Colliding With The Collada Customer

, , , , | Right | January 31, 2019

(I work in the restaurant of a bowling alley on the opening shift, which gets pretty busy on the weekends, especially with birthday parties. On this day, I am working register while two coworkers prepare food — one is manning the fryer and grill, the other assembling platters and plates of food to put up on an adjacent counter for pick-up — and a third makes pizzas in the back. As cashier, my job includes making drink orders, including coffees. We are on the tail end of a big rush thanks to a birthday party not pre-ordering their food, and I am finishing up the line when a male customer orders a collada: a Cuban coffee, which is basically an espresso shot with a heaping ton of sugar mixed in. I don’t think anything of it, and it takes no more than ninety seconds to make the coffee and hand it over after payment. About ten minutes later, while I am grabbing a couple pitchers for another customer’s soda, my coworkers call for my attention.)

Coworker #1: “Did you make a collada?”

Me: “Yeah, not that long ago. Why?”

Coworker #2: “This lady says it’s ice cold.”

(Of course, I am baffled. Unless the machine has learned how to brew coffee with cold water, there is no way it should already be cold. Still, [Coworker #2] goes about making another coffee while I finish the soda pitchers, still mulling over the accusation. The complaining customer moves in front of the register, and it is an older woman, not the man I made the coffee for.)

Me: “I’m so sorry, ma’am. I have no idea how this happened.”

Customer: “It was ice cold! Disgusting!”

Me: “I really am sorry. I don’t know what could have caused it.”

Customer: “It was ice cold. No Cuban would ever drink that.”

(I can almost feel my apologetic customer service smile fall into something like my neutral “resting b**** face,” though I try to be pleasant.)

Me: “She’s getting your coffee now, ma’am.”

(Luckily, my coworker has finished and is already turning to offer the customer the little Styrofoam cup.)

Coworker #2: “Here you go! Nice and hot!”

Customer: “I’ll be the judge of that!”

(She proceeds to pop open the lid and glare inside before just walking away, and I turn to my coworker in upset confusion.)

Me: “I honestly don’t know why that happened.”

Coworker #2: “Don’t worry about it. You didn’t do anything wrong. The cup was almost empty; it was just easier to give her another one than start a fight. I hope it gives her the s***s.”

(I agreed with her. I hope it was worth saving $1.45.)

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Internal Intolerance

, , , , | Related | October 31, 2018

(My grandma was born before women were allowed to vote, and so could not pass on their citizenship to their children born outside the USA to foreign fathers. Despite not being a citizen, my grandma is super Republican-American in everything she does, and age has made her a little intolerant. Since my grandma got married in the USA, we are all citizens but her. One day we are passing through customs at MIA…)

Customs Employee: *takes one look at my grandma’s Costa Rican passport* “Buenos días, señora.”

Grandma: “Good morning.”

Customs Employee: *stops checking passport and looks up angrily* “Lady, I spoke to you in Spanish. Talk to me in Spanish.”

Grandma: *screaming and in a snarky tone* “WELL, I THOUGHT WE WERE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! WHERE WE SPEAK ENGLISH!”

(I am panicking in my head, thinking, “That’s it! We are getting detained! My grandma is going to get us kicked out! Is he going to make our life h***?! Am I going to have to bail my grandma out of jail? Are we both going to jail?” Instead, the Customs Employee, shocked, open-mouthed, and speechless, gives my grandma her passport, and she angrily walks away, leaving me behind.)

Me: *to employee still in shock* “Lo siento muchisisisimo.” *I am so so so sorry.*

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The Birds And The Bees And The Bathroom Employees

, , , , , , , , | Hopeless | September 21, 2018

I come from a very religious family. As such, I was never given any formal sex-ed talk.

I was 12 and I was at the mall by myself. I went into the washroom and found blood in my underwear. I completely panicked and ran into the closest store.

In this store, there was one female worker, but the rest of the store was empty. In tears, I begged her to call my family to come get me because clearly I was dying.

The woman calmed me down and gave me an adhesive pad. After explaining what it was and how to use it, she let me use the staff-only washroom in the back. She then gave me the whole sex talk my parents and my religious school had failed to tell me. She only told me because I was so freaked out and confused. I don’t think she knew I was religious; she just thought I was super innocent and my parents didn’t tell me s***.

I never told my parents what this employee said. My parents acted like my period was shameful and discouraged any discussion about it, besides saving sex for marriage, when I went home that night. Before I went to bed, my mom handed me a package of pads and a book about Virgin Mary. She didn’t explain how to use them, the difference between wings and no wings, etc., like the woman in the store had. I would’ve been so overwhelmed if it weren’t for that woman.

The following year, I was taught about how abstinence is the best birth control, but nothing like what that employee taught me. I had to be the one to teach my friends about their own bodies, and I am so grateful for what that employee did. I have friends who are in their early 20s just learning what I learned when I was 12.

This woman saved my teen years.

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Tailgate Meet Their Tail-Fate

, , , , , , , | Legal | September 2, 2018

I’m driving home from work after a closing shift one evening. It’s 11:30 pm and traffic is extremely light on my highway, with only two other cars maybe 100 yards ahead of me. For some reason, one of the cars begins to tailgate the other. There is no traffic, and they are both in the slow lane going a reasonable speed. The tailgater could easily just pass, but no. He just starts inching closer and closer to the other car until he’s practically on his bumper. I actually slow down to put some more distance between their car and mine because I think it might cause an accident, he’s so ridiculously close.

After a full minute and a half of this, the tailgater finally decides to whip around the other car. Then, a siren comes on.

It turns out, the “slow” car was actually an undercover cop, who of course immediately pulled the tailgater over. I kept driving obviously, a happy witness to instant justice.

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Dressed In Neighborly Spirit

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 31, 2018

After living in the same suburban city in Georgia for over 25 years, I find myself relocating to Miami, Florida, for my husband’s new job. We don’t have much time to look for a place to live, so we choose an affordable apartment close to his job.

We move into a second-floor apartment in a six-story building, knowing nothing about the neighborhood. Shortly after moving in I hear the fire alarm. I go outside to discover smoke pouring from one of the sixth-floor apartments. One of the neighbors is a teenage girl, who is absolutely hysterical. She accidentally started the fire when she forgot about a pot of food she had left on the stove. She panicked and ran out of the apartment, forgetting that her father was still inside napping.

As some of the neighbors are trying to calm the girl, the father, who is a very tall, very large man, emerges from the building, a bit dazed, but unharmed. Unfortunately, he is still wearing the clothes he was napping in: a t-shirt and boxer shorts.

While my neighbors and I are waiting for the fire department to tend to the fire — the apartment is a complete loss — my next-door neighbor, who is also a very tall, very large man, comes home. He speaks to his wife, who fills him in on the situation. My next-door neighbor sees the sixth-floor dad, and then goes to his car and retrieves several shopping bags from a clothing store. He hands him the shopping bags, saying, “Here. These are for you.”

The sixth-floor dad protests that he can’t take his new clothes. The next door neighbour makes the obvious statement that he needs them more right now.

And that is how I learned what kind of neighbors I had.

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