The Sweet Taste Of Death

| SC, USA | Working | February 2, 2015

(My friend and I decide to stop at a popular local coffee shop known for their smoothies. My friend is waiting outside with our dogs.)

Me: “I’d like a large mango smoothie and a medium banana smoothie. Could you also please make sure the banana doesn’t touch any peanut products? My friend is allergic.”

Barista #1: “Certainly. It will be ready shortly.”

(Evidently the entire neighborhood had the same idea we did, so there’s a small wait for frozen drinks. While the baristas are busy making and taking orders, I quick pop outside to ask my friend something and check on my dog. By the time I come back in, our drinks are already made, but I notice something off about the color of my friend’s smoothie and decide to taste it before I bring it to him.)

Me: “Um, ma’am, this is a peanut butter banana smoothie. I asked for just banana because my friend is allergic. If he drank this, it would kill him.”

(The barista immediately goes pale and some of the chatter in the shop dies down. She immediately turns to one of her two coworkers, who evidently was the one who made the smoothies.)

Barista #1: “Did you put peanut butter in the banana smoothie?!”

Barista #2: “Yeah. They taste better that way. The regular banana ones are kind of bland.”

Barista #3: “You don’t do something like that! He’s allergic! He could have died!”

Barista #2: “Oh. Well, how was I supposed to know that?”

Barista #1: “She told us! I wrote it down on the slip so you knew! Didn’t you bother reading it before you made the drinks?!”

Barista #2: “How do you know she isn’t lying, though?”

Me: “Do you really want to chance that I might be lying about my friend having a life-threatening peanut allergy by giving him peanut butter because you think it tastes better?”

(The woman who took my order apologizes and remakes the smoothie personally, this time being careful to avoid any cross-contamination, and not only refunds the cost of it but also gives us a voucher for a free drink and cookie, and some water for our dogs. I explain to my friend what happened while we’re walking home.)

Friend: “Huh…she’s right though. It does taste a little bland. Maybe I should have taken the one with death in it instead.”

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Establishing Order Over Tall Orders

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Working | January 26, 2015

(I’m in line at a coffee place. When it’s the turn of the guy in front of me, he rattles off a ridiculously complex order, with all sorts of alterations. At no point does he say ‘please,’ nor does he even bother looking at the lady taking his order. Surprisingly, she seems to get happier and happier as he spends a few minutes saying his order. By the end, she’s positively beaming.)

Barista #1: “All right, sir. If you’ll wait over by the side of the counter, please, your order will just be a moment.”

(The instant she finishes saying the word “moment”, she suddenly starts making the man’s drink with incredible speed. She’s flying around making the complex drink, pouring and stirring and grabbing various ingredients with astounding dexterity. Her movements are so rapid and precise that it’s like watching a sped-up version of a dance. Her face shows intense concentration, and all the other baristas and staff have stopped what they were doing to watch. She finishes after a minute.)

Barista #1: “Here you are, sir! I hope you enjoy your drink!”

(Suddenly, another barista calls out.)

Barista #2: “She did it!”

(The staff near her begin to clap her on the back, congratulating her, and generally acting like the event is a minor celebration. After a moment, she turns to serve me.)

Barista #1: “What would you like today, ma’am?”

Me: “Actually, can I ask what just happened?”

Barista #1: “Oh, we have a competition among the staff. If anyone can make a drink in less time than it takes the customer to say what the drink is, the manager has agreed to take us all out for dinner, on her. [Barista #2] was timing, and it looks like I made it!”

Barista #2: “Yeah, it makes us actually like the customers with over-the-top, customised drinks. They’re the only ones we stand a chance at beating! Normal drinks, like, ‘tall flat white,’ only take two seconds to say, so we can’t compete. That guy’s order was record-breakingly long, though!”

(The guy, who had been ignoring them and inspecting his complex drink to look for flaws, turned red and slunk out. Later, I found out that the manager had created the competition to address the negative morale caused by difficult orders. It was obviously working.)

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The Drink Of The Month

| IA, USA | Right | January 23, 2015

(I work at a kiosk of a popular coffee chain. It’s before school, and my coworker is ringing up a girl’s order.)

Customer: “I want a peppermint mocha, but with no coffee in it.”

Coworker: “Okay, so a steamer.”

