Hard No To Soft Pretzels

, , , , , , | Working | January 20, 2020

(The sandwich chain inside our local big box store installed a very large glass display case full of a dozen or so soft pretzels at one end of their counter. I am a sucker for soft pretzels, and I usually only have them as an occasional treat at the mall, so after a few weeks of walking past the display, I decide to try them out. I approach the only employee, a bored-looking young man.)

Sandwich Artist: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I’d like one of those soft pretzels, please?”

(The sandwich artist gives me an incredulous look, and then takes a couple of steps closer to the display case and points at the pretzels inside.)

Sandwich Artist: “Those… aren’t real. Those are plastic.”

(I walk closer and look in. They certainly are plastic.)

Me: “Oh, this is just a display? Do you have some real ones behind the counter, or…?”

Sandwich Artist: “We don’t have any pretzels.”

Me: “Sorry, do you mean that you’re out?”

Sandwich Artist: “We have never sold pretzels.”

(I looked at the display. I looked back at the sandwich artist. Baffled, I walked away. The display remains on the counter to this day, and I continue to wonder whether they truly have never sold an item they devoted a three-foot-tall glass display case to, or if he just didn’t want to serve me one.)

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Communing With Sandwiches Of The Future

, , , | Right | January 15, 2020

(I work in a sandwich shop, and occasionally, a customer will just tell me what kind of meat they want and then stare at me as if I somehow have all the information I need. Today, one customer takes it further.)

Customer: “Ham.”

(I try to ask follow-up questions so that I know what bread to put the ham on, but she interrupts me.)

Customer: “Ham.”

Me: *tries again*

Customer: “Ham!”

(Finally, she lets me speak.)

Me: “A six-inch or footlong?”

Customer: “Six.”

Me: “On what kind of bread?”

Customer: “White bread.”

(As I turn around and retrieve a loaf of white bread from the cabinet, I hear her speak again.)

Customer: “Toasted.”

(While I cut the bread and start to place ham on it, she repeats herself two more times.)

Me: “Before I toast it, what kind of cheese do you want?”

(She paused, looked over the cheese for a couple of moments, and then pointed and said, “Cheddar cheese.” I try to help the customer get the sandwich they want, but it’s hard to do so when they shout commands that I can’t do yet.)

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Will Leave You Milk-Shaken  

, , | Right | January 8, 2020

(I have one employee in the back and one employee with me to help customers while it’s slow. A man comes up to the register while I’m about to help another customer.)

Me: “Hello, sir, can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I think I want a milkshake.”

Me: “Okay, then.”

(I pause while I take a glance to see if I need to call out my other employee. I gauge that I should and ask my other employee to go get him.)

Me: “And what flavor did you want, sir?”

Customer: “I’ll take vanilla.”

Me: “All right, that’ll be $2.89.”

Customer: “So, you don’t make milkshakes very often, huh?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “It just seems like you aren’t really prepared, like I threw you off.”

Me: “We make a lot of milkshakes, every day, actually. I just can’t be in two places at once to help you and the other customers.”

Customer: “Oh, all right.”

(I walk over and start making his milkshake. Customers can see inside of the ice cream cooler. I use a very small remaining amount of ice cream in one tub and have to open a new tub.)

Customer: *pointing* “Why didn’t you just use that tub there, huh?”

Me: “Because that’s frozen yogurt, not ice cream.”

Customer: “Oh, all right.”

(I spin his milkshake and pour it out. As it’s cold and thick, it doesn’t all come out at once. As I’m jostling the tin to get the rest out, the customer speaks up.)

Customer: “Oh, you didn’t quite make it right, huh? That’s okay; you can just fill it the rest of the way with milk.”

(As I pour out the rest of the milkshake to completely fill his cup, I turn to him.)

Me: “That won’t be necessary.”

Customer: “Oh, all right.”

Me: “Here you go, sir. Have a great day.”

