It Was A Humbling Time For All Of Us

, , , , , , | Right | March 2, 2020

(I’m working at a coffee shop in Manhattan. Today is September 11, 2001, and it is about 20 minutes before the first reports of a plane hitting World Trade Center 1.)

Customer: “Can you hurry up? What is taking so d*** long to make my coffees?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Usually, we have a large staff to take big orders but today most of the staff are out.”

Customer: *irritated* “Well, how is this my fault? You should be ready to take any orders that I give you! I have a big meeting at 9:00 at the World Trade Center! That makes me important and I should be the top priority!”

(I ignore him and continue making his drinks.)

Me: “Here you go, sir, your order of [ten different coffees] ready to go. Your total is [total].”

Customer: “About f****** time!”

(He rushes out, and then ten minutes later, the news stations start talking about that first plane. The whole ordeal of 9/11 happens. Then, about a week later, the same customer comes in with presumably his wife and daughter.)

Me: “Hello, sir, what is your order today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m not actually ordering anything, I just wanted to thank you.”

Me: “For what, sir?”

Customer: “I’m the jerk from last week yelling about his important meeting in Tower 1. The time it took for you to make my coffee made me just late enough that I was walking up to the building when the plane hit it.”

Me: *tearing up* “Oh, my God!”

Customer: “But that’s not important. You saved me from that horrible attack and I am still here for my wife and daughter.”

Customer’s Wife: *starts sobbing on her husband’s shoulder*

Customer’s Daughter: “Can I give you a hug?”

(I happily gave her a hug through my tears. Still to this day, knowing that I was able to save one family from those terrible attacks warms my heart.)


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They Know How To Push Your Buttons Even When They’re Not Pushing Any

, , , | Right | January 13, 2019

(A client calls in reporting issues with his laptop. After several minutes of trying to get their laptop online, and him just repeating “I’m trying what you said but it’s not doing anything.”)

Me: “Okay, sir, please reboot your computer.”

Client: “How do I reboot?”

Me: “With the Start menu, then Restart.”

Client: “Where’s the start thing?”

Me: “The same thing you pressed to get to the Control Panel options.”

Client: “I’m not sure what you mean… I haven’t pressed anything… I wasn’t sure what you were asking me to do… ”

(And people wonder why computer techs seem anti-social sometimes.)

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The Mother Of All Awkward Photo Shoots

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 29, 2018

(Due to circumstances, I end up as the photographer on the day two of my best friends get married. Since I have some experience with photography and they have an excellent camera, the photographs turn out pretty well. We are in the middle of a short shoot when suddenly the groom’s mother seizes the opportunity and gets me to take some photos of her during the end of it, quickly and smoothly. Afterwards, my two friends and I huddle around the camera to see how it all turned out.)

Groom: “So, how did it go?”

Me: “This isn’t something a guy should normally say to his friends, but I got some nice photos of your mom.”

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Scorn On The Fourth Of July

, , , , , | Right | October 5, 2018

(I work the front desk at what is considered to be one of the more “upscale” hotels in the area. Most people who book with us tend to be on the wealthier end of the financial spectrum, and some are well aware of this fact, to put it kindly. I have just gotten in for my shift at seven am on the fourth of July, and I immediately witness this interaction between a guest and my coworker who has been there since four am.)

Guest: “Do you have any newspapers today?”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, we haven’t received any today. We don’t get papers delivered to us on holidays.”

Guest: *in a very frazzled tone* “Well, can I buy one from you? Is that an option?”

Coworker: “Well, no, we, unfortunately, don’t have any papers anywhere in the hotel today. There are a few places just a block or two away that may be selling newspapers today, though.”

Guest: “This is outrageous! I spend this much money to stay at your hotel and you don’t even give me a newspaper?! It is your patriotic duty to provide me with the news, and you have just failed as an American by not doing this!” *storms away*

(It’s people like this that really make me question the state our society is in. He did, however, becoming the laughing stock of the front desk for a good week or two after, so at least some good news came out of it.)


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Not The Ingredients For Success

, , , , | Right | July 17, 2018

(I am working the lunch shift at a small bakery and cafe that also serves some different types of salads. The salads are displayed in bowls on the counter, but they don’t have signs. A middle-aged lady approaches the counter.)

Customer: “What is this salad?”

Me: “This one is chicken, corn, and kale, and next to it we have a kale with grana cheese and red onion.”

(I proceed to tell her about the rest of the salads. I understand that first-timers can be confused by our lack of signage, and I have no problem running through the descriptions for them.)

Customer: *staring intently at the two kale salads* “So… What’s the difference between them?”

Me: “Uh…”

Customer: “Is the difference just the ingredients?”

Me: *polite, deadpan customer service voice* “Yes, ma’am, the difference is the ingredients.”

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