(My coworker hands me the cup and I can’t help but giggle a little.)

Coworker: “What is it?”

Me: “Oh, you wrote down PMS for the drink order.”

Coworker: *laughing* “Oh jeez, I didn’t even think about that. But that’s what it is, a peppermint mocha steamer.”

Customer: “That’s one way to start a morning.”

(I make the drink and hand it to her.)

Me: “Here’s your PMS, ma’am.”

Customer: “Don’t go PMSing now!”

Ki-Wheezing

| MN, USA | Working | January 15, 2015

(I often visit a local coffee shop that serves not only coffee items, but also pastries and real fruit smoothies. The menu, however, does not list the fruits included in the smoothies. I have a kiwi allergy.)

Me: “Hi, can I get a tropic blast smoothie and a scone?”

Barista: “Sure thing! That’ll be [price].”

Me: “And does the tropic blast smoothie have any kiwi or kiwi flavoring in it? I’m allergic.”

Barista: “No, none at all! It’ll be right up.”

(My friend and I pay and collect our food and go to sit down. I take a sip and immediately feel my lips tingling and itching, and my tongue feels like it’s getting pinpricks and is swelling. I realize there is kiwi, and I’m having an allergic reaction. Since my reactions aren’t life threatening, just uncomfortable for an hour or so, I bring it back up to get a replacement.)

Me: “Uh, sorry but there is kiwi in this. I’m having a reaction but it’s in control. Can I get a refund or replacement, maybe?”

Barista: “F*** off.”

Me: *shocked* “Excuse me?”

Barista: “You heard me. F*** off. That had got to be the fakest lisp I’ve ever heard, and Jesus is watching you lie to get things for free. You even drank half of it!”

(The ‘fake lisp’ is from my swollen tongue, and I had only taken a small sip so the cup is nearly filled to the brim. Another barista gets the manager/owner for me without being asked, and I tell her what happened.)

Owner: “Did you really tell this poor girl to ‘eff off’?!”

Barista: “Listen to her! She’s obviously faking. She just wants free smoothies.”

Owner: “Can you show her your tongue, please, miss?”

Me: *sticks out my red and obviously swollen tongue*

Owner: “Why did you tell her the tropic blast didn’t have any kiwi?! And why did you accuse her of lying?!”

(The barista tried to defend herself and failed. The owner fired her and told me this isn’t the first time she’d been rude to customers. The owner gave me a 15 free drinks coupon, and even though I’ve used them up, I’m still a regular! But I’ve never had another smoothie from them.)

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Giving You A (Prison) Break

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Right | January 8, 2015

Customer #1: “Thank God, this line is taking forever.”

(There is no line at all, although the tables are mostly occupied.)

Me: “Sorry about the wait, sir. May I take your order?”

(The customer proceeds to rattle off a long, confusing, and often contradictory order, including such things as a meatless ham sandwich.)

Me: “Sir, I’m a little confused by your order. Do you mean—”

Customer #1: “—oh for God’s sake, I have to repeat myself now? Weren’t you paying attention the first time?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t want to get anything wrong. You made a big order, and—”

Customer #1: *sighs* “I’ll repeat myself, but just this once. I hate dealing with lazy ignorant dropouts like you.”

(He repeats his order, but I understand it even less because I am trying not to cry. He finishes speaking and snaps his fingers at me.)

Customer #1: “Hello?! Punch it in, you dumb b****. I haven’t got all day, and—”

(Suddenly one of the other customers; a strongly-built man who has been quietly sitting at a nearby table, roars and leaps to his feet, flipping the table and spilling his coffee in the process.)

Customer #2: “GOD-D*** IT! ONE DAY OUT OF PRISON, AND ALREADY I HAVE TO MURDER AN IDIOT IN A COFFEE STORE!”

(The rude customer shrieks and flees from the store. I and the remaining customers stare at the man, who quietly picks up the table and comes over to the counter.)

Customer #2: “I’ll pay for any damage. If you could show me where the mops are, I’ll take care of the mess too.”

Me: “I-I-I, um…”

Customer #2: “Don’t worry about it, sweetheart. There’s always gonna be an a** like that around.”

Me: “Uh, you, um…”

Customer #2: “Oh, the prison thing?” *laughs* “Never been in jail in my life. So, anyway, where’s that mop?”

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