he takes the seventh drink or so, he comes back with some of the earlier ones.

Customer: “These ones aren’t hot! Remake them!”

Me: “They’re coming out hot, sir, but they will cool down a little.”

Customer: “I need them all hot. Remake them!”

We try to speed up a little but it’s inevitable that just two of us making twelve different drinks can get them all out at the same time. The customer comes over after we’ve handed another seven drinks over.

Customer: “Not fast enough! These are cold now, too! Remake them!”

Me: “Sir, no matter how fast we go, the earlier drinks will not be as hot as the newer drinks.”

Customer: “I need them all hot!”

Me: “Sir, this is just how the universe works. We cannot stop this process.”

Customer: “Your other store downtown does it for me!”

Me: “Then they should call the Nobel society, sir, because they just broke science!”

It took the manager explaining that we couldn’t stop this process before the customer left with their drinks of varying (but all still quite hot) temperatures. In the end we made over twenty drinks for him!

Thermodynamics, You Take It From Here, Part 12
Thermodynamics, You Take It From Here, Part 11
Thermodynamics, You Take It From Here, Part 10
Thermodynamics, You Take It From Here, Part 9
Thermodynamics, You Take It From Here, Part 8

Your Coworker Also Seems To Need Three Coffees

, , , , | Working | January 2, 2023

I’m sitting on the floor in the back room sorting stock while listening to a coworker serving a customer.

Customer: “I want two cups of black coffee and one with milk.”

Coworker: “So, a cup of black coffee and a black coffee with milk?”

Customer: “No. I want two cups of black coffee, and one with milk.”

Coworker: “Yes? A black coffee without anything and a black coffee with milk.”

Customer: “I… No. Two cups of black coffee and one with milk.”

I can’t take it anymore, so I stick my head out of the door.

Me: “[Coworker], he wants three cups of coffee in total.”

Customer: “Thank you!”