Customer: “All right.”

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They Got There, By And Large  

, , , , | Right | January 8, 2020

(I work in a sandwich shop, and a customer approaches my register after ordering.)

Me: “Hi, what did you have today?”

Male Customer: “We had three sandwiches, one large veggie… and a small one… and…”

Me: “All right.”

(I turn to look at the sandwiches being made. I notice that he’s with a woman who is still getting her sandwiches finished, so I take a look and ring up what I see.)

Me: “Looks like a large veggie, a small one, and a large special veggie?”

Male Customer: “Uh…”

(He looks at his bags, at the woman, and at my employee making his sandwich, and seems generally disorganized and unsure. The woman walks over.)

Female Customer: “Hi, we actually had three small veggies.”

Me: “I’m sorry, all of them were small?”

Female Customer: “Yes.”

(She’s nodding and smiling, but the man is looking as confused as ever. He talks to her in a foreign language for a few moments.)

Male Customer: “So, one large veggie and two small veggies.”

(The woman yells at him in the other language.)

Female Customer: “They were all small.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that one there is a large one and the one she has over there is large.”

(The woman picks up the obviously large sandwich and looks at it as if she’s just now realizing it’s visibly larger.)

Me: “If you wanted small ones, I can have them remade for you.”

Female Customer: “No, okay, we had one large and two small ones.”

(The man pipes up and they begin arguing in their language again.)

Me: “[Employee], what sandwiches did you make for these two customers?”

Employee: “They had two large special veggies with chicken and a small veggie.”

Me: “All right, folks, I guess that about settles that one. Your total is [price].”

(The woman was very visibly upset and yelled at the man in their language again, but he looked at me and apologized. The price difference from what she was trying to convince me they had was almost $10.)

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Sub-Standard Behavior

, , , , , , | Right | December 30, 2019

(I work in customer service. Today is a particularly hard day for me — difficult customers and the like. All I want to do is grab a sub and get home to watch some TV.)

Employee #1: “Cash or debit?”

Me: “Cash.”

Employee #1: “Okay. Because the debit machine is down.”

(At the cash, [Employee #2] is on the phone with the store owner who is obviously not being any help or offering any direction. Also at the register is a man in his early 40s and his son who is about five. The man storms out with his son in search of cash. I go through the sandwich building process, awkwardly stepping around a family who also need to pay by debit waiting for cash to arrive, very patient, quiet people. It comes time to pay for my sub. [Employee #1] rings it in as [Employee #2] hangs a “Cash Only” sign on the door. The computer freezes at the point that the cash drawer is supposed to open. We stand there for ten minutes making small talk. [Employee #1] is apologising profusely. [Employee #2] is on the phone with the store owner, explaining that people are waiting. Nothing is working. The owner hangs up, offering no direction. The man and his kid come back. The man pushes in front of me, slamming his money on the counter.)

Employee #1: “The cash system is also down now.”

(This is when the man pitches the hissy fit to end all hissy fits. Everything about my crappy day comes flooding back to me. And it occurs to me: they work there but I don’t.)

Me: “What is your problem? They are doing everything they possibly can do.”

Man: “This is f****** ridiculous.”

Me: “Sure. But it’s not their fault. Tell me, what do you think they should do? They can’t give you free food. Their store owner hung up on them. Pull up your big-boy pants and set a good example for your son! Be an adult!”

([Employee #1] and [Employee #2] pool their tips and come up with change. The man storms away, slamming tables out of his way with the child following. To appease this “grown man” child, the employees gave him change out of their OWN TIPS! Teenagers making minimum wage sacrificed to appease an adult driving a fancy truck. Another few minutes pass and finally:)

Employee #1: “Screw this. I am taking the change from below.” *a float of some sort*

(It took roughly twenty minutes to pay for a sub that was now cold and gross, but it was not their fault. I thanked them, reminded them that it was not their fault, and wished them luck.)

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